Jazmine Marie Sullivan (born April 9, 1987) is an American recording artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut single "Need U Bad," produced by Missy Elliott, reached number one on Billboard 's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while her second single, "Bust Your Windows," produced by Salaam Remi, peaked at number four.
Elements of r&b, reggae, dub, pop, jazz, Neo soul and doo-wop can be heard in her work. Jazmine cites singers Kim Burrell, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, and Dorinda Clark Cole as her biggest influences and inspirations.
Jazmine Sullivan was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother Pam is a former backup singer for Philadelphia International Records. When she was 5 years old, her father landed a position as a curator for the city's Historic Strawberry Mansion in the Strawberry Mansion section, and her family moved into the historical landmark. She is a 2005 graduate of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where she was a vocal music major. Sullivan began singing as a contralto in the children’s choir, then a few years later in the adult choir. Sullivan’s exposure to secular music was initially limited, "I was doing solos in church and someone wanted me to sign to a gospel label when I was eleven but I wasn’t ready to do that," she recalls. "Then when McDonald’s had a competition for kids in major cities, I got a chance to perform 'Accept What God Allows' on It's Showtime at the Apollo and the audience responded really well". She sang with Stevie Wonder at his grandson's birthday at the age of 13. Sullivan was initially signed to Jive Records at the age 15. There, she recorded an entire album, but the album was never released. Sullivan was eventually dropped from the label. She maintained a working relationship with Missy Elliott, who produced a number of the tracks for her debut project, including the buzz single "Backstabbers" - produced by Timbaland and written by Elliott. While unsigned, Sullivan took songwriting into her own hands, and would later re-team with Elliott for her first two studio albums after being signed to J Records in 2007.
Jazmine's first recorded appearance was a guest appearance on Kindred the Family Soul's song "I Am" as well as background vocals on the song "Party's Over" and the title track to their 2003 debut Surrender to Love. Before releasing her debut album, a song that Jazmine had written and recorded with producers Cool & Dre titled "Say I" was given to Dre's then-girlfriend Christina Milian for her third album, So Amazin'. The song became the lead single, peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as well as #21 on the Hot 100. After achieving her own success (she co-wrote her entire debut), Jazmine went on to pen songs for Jennifer Hudson, Tamia, Monica and Fantasia Barrino. She produced the result of the completion of the sessions an album titled Break My Little Heart in 2004 but she was dropped and it remains unreleased.
Sullivan first appeared on the music mainstream scene with her debut single "Need U Bad", released in May 2008. The song, which featured additional vocals by Missy Elliott and Sandy "Pepa" Denton of Salt-n-Pepa fame, went to number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and also peaked at number thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100. Sullivan's debut album Fearless was released on September 23, 2008. Sullivan wrote every song on the album, and she served as the album's executive producer alongside Missy Elliott, Salaam Remi and Peter Edge. The album received production from Elliott, Remi, Stargate, Carvin & Ivan, Jack Splash, and Fisticuffs. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and debuted at number six on the Billboard 200.
Sullivan followed up her successful debut single with the second single from Fearless, "Bust Your Windows", which was released in September 2008 and reached number four on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number thirty-one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her most successful single on that chart to date. "Bust Your Windows" appeared on the debut episode of the Fox hit television show Glee and was also nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Song, though it did not win the award. "Lions, Tigers & Bears" was released as the album's third single in December 2008. It scored her third consecutive top ten on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, reaching number ten on that chart, and garnered some mainstream success by reaching number seventy-four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Sullivan later pursued success in the UK when she released "Dream Big" as her first official UK single in February 2009, though it failed to chart there. The song was later released as the fourth US single from the album in April 2009, but also failed to chart there. The album's fifth and final single, "In Love with Another Man", was released in August 2009 and was only moderately successful by reaching number thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. A sixth single, "Switch!", was going to be released in November 2009, though its release was later cancelled. The album received Gold certification by the RIAA, and has sold more than 510,000 copies in the United States so far.
Sullivan was featured on a song entitled "Smoking Gun" with Jadakiss on his 2009 album The Last Kiss. She was also a supporting act for R&B singer Maxwell on his highly successful 2008 U.S. tour and was the opening act for Ne-Yo's 2009 Year of the Gentleman Tour. She additionally appeared on Ace Hood's second album, Ruthless, on a song called "Champion". She also participated in the Essence Music Festival in June 2009 and headlined a few dates leading up to her Essence Festival performance with support from R&B singer/producer Ryan Leslie. In 2009, Sullivan appeared in commercials for Cotton Incorporated. Additionally, Sullivan made a guest appearance on Snoop Dogg's tenth studio album Malice n Wonderland on the song "Different Languages".
Sullivan began working on her second album, Love Me Back, in 2009. Producers contributing to the album included Missy Elliott, Lamb, Ne-Yo, Anthony Bell, Los da Mystro, Ryan Leslie, and Salaam Remi, who was also a major contributor to Fearless. Songs recorded for the album include "Love You Long Time," "Blow" featuring Ludacris, "Don't Make Me Wait" (a tribute to Prince), "Redemption," "Excuse Me," "Good Enough" and the reported sequel to "Bust Your Windows" titled "You Get On My Nerves", which was co-written by Ne-Yo. The album was completed in June 2010 and released on November 30, 2010. The album's lead single, "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)", was released on July 10, 2010. The song reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album's second single, "10 Seconds", was released to radio in late September, and peaked at 31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song was originally set to be released on October 25, but was eventually released on November 22 ; the music video for the single was released on November 12. In early December 2010, Billboard honoured Sullivan as the 'Rising Star' for 2010.
In the first quarter of 2011, Sullivan tweeted she was permanently leaving the music industry. "I promised myself when it wasn't fun anymore I wouldn't do it. And, here I am. I'm not saying I won't ever sing again in my life because I don't believe that. But in this moment… right now… (I) got some things to figure out." Three years have passed since and now Sullivan is stronger than ever and ready to reemerge into the spotlight with her brand new album Reality Show. In a 2014 interview with Billboard Sullivan described her return as inevitable "I can't escape my calling." The album is rumored to contain 11-12 songs. It will feature production from Key Wane who recently made waves by producing the smash hit Yonce/Partition on Beyoncé, Salaam Remi Girl on Fire, Da Internz, Joe Gallagher and more."
The first official single is called "Dumb", featuring Meek Mill, and was released on May 12, 2014, to favorable reviews. Reality Show is to have several themes, there are several emotions evoked on this anthem. Expect Reality Show to showcase "another side of me as a writer and as a singer."
Love Me Back (2010)
Reality Show (2014)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Jazmine Sullivan in the news
|Songs by Jazmine Sullivan|