Born & Raised:
Full name: Ryan Christopher Shaw.
Born: Dec. 26, 1980 in Decatur, Georgia, USA. Raised in Decatur.
Ryan Shaw grew up in Decatur, Georgia as part of a deeply religious Pentecostal family and n one in the family was allowed to listen to secular music at all. Religious music was encouraged however, and by the time he was 5, Ryan began singing in church. He later formed a spiritual music group called The Shaw Boys with his four brothers. The group fizzled out, but Ryan kept honing his craft as a vocalist. He eventually went on to attend Georgia State University. At one point won a role in the Gospel musical "A Good Man is Hard to Fine (Part II)." In 1988, he dropped out of college in order to join the cast of "I Know I've Been Changed," which became the first successful play by Tyler Perry.
After "I Know I've Been Changed" ended it's run at New York City's Beacon Theater, Ryan joined a retro-Soul act for awhile and performed 1950s and '60s music live, starting in 2004. In 2006, his demo as a solo artist wound up in the hands of Columbia Records, and he was eventually signed to a recording and distribution deal. His debut album, This is Ryan Shaw
, was released in April, 2007. The album was not a commercial hit in the U.S., but one song from it, "I Am Your Man," did earn him a 2008 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Ryan's second album, Real Love
, was released in May 2012 via Dynotone Records; a song from the album, "In Between," was nominated for a Grammy in 2011, also in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance category.
Ryan Shaw's rich and soulful vocal style is often compared to artists of previous generations. Over the years, he's been likened to the Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, among others. Although he seemingly mimicked Soul singers of the 1950s, '60s and '70s earlier in his career, his style became more distinctive, but no less soulful, between his 2007 debut album and 2012's follow-up release.
"Most music today births self-hatred. They make you believe if you don’t have the cars, the girls, and the bling, then you’re nothing. But nobody is talking about what to do when you’re hurting, or you find somebody who really loves you for you." -- Ryan Shaw in an interview printed in the May-June 2007 issue of roots music magazine No Depression.