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Aloe Blacc

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (405 ratings)
  • Born: Los Angeles, CA
  • Years Active: 2000s
  • Website: http://www.aloeblacc.com/
  • Recent Activity: 04.15.14 1/10 kids lack access to education. On 4/24 join me for #GlobalCitizenNights to change this. Win free tickets here http://t.co/ztpGR1OXoB
  • Aloe Blacc

  • Aloe Blacc


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Born to Panamanian parents in Los Angeles in 1979, E. Nathaniel Dawkins (aka Aloe Blacc) first began playing trumpet in elementary school, and continued with the instrument throughout high school. There he also independently released Imaginary Friends, produced by DJ Exile, with whom he would go on to form the hip-hop group Emanon. While at college at USC, though his artistic endeavors were placed behind his scholastic goals, Aloe still managed to learn how to play the guitar and the piano, and after graduating and spending some time in the corporate world, he decided to return to his first love, music. In 2005 Emanon's full-length debut, The Waiting Room, came out on Shaman Works, and the next year his first solo album, Shine Through, a combination of retro-soul and Latin music, was released on Stones Throw. He partnered with the Truth & Soul Productions crew for 2010's more organic effort Good Things. The album featured the single "I Need a Dollar," which reached the Top Ten in several countries, including the U.K. and Germany. The song was licensed for use as the theme song to the HBO show How to Make It in America. In 2013, Aloe co-wrote and fronted Avicii's "Wake Me Up," an international smash hit that reached the Top Five of Billboard's Hot 100. His third album, Lift Your Spirit, was released in some territories later that year. In the U.S., it was issued through Interscope in early 2014.


Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III (born January 7, 1979), better known as Aloe Blacc (/ˈæ æ/), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and musician. He is best known for his singles "I Need a Dollar", UK number 1 single "The Man," and for writing and performing vocals on Avicii's "Wake Me Up," which charted at #1 in 22 countries.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Early life and education[edit]

Blacc was born in Southern California's Orange County to Panamanian parents. Growing up in Laguna Hills, he began playing a rented trumpet in third grade. When it made more sense to buy the instrument, Blacc had what he later described as a "very specific moment" in his evolution as a musician. "It forced me to be serious about it. I couldn’t just do it to get out of the class room," he said in a 2010 interview. His exposure to LL Cool J in fourth grade was equally significant. "It wasn’t too far off from the trumpet moment...I had a Hip Hop moment and a musician moment."

Blacc attended the University of Southern California, and graduated in 2001. He worked briefly in the corporate sector.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


Career1.1 Early career1.2 2003-09: Shine Through1.3 2010–11: Good Things1.4 2012-present: Wake Me Up, major label debut and Lift Your Spirit


Early career[edit]

In 1995, Blacc teamed with hip hop producer Exile and formed Emanon -- 'no name' backwards—which was inspired by the title of a Dizzy Gillespie song. With break-beat loops and jazz samples, Emanon became a mainstay of the indie rap underground, and released their first mixtape in 1996, followed by the EP Acid 9 in 1999. They subsequently released three albums, Steps Through Time (2001), Imaginary Friends (2002), and The Waiting Room (2005). A fourth album, Bird's Eye View, was recorded but never released. While Emanon was Blacc's primary project during this time period, he additionally toured and recorded with the members of the collective Lootpack and worked with the French jazz group Jazz Liberatorz.

2003-09: Shine Through[edit]

Blacc launched his career as a solo artist in 2003, releasing two EPs, and signing to Stone's Throw Records in 2006, after label head Chris Mank (known as Peanut Butter Wolf) heard Blacc and immediately offered him a contract for the 2006 full-length Shine Through. Blacc had by then become more focused on songwriting, a change inspired in part by his social consciousness. "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 stated. "I figured I would educate myself to learn more about songwriting and apply that later to hip hop."

Shine Through was Blacc's first full-length album and was released in 2006. It received significant media attention in the U.S. and abroad. Pitchfork wrote that Shine Through had "flashes of keen musical interpolation" and signaled "some sort of greatness,", NPR named the track "Nascimento" as song of the day, and Absolute Punk noted that Shine Through flows beautifully from one track to the next, infusing old-school funk and soul with a modern essence that makes it incredibly unique Also in 2009, while working on his second album, Blacc toured Europe and the United States with Emanon, and collaborated with the Japanese hip hop producer Cradle on a project called Bee.

2010–11: Good Things[edit]

In 2010, Blacc released Good Things on Stones Throw Records. A commercial success, Good Things was certified gold in the UK, France, Germany and Australia, among other countries, and ultimately hit double platinum sales. The single "I Need A Dollar", which was used as the theme song to the HBO series How To Make It in America, reached 1 million in sales in 2013; two additional singles, "Loving You Is Killing Me" and "Green Lights" became European hits as well. Good Things was praised by the media, receiving positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Spin, NME and Entertainment Weekly, among others. Shortly after the release of the record, Blacc signed with Simon Fuller's XIX Management.

In 2011, Blacc contributed a track to the album Red Hot + Rio 2, a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot + Rio, with all proceeds donated to raise money and awareness to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues. That summer, Blacc performed on the main stages at major festivals such as Glastonbury and The Falls Festival in Australia with his primary touring band The Grand Scheme. In 2012 he appeared at the renowned North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Osheaga in Montreal.

2012-present: Wake Me Up, major label debut and Lift Your Spirit[edit]

In 2012, Blacc joined a music project, Roseaux established by Emile Omar. Other musicians include Alex Finkin and Clement Petit. The band released its debut self-titled album Roseaux, with all eleven tracks featuring the vocals of Aloe Blacc. The album reached #92 in French Albums Chart. The debut single, "More Than Material,' peaked at #80 on the French singles chart.

In 2013, Blacc co-wrote the song "Wake Me Up" with Swedish DJ Avicii. With Blacc on vocals, the song reached #1 in 103 countries and became the fastest selling single in the UK, selling 267,000 copies in its first week. In September of that year, Blacc signed with Interscope Records and released an EP, titled Wake Me Up EP. The five-track EP included the songs "Love is the Answer," "Can You Do This," and "Ticking Bomb," as well as an acoustic version of "Wake Me Up." As of November 2013, "Ticking Bomb" is the background music for the new Battlefield 4 game TV advert, and "The Man" is background music for the Beats by Dr. Dre commercials featuring Kevin Garnett, Colin Kaepernick, Richard Sherman and Cesc Fàbregas.

In October 2013, Blacc released a video for the track, Blacc collaborating with the immigrant rights group, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the abc* Foundation's Healing Power of Music Initiative, director Alex Rivera, and a cast of actors including Hareth Andrade, a leader in the immigrant youth movement working to stop her own father's deportation, Agustin Chiprez Alvarez, a Los Angeles day laborer, and Margarita Reyes who was deported with her mother as a child despite being born in the US.

Blacc's Interscope/XIX debut, Lift Your Spirit, was released in Nov 2013, and featured production by Pharrell, DJ Khalil, and songwriter Harold Lilly, among others.

It was announced that Blacc would be the guest advisor for Adam Levine's team on Season 6 of NBC's The Voice.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


Blacc is actively involved in Malaria No More. The charity's mission is to end malaria deaths, through "engaging leaders, rallying the public, and delivering life-saving tools and education to families across Africa."Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Personal life[edit]

Aloe Blacc is married to Australian rapper Maya Jupiter. In September 2013, they had their first child, a girl named Mandela.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


2012 Brit Award - Best International Male Soul Artist (nomination)2012 Brit Award - Best International Breakthrough Act (nomination)2011 Soul Train Awards - Centric Award (nomination)2011 Worker's Voice Award

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Notable appearances[edit]

Glastonbury FestivalLollapalooza FestivaliTunes Music FestivalMontreal Jazz FestivalZermatt Unplugged FestivalThe Falls Music & Arts FestivalSuper Rock FestivalNorth Coast Music FestivalUnited Islands Prague 2013National Anthem for the 2014 Daytona 500Electric Forest Festival 2014Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2014

Television appearances[edit]

Sunday Brunch (2014)Jimmy Kimmel Live (2014)2014 Kids' Choice Awards (2014)The Voice (2014)The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2014)The Voice (2013)Dancing with the Stars (2013)Frost Over the World (2012)Hootenanny with The Grand Scheme (2011, 2012)Conan (2011)The Graham Norton Show (2011)Lorraine (2011)Strictly Come Dancing (2011)Andrew Marr (2011)Later... with Jools Holland (2010)Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2010)

See Also[edit]

AviciiTracy Chapman
more »

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
04.18.14 Empire Polo Field Indio, CA US
04.19.14 Rehab Las Vegas, NV US
04.24.14 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL US
05.23.14 Emerald Queen Casino Tacoma, WA US
05.27.14 Save Mart Center Fresno, CA US
05.28.14 Oracle Arena Oakland, CA US
05.31.14 Rehab Las Vegas, NV US
06.04.14 BOK Center Tulsa, OK US
06.06.14 FedExForum Memphis, TN US
06.07.14 Smoothie King Center New Orleans, LA US

Video from YouTube

  • thumbnail from Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up (Acoustic) Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up (Acoustic)
  • thumbnail from Aloe Blacc - Magic (BBC Live Lounge 2014) Aloe Blacc - Magic (BBC Live Lounge 2014)
  • thumbnail from Aloe Blacc - Can You Do This (Lyric Video) Aloe Blacc - Can You Do This (Lyric Video)
  • thumbnail from Aloe Blacc - The Man (Live from Interscope Introducing) Aloe Blacc - The Man (Live from Interscope Introducing)


  • 04.15.14 1/10 kids lack access to education. On 4/24 join me for #GlobalCitizenNights to change this. Win free tickets here http://t.co/ztpGR1OXoB
  • 04.15.14 If you weren't at @coachella this weekend, here's #WakeMeUp from my set. http://t.co/5roOc180IC
  • 04.14.14 Pero soy puro panameño! @paauulitaa: yo creo que aloe blacc no debe entender nada de español pero como dice su nombre le da fav jajajaja
  • 04.13.14 Yo leo todo, amiga :-) "@Linafer_: Otro Fav, ese man ni entenderá lo que le escriben ¡Ya no creo en ti Aloe Blacc!"
  • 04.13.14 RT @SarahKSilverman: To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. -Roger Ebert
  • 04.12.14 I hate fights. Can't we all just get along? "@tifdunn: Olly Murs and Aloe Blacc are fighting to be my new ringtone."
  • 04.12.14 RT @duplantis: I love the groove Aloe Blacc's band has going on. He's a powerhouse singer, too. #Coachella
  • 04.12.14 Great photo! You got close. @OneHeavyJanuary #Coachella http://t.co/bjmPAuS2wN
  • 04.12.14 #TheAnswerIsLove & I felt a lot of it at #Coachella today. What an amazing time. See you next Friday! http://t.co/sZDQZIq2ab
  • 04.11.14 Here at @Coachella and can't wait to hit the Mojave stage at 4:15pm! Let's dance.
  • 04.11.14 My favorites r @I_GregoryPorter @quetzaleastla @BuikaMusic "@ArmandoPlaa9: ur music is the best I've heard in a long time #LiftYourSpirit"
  • 04.10.14 1/10 kids lack access to education. On 4/24 join me for #GlobalCitizenNights to change this. Win free tickets here http://t.co/ztpGR1OXoB