Greenwood was born in Prichard, Alabama and attended Alabama State College. In 1949 she moved to San Francisco to pursue a singing career. She worked as a vocalist for ‘Roy Milton & His Solid Senders’ for 3 years, beginning in 1950. During this time, she also recorded her own sides for the Modern and Federal labels. In 1956 she began working as a soloist for the Duke Ellington Orchestra where she remained through the early 1960s. In the 1970s, she guest starred in the television series Good Times and The Jeffersons.
Greenwood died in her hometown of Prichard on July 19, 2011. She was buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Mobile, Alabama.