He began performing as a young child, and
recorded his debut album, Brown Sugar, in 1995. Though sales
were sluggish at first, the album was eventually a hit, in
large part to "Lady," a Top Ten hit on the Billboard
Hot 100 charts, and helped kickstart the burgeoning nu soul
singers of the 1990s (along with Maxwell, Erykah Badu and
others). The album was a critical success as well, and appeared
on many critics' "best of" lists for the year.
In the five year gap between Brown Sugar and the follow-up,
D'Angelo appeared on several soundtracks, including Belly
("Devil's Pie"), frequently singing covers like
"Girl You Need a Change of Mind" (Eddie Kendricks,
Get on the Bus), "She's Always in My Hair" (Prince,
Scream 2) and "Heaven Must Be Like This" (The Ohio
Players, Down in the Delta), as well as appearing on Lauryn
Hill's landmark The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on the duet
Nothing Even Matters.
The much-delayed follow-up to Brown Sugar, Voodoo, was finally
released in 2000. It debuted at #1 and went on to win 2 Grammy
Awards, one for Best R&B Album, and the other for Best
R&B Male Vocal Performance. The lead single was "Untitled
(How Does It Feel)", a tribute to the legendary artist
Prince. The song became a huge R&B hit buoyed by an innovative
video featuring a nude D'Angelo performing the song with no
accompaniment or ornamentation. The video was nominated for
4 MTV Video Music Awards and currently ranks #44 in VH1's
list of the 100 Greatest Videos. He also performed "Be
Here" (with Raphael Saadiq) from Saadiq's album Instant
D'Angelo has a son, Michael Jr., with fellow neo-soul singer
Angie Stone, and a daughter, Imani, born in October 1999.
In 2002, Q magazine named him in their list of the "50
Bands To See Before You Die".
In January of 2005, D'Angelo was arrested and charged with
possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance,
and driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to the DUI
and marijuana charge and, on April 13, was given a fine and
suspended sentence and his driver's license was revoked. On
September 12, he received a three-year suspended sentence
on the cocaine possession charge.
On September 19, 2005, just a week after being sentenced for
cocaine possession, D'Angelo was critically injured in Powhatan
County, Virginia when the SUV he was riding in hit a fence,
ejecting him from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
He has now been released from the hospital and is recovering
at home from multiple rib injuries and bruises. A followup
release to Voodoo has yet to see the light of day; however,
in recent months, D'Angelo is said to be hard at work on a
third album, tentatively titled James River. After a long
period of inactivity, in recent months, D'Angelo has guested
on several albums, including releases by J Dilla, Common ,
Red Hot & Riot and The RH Factor.
In August of 2006, D'Angelo is confirmed to have exited a
rehabiltation stint on the island of Antigua and has begun
collaborations with Common and Q-Tip. He also entered discussions
with Jermaine Dupri on how to market what appears to be a
forthcoming LP, though the official news of a release has
not been made public yet--Bio Courtesy of wikipedia
Sugar - Most folks don't know that D'Angelo does the
majority of the keyboard work on his albums, and boy is he funky.
The Fender Rhodes and B3 Organ parts on this CD evoke the classic
soul of the 70's while still giving a nod to hip-hop. -- Rodney
D'Angelo is obviously inspired by the progressive soul of the
early '70s, but he has also borrowed carefully from the hip-hop
of his own generation. Like many of his contemporaries, he has
recorded a tribute to marijuana--the album's title--but it's
far wittier than most. It takes the form of a conventional love
song ("Brown sugar babe, I gets high off your love ...
that's why my eyes are a shade blood burgundy") and mimics
intoxication in its throbbing bass lines and reverb-heavy organ.
Another song, with a title too profane to print, is a blunt
tale of infidelity and murder, but in contrast to most rap fantasies,
D'Angelo's blues-like narrative acknowledges such acts have
serious consequences. Best of all is the Prince-like "Higher,"
which combines the spiritual love of God and the carnal love
of a woman into one dizzying, organ-fueled hymn.
- More great Rhodes and B3 work from a Neo-soul pioneer. --
Like Robin Hood working on a tip from Chuck D, D'Angelo has
stolen back the soul that was missing from the just-add-water
R&B scene. Voodoo is a simmering cauldron of sound, a magical
collection. Stained with sweat, longing, and rage, this is an
album with trouble on the brain. But it also includes sacred
sweet nothings and rapturous raw rhythms to get you through
the night. --Lizz Mendez Berry
at the Jazz Cafe- London's Jazz Cafe will rarely (if
ever) experience the vibe of D'Angelo's one off show on September
14th 1995 again.
The intimate, sold-out venue was bursting at the walls in expectation
of the new kid on the block. Widely hailed as the "Saviour
of Soul", his debut album that year "Brown Sugar"
had received massive critical acclaim now the stage was set
for the live performance. He lived up to the hype...
With a superb, proficient band the organic, soulful pomp of
his idols was captured with ease. - essence uk
out this live footage of D'Angelo playing Rhodes
on "Brown Sugar"
you are a D'angelo fan then perhaps you will enjoy my CD as well.
My CD is more electronic than D'Angelos but the Fender Rhodes and
the guest vocalists
definitely add that touch of soul.
Orchestra is the latest project from Los Angeles keyboardist
Lee. The music is a cinematic journey into soulful
live electronica with Lee navigating from a Fender
Rhodes electric piano. The CD was released in Sept.
2006 and features Rico Belled on bass, Allen Lightner on percussion,
Dino Soldo on bass clarinet and flutes, Dave Karasony on Drums,
and vocalists Jody Watley, Jeff Robinson, and
The Satellite Orchestra is like a chance meeting of Massive
Attack, Zero-7, and Herbie
" I have always believed that an album is a trip..not
just music to wash the dishes to, but a place to go.. a journey
to take.. an album goes to a place in your soul that maybe you
forgot was there...or maybe you never discovered.. The Satellite
Orchestra is such an album..it's music you feel...make sure
to bring your headphones." -DJ
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