R&B singer, musician, and record producer D’Angelo was born Michael Eugene Archer on February 11, 1974 in Richmond, Virginia, where he began playing piano at the age of three. He dropped out of high school at eighteen and moved to New York to pursue a music career. D’Angelo signed a publishing deal with EMI Records in 1991, which was followed by a recording contract in 1993. In 1994, he co-wrote and co-produced the song “U Will Know” for the R&B supergroup Black Men United, which was comprised of artists such as Brian McKnight, Usher
, R. Kelly
, Boyz II Men, Raphael Saadiq
and Gerald Levert. That same year, he wrote and produced the song "Overjoyed" for the Boys Choir of Harlem. D’Angelo released his debut album, Brown Sugar, in June of 1995. The album spent 65 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart and contained the singles “Lady”, “Brown Sugar”, and “Cruisin’.” After the success of Brown Sugar, D’Angelo took a sabbatical from the music world. As a result, his sophomore album, Voodoo, wasn’t released until January 25, 2000. It won the 2001 Grammy for Best R&B album.
Between 2001 and 2009, D’Angelo did no live performances and released no new solo material. He had some small collaborations with other artists including Common
, Q-Tip, and J Dilla and was featured on the song “Imagine” by Snoop Dogg
and Dr. Dre
. In 2012, after more than a decade out of the spotlight, D’Angelo embarked on an 11-city European tour, during which he performed four new songs: "Sugah Daddy," "The Charade," "Ain't that Easy," and "In Another Life."
D’Angelo has reportedly been working on his third studio album since 2009. It is rumored to contain collaborations with Cee Lo Green
, Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson
, and Roy Hargrove. In early 2013, ?uestlove told Billboard in an interview that he had been in the studio working with D’Angelo and the album was 99% finished, however, as of late 2014, the album has yet to be released.
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