Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins, 14.5.1966)
Raphael Saadiq is an American singer, record producer and songwriter. He as produced tracks for a number of R&B heavyweights, such as Mary J Blige and John Legend, as well as releasing a number of critically-acclaimed records in his own right.
Raphael Saadiq: Childhood
Raphael Saadiq was born in Oakland, California, to a large family of 14 siblings. When he was seven, one of his brothers was murdered, whilst another overdosed on heroin. In addition to this, another brother committed suicide and a sister died in a car crash during a police chase.
Raphael Saadiq has played bass guitar since the age of six and started singing at nine years old, with his local gospel group. When he was just 12, he joined a gospel group - The Gospel Humminbirds.
In 1984, he heard about auditions for Sheila E's backing band on Prince's 'Parade' tour and landed the role of bass player.
Raphael Saadiq: Music Career
After the tour with Prince, Raphael returned to Oakland and continued his professional career with the R&B dance trio Tony! Toni! Toné! At the time, he used the name Raphael Wiggins and later changed to Saadiq, leading some to speculate that he had converted to Islam. The band became major R&B stars throughout the late '80s and '90s.
The next project for Raphael Saadiq was the group Lucy Pearl, with Dawn Robinson of En Vogue and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of a Tribe Called Quest.
Raphael Saadiq's biggest solo hit came in 1995, with the release of 'Ask of You', which peaked at number 19 in the US. In 1997, Raphael Saadiq teamed up with EPMD on 'Da Joint', followed by a hit two years later with Q-Tip. Saadiq's debut solo album was entitled Instant Vintage and was released in 2002. Saadiq's first long-player earned him five Grammy nominations. This was followed by Ray Ray in 2004 and a two-disc live album, All the Hits At the House of Blues.
The third solo long-player from Saadiq was The Way I See It, released in 2008. The album earned three Grammy nominations, including 'Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocals' for 'Never Give You Up', which featured Stevie Wonder and CJ Hilton.
As a producer, Saadiq has worked on a number of successful tracks albums, including We Can Do Whatever by Otis and Shug, 'Untitled (How Does It Feel)' by D'Angelo and 'Crooked Nigga Too' by Tupac Shakur.
2007 saw Saadiq producing the album Introducing Joss Stone, the debut album from the young British soul singer. He has also collaborated with the likes of Whitney Houston, The Isley Brothers and Erykah Badu.
2011 saw Raphael Saadiq leading the band backing Rolling Stones' singer Mick Jagger for his performance of Solomon Burke's 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love' at the 53rd Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles.
In 2002, Raphael Saadiq founded his own record label, Pookie Entertainment.