Tika Sumpter was born in New York and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College. Sumpter began her career as model, before she landed the role of "Layla Williamson" in ABC's daytime soap opera, One Life to Live (1968) (2005-2010, 2011).
After she left the soap, Sumpter won a recurring role in the CW series, Gossip Girl (2007), and appeared in the BET sitcom, The Game (2006). After supporting roles in the films, Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming (2010), Salt (2010), What's Your Number? (2011) and Think Like a Man (2012), she was cast alongside Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the 2012 musical film, Sparkle (2012). In 2013, she was cast as vixen "Candace Young" in the OWN drama series, The Haves and the Have Nots (2013).