Amerie, Twista, Ginuwine, Taking Back Sunday


Amerie is the stage name of Amerie Mi Marie Rogers. She was born on January 12, 1980 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. After her high-school graduation, her family settled down in Virginia while she began to attend Georgetown University, from which she later graduated with a degree in English and fine arts. While living in Washington, D.C., she met producer Rich Harrison, who worked with such performers as Mary J. Blige, and began developing demos with him. This led to a deal with Rise Entertainment and, in turn, Columbia Records. In the spring of 2002, Columbia Records released Amerie’s debut single, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love.” The song created a nice buzz for the album “All I Have,” which was certified gold by the RIAA and produced another moderate hit for Amerie with “Talkin’ To Me.” On April 26, 2005, Amerie released her second album, Touch. As with All I Have, the album was primarily produced by mentor Rich Harrison, who contributed seven (new) tracks to the record; additional productions came from Lil Jon, Bryce Wilson, Red Spyda, and Dre & Vidal. Unlike on her first album, Amerie co-wrote every track but one, “Come with Me”, which Harrison wrote. Touch debuted and peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and it was certifed gold by the RIAA in August that year. It received two Grammy Award nominations in 2006: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for its lead single, “1 Thing”, and Best Contemporary R&B Album. Amerie has since released two more albums, Because I Love It in 2007 and In Love & War in 2009.


Twista is the stage name of Carl Terrell Mitchell. He was born on November 27,1973 in Chicago, Illinois. Twista released his debut album Runnin’ Off at da Mouth in 1991. At that time, he performed under the name Tung Twista. In 1996, he teamed with fellow Chicago act Do or Die on the track “Po’ Pimp”, which became a hit single. This led to a contract with Atlantic Records, which released Adrenaline Rush in 1997. Twista had by then dropped the “Tung” from his stage name. This was followed by Mobstability in 1998. Twista then formed his own Legit Ballin’ label, which released two compilation albums: Legit Ballin’ in 1999 and Legit Ballin’ Vol. 2: Street Scriptures in 2001. The label later released Respect The Game, Vol. 3 in 2002 and Volume 4: Tha Truth in 2006. In 2000, Twista collaborated with Ruff Ryders and Drag-On on the Ruff Ryders: Ryde or Die Vol. 2 album, on the track “Twisted Heat”. Beginning in 2002, Twista began recording his album Kamikaze with rappers like Jay-Z and Ludacris. Kamikaze came out in 2004 and debuted at the top spot of the American Billboard 200 album chart at number one. Twista’s next album, The Day After was released in 2005. It featured the hit singles “Girl Tonite” featuring Trey Songz, “Hit the Floor” featuring Pitbull, and “So Lonely (Twista song)” featuring Mariah Carey. Twista has since released two more albums, Adrenaline Rush in 2007 and Category F5 in 2009.


Ginuwine is the stage name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin. He was born on October 15, 1975 in Washington D.C. Ginuwine’s first single, 1996’s “Pony” from Ginuwine…The Bachelor, showcased his smooth vocals and Timbaland’s innovative production style, and the two became a hit-making duo. The song “Pony” was used in a “karaoke” scene from the film Wild Hogs in 2007 and again used in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008. Mike Patton and Rahzel together perform a cover of “Pony” during their concerts. Ginuwine and Aaliyah covered Prince’s “When Doves Cry” single from the movie soundtrack to Purple Rain. Ginuwine’s version was released but Aaliyah’s version was not. After his second album, 1999’s 100% Ginuwine, Ginuwine and Timbaland grew apart, and producers such as R. Kelly have crafted hits for him since then. In 2001, Ginuwine had a number-four hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single “Differences”, which also peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Within a year, Ginuwine lost both of his parents. He later wrote a song which is featured on his album The Life entitled “Two Reasons I Cry”.

Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday is an American rock band from Amityville, Long Island, New York, formed in 1999. The current members of Taking Back Sunday are vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist and back-up vocalist Matthew Fazzi, guitarist Eddie Reyes, drummer Mark O’Connell, and bassist Matt Rubano. The band released their first full album Tell All Your Friends, on Victory Records in 2002. Tell All Your Friends gave the band a small taste of success in the alternative rock spotlight. Their second album, titled Where You Want To Be, was released on July 27, 2004, on Victory Records. Propelled by the single A Decade Under The Influence, Where You Want To Be went on to debut at the #3 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with around 163,000 copies sold. On April 25, 2006, Taking Back Sunday released their third album, entitled Louder Now, on Warner Bros. Records. It has sold over 600,000 copies and peaked at #2 on the United States’ Billboard 200. On June 2, 2009, Taking Back Sunday released their latest album, New Again. The album’s first single, “Sink Into Me”, was released to radio on April 27, 2009. Their portfolio also currently has twelve singles, one extended play, one live album and a compilation album.