ARTIST PROFILE

Ray J

Name: Ray J

Birthday: January 17, 1981

Fav Dish: Chicken Wings

William Ray Norwood Jr. (born January 17, 1981) known by his stage name Ray J, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, he is the brother of recording artist and actress Brandy Norwood and the first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg

He signed to Elektra Records in 1995 and he began to record his 15-track debut album Everything You Want the same year. “Let It Go” appeared on the Set It Off soundtrack. It peaked number 25 in the U.S. and number 11 in New Zealand. The second single peaked at number 54 on the U.S. R&B chart. In 1997, he was dropped from the label. In 1998, he appeared on the Doctor Dolittle soundtrack with the single “That’s Why I Lie”. He produced for toy company Mattel, putting together the music for several commercials and a few of the demos for his second record.

Ray J recorded “Another Day in Paradise” with Brandy, which was a Top Ten success in Austria, UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands and number 11 in Australia and France. The song was the lead single of the R&B/Hip Hop tribute Urban Renewal, in which he co-produced and performed songs. Norwood also worked with The Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins and Lil’ Kim, and several other producers and singers for his second studio album This Ain’t A Game. The album was recorded over 18 months, and was released on June 26, 2001 with Atlantic Records. The lead single “Wait A Minute” peaked at #30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and #8 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. “Formal Invite” followed at #54 on the R&B chart.

After a two-year break, Norwood returned to recording studios, adding the finishing touches on his third studio album Raydiation with help from producers such as Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland, R. Kelly, and Rob Egerton. A joint venture by Sanctuary Records and Ray-J’s own label, independent Knockout Entertainment, the album was finally released on September 27, 2005 in North America after several delays, debuting at number forty-eight on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 18,321 copies in the first week. The album’s lead single “One Wish” was a top 20 success in the US, UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. Raydiation eventually sold over 400,000 copies domestically.

In 2005, Norwood joined the cast of UPN’s One On One, where he played the character D-Mack for the final season. On both shows, Ray’s character was related to Brandy’s (cousin/half-brother on Moesha, brother on One on One).

In February 2007, a pornographic home video he made with former girlfriend Kim Kardashian in 2003 was made public. Kardashian sued Vivid Entertainment for ownership of the tape. In late April 2007, Kardashian dropped the suit and settled with Vivid Entertainment for $5 million.

Knockout Entertainment announced a multimillion-dollar album deal with Koch Records and Shaquille O’Neal’s “Deja 34” entertainment company.The first album for this deal is Ray J’s fourth album All I Feel, which features The Game and Yung Berg among others. It was released on April 1, 2008.

The album’s first single is “Sexy Can I” featuring rapper Yung Berg peaked at number three on the Top Singles (Hot 100) for six weeks. A video for the track, directed by R. Malcolm Jones, was shot in December 2007. J stars in the Black Christmas movie Dark Christmas under the direction from Deon Taylor.

In August 2016, Ray J married Princess Love at Los Angeles’ Cathedral of Saint Vibiana. The two star on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.

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