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Contemporary R&B singer Tank, whose moniker refers to his physique, recorded solo albums sporadically, beginning with his 2001 debut Force of Nature, and became increasingly busy behind the scenes as a songwriter, musician, and producer. Born Durrell Babbs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before later moving to the Washington, D.C., suburb of Clinton, Maryland, Tank became interested in music at an early age. As a youth, he was able to develop his singing ability at his local church, where his cousin was choir director. As a teenager, Tank became interested in sports as well as music, and he considered playing college football.
Ultimately, he stuck with music and landed an opportunity to sing background vocals for Ginuwine. Further opportunities presented themselves, most notably with Dave Hollister, whose album Chicago '85... The Movie (2000) includes several songs credited to Tank. A recording contract with Blackground Records followed, subsequently resulting in Tank's solo debut, Force of Nature (2001), which spawned a pair of singles (Maybe I Deserve, Slowly) and topped Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (number seven overall). A second solo album, One Man (2002), followed shortly thereafter and was nearly as successful as its predecessor, spawning another pair of singles (One Man, Let Me Live) and breaking into the Top Five of the R&B album chart (number 20 overall).
For several years, he busied himself as a songwriter, musician, and producer. His credits over this time period included songs on Aaliyah (Aaliyah, 2001), Things in the Game Done Changed (Dave Hollister, 2002), U-Turn (Brian McKnight, 2003), Free Yourself (Fantasia Barrino, 2004), O (Omarion, 2005), Naked (Marques Houston, 2005), Unpredictable (Jamie Foxx, 2005), The Makings of Me (Monica, 2007), Veteran (Marques Houston, 2007), and Ms. Kelly (Kelly Rowland, 2007). His third album, Sex Love & Pain, issued in 2007, was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best R&B Album. Its Please Don't Go was nominated for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.
In late 2009, Tank switched labels from Blackground to Atlantic -- the same year he appeared on Chris Brown's Grammy-nominated Take My Time. His first effort for Atlantic, 2010's Now or Never, included the hit single Sex Music and featured Brown on the equally carnal Foreplay. The singers reunited in 2012 on the single Lonely, a track that landed on Tank's 2012 album, This Is How I Feel. Along with Tyrese and Ginuwine, Tank formed TGT, who released an album, Three Kings, which debuted at number three in 2013. He quickly resumed solo activity with Stronger, his sixth album, the following year. A sequel to Sex Love & Pain became his fifth number one R&B/hip-hop album in 2016. Preceded by a handful of typically seductive slow jams issued as singles, Savage was released in 2017. The set rose to 24 on the Billboard 200, and the single When We topped the Adult R&B singles chart and was certified platinum. In 2019, he returned with the explicit Dirty. ~ Jason Birchmeier
- Milwaukee, WI
- 1 Jan 1976
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