Michael Eugene Archer better known by his stage name D’Angelo (pronounced dee-Angelo) was born on February 11, 1974, in Richmond, Virginia, to a Pentecostal preacher father. He was raised in an entirely Pentecostal family. Strict, they forbade interaction with other church members. His time deep within Pentecostalism left Archer with several notable memories, including seeing his 9-year-old-brother receive the Holy Ghost. He would later recall one of his memories as a 12-year-old!
Glory Be To God! IJS!
Archer’s musical talents were discovered very early on. At 3, he was spotted by his 10-year-old brother Luther, playing the house piano.
Well none the less; Archer became D’Angelo and is now an American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is known for his production and songwriting talents as much as for his vocal abilities, and often draws comparisons to his influences, Marvin Gaye, and Prince. D’Angelo was one of the most influential artists during the rise of the neo soul movement all thanks to following the formation of his native-Richmond, Virginia musical group, “Michael Archer & Precise” and there success on the Amateur Night competition at Harlem, New York‘s Apollo Theater in 1991.
The group previously enjoyed some notice in Richmond, evenly dividing their repertoire between soul covers and originals, while D’Angelo accumulated compositions of his own and developed his songwriting skills.
The group’s turnout on Amateur Night resulted in three consecutive wins and cash prize, after which, upon returning home to Richmond, D’Angelo was inspired to produce an album and began composing material. After a brief tenure as a member of the hip hop group I.D.U. (Intelligent, Deadly but Unique), D’Angelo signed a publishing deal with EMI Music in 1991 after catching the attention of record executives through a demo tape, which was originally by the group.
In 1994, his first significant success came in the form of the hit single “U Will Know”. D’Angelo co-wrote and co-produced the song for the all-male R&B supergroup Black Men United, which featured R&B singers such as Brian McKnight, Usher, R. Kelly, Boyz II Men, Raphael Saadiq and Gerald Levert. D’Angelo composed the music for “U Will Know”, while his brother, Luther Archer, wrote the lyrics.
Brown Sugar was released in June 1995. Although sales were sluggish at first, the album was eventually a hit. The album debuted at number six on the US Billboard Top R&B Albums chart in the week of July 22, 1995. It ultimately peaked at number four in the week of February 24, 1996, and spent a total of 54 weeks on the chart. Brown Sugar also spent 65 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaked at number 22 on the chart. It sold 300,000 copies within its two months of release. The album had been selling 35,000 to 40,000 copies a week through to November 1995, and by January 1996, it had sold 400,000 copies.
With the help of its four singles, including the gold-selling Hot 100 hit “Lady” and R&B top-ten singles “Brown Sugar” and “Cruisin'”, the album reached sales of 500,000 copies in the United States by October 1995. On February 7, 1996, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, following shipments in excess of one million copies in the U.S. The album was certified gold in Canada on May 9, 2000. Its total sales have been estimated within the range of 1.5 million to over two million copies.
The album helped give commercial visibility to the burgeoning neo-soul movement of the 1990s, along with debut albums by Maxwell, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill. The album was a critical success as well and appeared on many critics’ best-of lists that year.
Following the success of his debut album Brown Sugar (1995), D’Angelo went into a four and a half year absence from the music scene and releasing solo work.
The much-delayed follow-up to Brown Sugar, Voodoo, was finally released in 2000 on Virgin Records after the EMI Records Group was absorbed by the former label. Voodoo received rave reviews from contemporary music critics who dubbed it a “masterpiece” and D’Angelo’s greatest work.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 320,000 copies in its first week. It entered the Billboard 200 on February 12, 2000 and remained on the chart for 33 consecutive weeks.
As of 2005, the album has sold over 1.7 million copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2001, Voodoo won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 43rd Grammy Awards, which was awarded to D’Angelo and recording engineer Russell Elevado.
It earned three nominations for the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, Best R&B Video, and Best Male Video. And then……..
Came the Voodoo tour!
In 2002, Q magazine named him in its list of the 50 Bands to See Before You Die, and, in 2003, Voodoo was ranked at number 488 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Pitchfork Media rated it at #44 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s.
On June 24, 2008, Virgin/EMI released an enhanced greatest hits CD/DVD that included top hits, rare tracks, and seven previously unreleased music videos from D’Angelo. According to the press release, “The new collection is titled The Best So Far… because D’Angelo is far from finished, currently writing and recording his highly anticipated next musical chapter.” Yet a follow up album of Voodoo has been rumored for years.
A new album was originally slated for release in 2009. D’Angelo revealed that the album would be titled James River and that Prince would work heavily on the disc. The collaboration was to have a list reading like a who’s who in the contemporary R&B, neo soul and funk genres. The year came and went with no album being released.
In the early part of 2010, D’Angelo was rumored to be in the studio hard at work on his long-delayed third album. On January 29, 2010, an incomplete song titled “1000 Deaths” was leaked on to the Internet and uploaded on YouTube, claiming it was to possibly be from the James River album; however, after four days, it was deleted because of a copyright claim by D’Angelo’s publishing company.
In late October 2011, two concerts were scheduled for January 30 and 31, 2012, at Club Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tickets went on sale on November 5 and were sold out within 24 hours.
In early 2013, ?uestlove told Billboard in an interview that the new album was 99% done, and would be ready to hand over to the label in February 2013, stating that he had spent much of January working in the studio with D’Angelo tying up loose ends.
On January 21, 2014, Russell Elevado (engineer for the Voodoo sessions) released three clips of D’Angelo and Pino Palladino recording new tracks for the upcoming album in studio. They feature brief pieces of the songs “Sugah Daddy” and “The Charade”, as well as a clip of some guitar and trombone playing.
‘WELL WHERE IS IT? IJS! Angie Stone, call your X and tell him we are still waiting and by the way how’s that handsome son of y’alls Michael doing.
Yes for you all that didn’t know D’Angelo and Angie Stone was an item; they go way back; back to the 90’s and they had Michael in 98. So she may be able to influence him to get that album out; after all he helped produce her debut album Black Diamond in 1999, maybe she can help him with his.
D’Angelo “Brown Sugar Baby” we want an album by all means necessary!