When Melissa Gold was a child, her mother was sent to prison for robbery. Overwhelmed by taunts from other children and abuse from her drunken father, Melissa ran away from home to find her mother. She grew up on the streets, adopting her mother's name "Mimi" as part of a hard, cold persona she developed as a survival mechanism.
She also dated a criminal named Mike, who abandoned her to the police when he was found with stolen goods. In prison, Melissa met wrestler Marian Pouncy who brought her into the costumed wrestling team the Grapplers as "Screaming Mimi". The Grapplers moonlighted as criminals and were cybernetically enhanced by Roxxon Oil, who had hired them to invade the government's Project: PEGASUS facility, but they were defeated by Quasar and Giant-Man.
Screaming Mimi eventually left the Grapplers, serving in Helmut Zemo's Masters of Evil and partnering with the similarly powered Angar the Screamer; however, Angar was killed during a robbery and a grieving Mimi went on a screaming rampage that destroyed her voice. She was rescued by Zemo, who recruited her back into his Masters and had the Fixer grant her new abilities based on Klaw's Sonic Horn. When Zemo's new Masters disguised themselves as the heroic Thunderbolts, Melissa adopted the identity of Songbird and became romantically involved with teammate Abe Jenkins, alias M.A.C.H. 1, who trained her in aerial combat.
Ultimately, she and Abe were among the Thunderbolts who turned against Zemo and tried to prove to the world that they had reformed. As part of his reformation, Abe has voluntarily served additional time in prison while Songbird continued to serve with the Thunderbolts. After the team disbanded following an altercation with the Avengers, Melissa joined a new incarnation of the Thunderbolts assembled by Abe, but the time she and Abe have spent apart has strained their relationship.