Dahlia Crede came to Springfield in the spring of 1996 with her mother Tina Crede. Tina tried to give Dahlia a good life, and kept her unsavory profession from her daughter. Dahlia believed her mother to be a restaurant hostess, but in reality she was a prostitute. In an attempt to better her situation, Tina unwittingly assisted in a robbery at The Spaulding Mansion and was caught. When she went to prison for eighteen months for the robbery, her main concern was what would happen to her daughter so she asked her old high schoolmate, police officer Frank Cooper, to take Dahlia in. At first, Frank wasn't sure but when his wife, Eleni, convinced him, Tina was both surprised and grateful. Tina lied to her only child by saying that she was going on the road as a Sales Assistant, so Dahlia wouldn't have to deal with the stigma of her mistake. Cast off from her mother, a lonely Dahlia made the most of her life with the Coopers, who welcomed her into the family by inviting her to the wedding of Frank's sister, Lucy. It was at this time that Dahlia would meet Marcus Williams. Unfortunately, Dahlia got the shock of her life when Marcus revealed the truth of where Tina was. Confused, Dahlia went to the streets to see how her mother lived and realized that the life of a prostitute was a very dangerous one. More confused than ever, Dahlia planned on running away but received some sound advice from Reva Shayne who told her that running away never solved problems, it just added to them. In time, Dahlia was able to forgive her mother and go on with her life.
Time went on and Dahlia and Marcus started dating. When Marcus’s father, Civil Rights Leader Griffin Williams, became an outcast for setting up a fake assassination on himself, it was Dahlia who convinced Marcus to forgive his father. Meanwhile, Marcus encouraged the shy Dahlia to pursue her singing as he pursued a career as a musician. Dahlia’s star seemed on the rise when she sang "Someone to Watch over Me" at Cedar's 60th Anniversary Ball in January 1997. Not long after, Marcus caught the attention of music producer Sugar Hill and tried to sell Dahlia as part of the team but Sugar only wanted Marcus. When Marcus was late to a performance for record company executive David Jacobs, Dahlia warmed the crowd up with a song. Jacobs was impressed and signed Dahlia to a recording contract. Dahlia managed to get Marcus signed as well, and the two celebrated their success by making love for the first time—which was Dahlia’s very first. Unfortunately, thanks to David's meddling daughter, Drew, Marcus was briefly fooled into thinking that Dahlia was involved with Sugar, but Dahlia was able to convince him of the truth. Though Dahlia was gaining increasing popularity as a singer, she never lost sight of who her friends were and was a trusted confidant to Michelle Bauer, Bill Lewis and J. Chamberlain. Though she and Marcus remained as a couple, in 1998, they broke up after Marcus fell for another woman. As for Dahlia, she soon left Springfield to further her singing career.