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Raphael Saadiq

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Raphael Saadiq

Born & Raised:

Birth name: Charlie Ray Wiggins.
Born: May 14, 1966 in Oakland, California. Raised in the Oakland area.

Early Life:

The man now known Raphael Saadiq grew up as Charlie Ray Wiggins in Oakland, California as part of a musically-inclined family. He began playing musical instruments and performing before he was 10 years old, and grew up performing with at least two relatives: his brother, Dwayne Wiggins, and cousin, Timothy Christian Riley. Like many youngsters who eventually go into show business, the three performed in church and at various local events before becoming professionals. Eventually Saadiq changed his name from Charlie Ray Wiggins to Raphael Wiggins and he, his cousin and brother founded the R&B trio Tony! Toni! Toné!

Tony! Toni! Toné!:

Tony! Toni! Toné! was a highly successful and very popular R&B band from the late 1980s and early 1990s, beginning with their debut album, Who?, which was released in 1988. Who?, which sold over half a million copies in the U.S. was followed by three more albums, 1990's The Revival, 1993's Sons of Soul and 1996's House of Music, all of which sold at least a million copies in the U.S. alone. (Sons of Soul sold two million). Among the band's hit songs were "Little Walter" (their 1988 debut single), "Feels Good," (released in 1990) "If I Had No Loot," (1991) and "Anniversary" (1993) and "Let's Get Down" (1997).

Wiggins Becomes Saadiq:

In 1996, Raphael Wiggins changed his name to Raphael Saadiq and later left Tony! Toni! Toné! to go solo. However, his next big project was a supergroup called Lucy Pearl, featuring himself, ex-En Vogue singer Dawn Robinson and A Tribe Called Quest member/DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group released one self-titled album in 2000, but the trio eventually split up after Robinson left the group (she was briefly replaced by the singer Joi before the group called it quits for good). In June 2002, Raphael finally released his debut solo album, Instant Vintage, led by the single "Be Here," featuring soul crooner D'Angelo.

On His Own:

Instant Vintage was a critical, but not commercial success and Saadiq eventually began working more as a studio musician and producing other artists, including D'Angelo, Joss Stone, Mary J. Blige, The Isley Brothers and Macy Gray. He eventually released two more solo albums, a live set called All Hits at the House of Blues and a studio album titled Ray Ray. His fourth solo album (third studio album), The Way I See It, is due out in September 2008. Saadiq has said the album is a tribute to Motown-style R&B of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

Solo Discography:

2002: Instant Vintage
2003: All Hits at the House of Blues
2004: Ray Ray
2008: The Way I See It
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