Born & Raised:
Real name: Raheem DeVaughn.
Born: In New Jersey, raised by his mother in Prince Georges County, Maryland, outside Washington D.C. His father is Jazz cellist Abdul Wadud.
Raheem has said in interviews that when growing up his love for music blossomed as a youngster and he would always sneak into his mother's record collection when she wasn't around and play her albums. It was at this time that he knew he would grow up to be an entertainer of some sort. As a teenager, he attended, and graduated from, High Point High School in Beltsville, Maryland, then went on to attend college at Coppin State University, a historically black college in Baltimore. On his first day of class, Raheem said, he wound up joining a music group and wound up cutting class to write songs and record music.
Although his time in a group didn't last, Raheem's love for singing did. His first real break came after he won a talent contest at a Washington D.C. club. He took the $2,000 prize money and with it bought a CD burner and used the burner to help him put out several independent releases. (Most of the releases are still available via his MySpace page, www.myspace.com/devaughnenterprises
.) After a successful career as an indie artist, Raheem gained the attention of Jive Records, which signed him to a contract in 2002.
Major Label Days:
His Jive debut, The Love Experience
, was released in June 2005. The Love Experience
debuted at No. 46 on the Billboard albums chart and No. 9 on Billboard's R&B albums chart. To date, it has sold more than 225,000 copies in the United States, due in part to the underground popularity of the album's signature song, "Guess Who Loves You More." After about two and a half years between releases, Raheem's second Jive Records album, Love Behind The Melody
, came out in January 2008, led by the popular single "Woman,"
which was nominated for a 2008 Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
"I can remember at a very young age, standing in my mother's living room, listening to music and saying to myself 'I'm going to be an entertainer.' It was that simple for me. I think I just always knew." -- from Raheem's official Jive Records bio.
2010: The Love & War MasterPeace
2008: Love Behind the Melody
2005: The Love Experience