- 12:10 PM, Aug 17
Aloe Blacc, born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III on January 7, 1979, has been in music industry for decades. His secret to survive in the extremely-competitive world of showbiz is always trying to come up with something new and innovative. That's why it's not every year he released an album, but when he did, it was always refreshing.
"I was uncomfortable with the state of hip hop being largely about the expression of ego. I wondered how I could be more crafty at writing songs in the form of a rap that actually expressed more than ego, style and finesse," he once said. "I figured I would educate myself to learn more about songwriting and apply that later to hip hop."
After making music with hip-hop producer Exile in a group called Emanon, he embarked on a solo career as a recording artist and released his first full length album "Shine Through" in 2006. It was off to a good start when releasing and received a considerable amount of praises from notable critics, leading him to tour the United States and Europe.
His popularity grew when his sophomore set, "Good Things", arrived four years later. He gained more fans as his single "I Need a Dollar" was climbing the singles chart. It peaked at No. 2 in the U.K. and serves as a soundtrack for HBO's series "How to Make It in America". He got a Soul Train nomination and two BRIT Awards nods.
Slowly but sure, Blacc dominated music scene especially in 2013 when DJ Avicii's "Wake Me Up", the song that he co-wrote and was featured in, became a massive hit. It reached No. 1 in more than 20 countries across the globe, including a peak position at No. 4 on Billboard Hot 100. He was later signed on by Interscope.
Blacc's third album "Lift Your Spirit" was released in 2013, three months after he welcome a baby girl named Mandela with his wife, Aussie rapper Maya Jupiter. Pharrell Williams, Elton John and Rock Mafia were involved in this record, and hit single "Wake Me Up" was included in the tracklist.
The Californian singer kicked off 2014 by serving as a guest advisor for Adam Levine's team in the sixth season of "The Voice". He recorded a song for "Need for Speed", an actioner starring Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper. He covered Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" and Aerosmith's