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Calvin Richardson
  Calvin Richardson  
Calvin Richardson

Fifth of nine children, Calvin Richardson was born in Monroe, North Carolina, and grew up with a very musical upbringing during his first years. His mother led a local gospel group called The Willing Wonders and Calvin became the youngest member. When he wasn't singing gospel, he was constantly listening to the classic soul of the '60s and '70s: without any doubt his musical education was very much shaped by artists like Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band, Marvin Gaye. As a kid, in Monroe Calvin also befriended two other young gospel singers: Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey and Joel "JoJo" Hailey. They sang for a number of years together before K-Ci and JoJo joined Dalvin and Donald Degrate creating the group Jodeci. "I always knew I wanted to have a career in music", Calvin recalls, and of course the success achieved by K-Ci & JoJo with Jodeci pushed him to form his own urban vocal group which he called Undacova. Though their smooth contemporary soul showed the influence of Jodeci, Undacova never became widely known, scoring only a few minor hits ("Love Slave" was included on the New Jersey Drive soundtrack in 1995). So Calvin Richardson decided to become a solo artist.


He signed with Universal and his debut, "Country Boy" was released in 1999. His first album included a respectable six out of thirteen tracks written by himself, and he also played guitar on a couple of songs, while the album was also to feature guests like K-Ci, Monifah and Chico DeBarge, a remake of Bobby Womack's "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much" and productions by Kay Gee and Darren Lighty. The disc earned praise from critics but it didn't make much impact commercially. Later, he also provided guest vocals on other albums, most notably helping the jazz group Pieces Of A Dream (in "Why Don't You Let Me Love You") and the dance singer Sonique (in "Drama"), but most people had forgotten about him until he reappeared on the scene with "More Than A Woman", a duet with Angie Stone included on 2001's "Mahogany Soul". The song, written and produced by Edward "Eddie F" Farrell and Darren Lighty, was intended to be the lead single for Calvin Richardson's second disc from Universal, but the label refused to support the release with a video, then Calvin broke with Universal and passed the song on to Angie Stone, who wanted to record it with Richardson. However, maybe because of rumors regarding Stone's love interest, on the single release Richardson was replaced by Joe and the J label deal evaporated. The album version was included on the Deliver Us From Eva film soundtrack too. Calvin also appeared on two other soundtracks: Friday After Next with the track "Go To The Club" and Bringing Down The House with "Next To You". He also contributed two tracks to Raphael Saadiq's Instant Vintage (2002) and toured with Maxwell and Angie Stone. In the meantime, Calvin Richardson was finishing his sophomore album. Its pubblication was deferred by nine month until September 2003 to have more impact at radio and to take advantage of an opening spot on Nelly's summer tour. The album was called "2:35 PM". There is a story behind the title: Calvin was working hard to finish up in the studio when his girl gave birth to Souljah, his son ("That's my little soul man", explains Calvin). The completion of the album and the birth of his son were so intertwined that Calvin Richardson settled on "2:35 PM", the time that Souljah came into the world. Though most songs were written by Richardson himself, the album included tracks produced by hitmakers like Raphael Saadiq (who returned the favour), Young RJ, Jake And Trev, The Underdogs (Justin Timberlake, B2K), Mike City (Usher, Brandy), Slum Village (Dwele) and The Untouchables (Donell Jones). It deservedly got good sales peaking at number 65 on Billboard's Top100 and at number 8 on Billboard's R&B Chart. In order to promote his image and to increase his popularity Calvin Richardson toured in 2004 with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard.


Claudio Balestrino [Just Soul]

Country Boy (1999) [Universal]

  1. I'll Take Her [feat. K-Ci Hailey]
  2. Lovin' You
  3. Trust Me So Much
  4. Vibe
  5. Never Knew Love
  6. True Love [feat. Chico DeBarge]
  7. Half the Time
  8. Look Like (You've Been Cryin')
  9. Close My Eyes [feat. Monifah]
  10. Nightmare (Her Love)
  11. Coming Home
  12. Country Boy
  13. Disrespectful Ghetto
Country Boy
Country Boy
2:35 PM (2004) [Hollywood]

  1. Keep On Pushin'
  2. Falling Out
  3. I've Got to Move
  4. I'm Worthy
  5. More Than a Woman
  6. Not Like This
  7. She's Got the Love
  8. You Got Me High [feat. Slum Village]
  9. Put My Money On You
  10. Your Love Is
  11. I Wansumo
  12. Cross My Heart
2:35 PM
2:35 PM
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