Some musicians are so impactful that they go by just a single name; R&B heavyweight Tyrese is one of them. This striking master of seductive slow jams is an industry unto himself: in addition to charting consistently through the 2000s, he has also written books, modelled, acted and executive produced TV shows. Born Tyrese Darnell Gibson in 1978, Tyrese grew up in Los Angeles. He knew he loved music early, and he started performing in local talent shows at age 14, reportedly earning enough from his winnings to buy a house at 16. A short appearance in a Coca-Cola ad won him modelling contracts, but he had his eye on the music industry; he signed to RCA in 1998 and released his self-titled solo debut later that year. He was part of a new wave of hip-hop-adjacent R&B vocalists like Ginuwine, Case and Mary J. Blige, singers who naturally adopted hip-hop’s swagger without turning their backs on the honeyed love songs that anchored their fame. Tyrese, with his slightly gravelly tenor, carries the gravitas of a soul singer, and he’s used that mix of authority and sensuality to helm hits that spark parties (“I Like Them Girls”) and wind them down (“Sweet Lady”). Creatively restless and multitalented, Tyrese has experimented with rap, joined the Three Kings R&B supergroup (with Tank and Ginuwine), and even released a book (co-written with Rev Run) called Manology. And he’s a key figure in the Fast & Furious film franchise. There’s no telling where he’ll go next.
HOMETOWNLos Angeles, CA
BORNDecember 30, 1978