If you should ever find yourself having a conversation with your friends about the greatest musicians of all time, you can definitely be sure that D'Angelo will be included in that list.
D'Angelo (birth name: Michael Eugene Archer) was born February 11, 1974 in Richmond Virginia. As the son of a Pentecostal minister, he was heavily immersed in music at a very young age. D'Angelo was a self taught singer and pianist/keyboardist (learning to play many other instruments as he grew older). At age 18, he performed at Amateur Night At The Apollo and won three weeks in a row.
D'Angelo's solo debut came when he released his album 'Brown Sugar' through Virgin Records. At the time, there wasn't an R&B-Soul album that sounded anything like it. It was something completely fresh and new. In fact, the release of D'Angelo's 'Brown Sugar' is what paved the way for the release of Maxwell's debut album, 'Urban Hang Suite'. Maxwell's album was already finished before 'Brown Sugar' came out. But Columbia Records was hesitant to release it because they weren't sure how well it would perform (because, like 'Brown Sugar', it wasn't like the typical R&B albums that were out at the time). However, 'Brown Sugar' performed incredibly well on the charts and that gave Columbia Records the confidence to later release 'Urban Hang Suite'. Thus giving birth to the Neo-Soul genre.
After the release of 'Brown Sugar', D'Angelo decided to take a hiatus and came back with his second album 'Voodoo'. The first single, 'Untitled (How Does It Feel)' was a smash hit and, along with the album, won D'Angelo the Grammy for Best R&B Male Vocal and Best R&B Album.
After the release of 'Voodoo', D'Angelo became more and more uncomfortable with his growing status as a sex symbol. He felt that people weren't going to the shows for the music anymore and that led him to a period of self struggle that would turn into a fourteen year hiatus.
When D'Angelo returned, he came back with arguably his best work yet. His third and most recent studio album, 'Black Messiah', was critically acclaimed and peaked at number five on the US Billboard 200. D'angelo is currently still performing and we can't wait to see what he comes with next.