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North Carolina native Calvin Richardson is a gritty, gospel-minded urban contemporary/neo-soul vocalist and songwriter whose influences have ranged from Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Donny Hathaway, and Marvin Gaye to Jodeci, K-Ci & JoJo, and R. Kelly. Like other neo-soulsters who emerged in the '90s and 2000s, Richardson looks to different R&B eras for inspiration. The classic soul of the '60s and '70s has had an impact on his singing and writing, but so have the urban contemporary and hip-hop of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s. At times, Richardson can be flat-out retro; some of his material would have been right at home on an old Stax or Motown LP from R&B's pre-'80s, pre-urban contemporary, pre-hip-hop era. But other times, he has a more modern, hip-hop-influenced outlook. In other words, the Southerner has some songs that are quite friendly to urban radio, and others that would be too old-school for urban radio.
Born and raised in Monroe, NC (where he was the fifth of nine children), Richardson had a very musical upbringing -- one that included a steady diet of R&B and African-American gospel. Richardson's mother led a local gospel group called the Willing Wonders, and he sang with them consistently. When he wasn't listening to gospel, Richardson listened to secular soul and funk -- and his favorites included Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, and the Gap Band. Richardson, in fact, has cited all of those artists as early influences. North Carolina's gospel circuit is where, as a kid, Richardson met longtime friends Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey and his brother Joel "JoJo" Hailey, who went on to achieve urban contemporary stardom in the early '90s as members of the vocal group Jodeci; subsequently, the siblings recorded for MCA as the duo K-Ci & JoJo.
When Jodeci hit big, their success inspired Richardson to form his own urban contemporary vocal group, Undacova (whose song "Love Slave" appeared on the New Jersey Drive soundtrack in 1995). Undacova (as opposed to Undacover) didn't last long, and Richardson went on to become a full-time solo artist. His first solo album, Country Boy, was released on Uptown/Universal in 1999; after that, he switched to Hollywood Records and recorded his second solo album, 2:35 PM, which came out in 2003. Richardson switched to Shanachie Records for his next three albums: 2003's When Love Comes; the 2009 tribute album Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack; and his 2010 effort, America's Most Wanted.
Calvin Richardson (born in Monroe, North Carolina) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter. In 1999, he released his debut solo album Country Boy.Balestrino, Claudio. "Just Soul – Calvin Richardson". Just Soul. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
He is friends with K-Ci & JoJo whom he met while singing on the gospel circuit. Richardson was signed to Tommy Boy Records in the early 1990s as a member of the R&B group Undacova, whose song "Love Slave" appeared on the soundtrack to the 1995 film New Jersey Drive.
In the mid 1990s, Richardson went solo and signed with Universal Records. His debut album, Country Boy, was released on August 24, 1999, selling 100,000 units. Despite this he was dropped by Universal. Shortly thereafter, he signed a contract with Hollywood Records.
On September 16, 2003, he released his second album, 2:35 PM. The album was given that name because Richardson's child was born at that time, just before completing the album. It featured the minor R&B hit "Keep On Pushin'", a song Richardson wrote and produced by himself. He originally recorded the song "More Than a Woman" a duet with Angie Stone which originally appeared on her 2001 album Mahogany Soul. Richardson would later re-record the song as a solo track for 2:35 PM. An alternate version of the song- which replaces Richardson's vocals with new ones from Joe- was nominated for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2003 Grammy Awards. The album also included popular songs such as The Underdogs produced single "Not Like This as well as the Raphael Saadiq produced "Falling Out". The album was produced by The Underdogs, Jake & Trevor, Young RJ, and Raphael Saadiq.
Richardson then co-wrote and performed on the track "Excuse Me", from Saadiq's 2002 Grammy Award nominated album Instant Vintage, as well as co-writing The Charlie Wilson single produced by Babyface "There Goes My Baby".
Richardson released his third album, When Love Comes, on May 27, 2008 on Shanachie Records. In 2009, he was chosen to record a tribute album to Bobby Womack, which coincided with Womack being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Grammy nominated album was entitled, Facts Of Life: The Soul Of Bobby Womack. On August 31, 2010, Richardson released his fifth album, Americas Most Wanted. The lead single was "You're So Amazing".
As of 2013, he has joined the upcoming reality series "Come Back Kings" with Ed Lover, Horace Brown, David "Davinch" Chance (of Ruff Endz), Jeff Sanders, Jameio, Mr. Cheeks and Black Rob.
In January 2014, it was announced that Richardson signed a new deal with Eric Benét's label Jordan House Records with distribution and marketing from the company Primary Wave Music.
In April 2014, Richardson released the first single from his album "I Am Calvin" entitled "We Gon' Love Tonite"."
On September 30, 2014, Richardson released his fifth studio album I Am Calvin on Jordan House/Primary Wave Music/BMG Rights Management.Henderson, Alex. "Calvin Richardson". biography. answers.com. Retrieved 4/6/2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) http://www.comebackkings.net https://twitter.com/ComeBackKingsTV https://www.facebook.com/comebackkingsTV "YKIGS Live: Eric Benet Talks Signing Calvin Richardson & Goapele, Finding Stars in the Subway, New Music". interview. youknowigotsoul.com. Retrieved 4/6/2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) "News: Eric Benet, Calvin Richardson & Goapele Sign with BMG/Primary Wave to Release New Albums". article. youknowigotsoul.com. Retrieved 4/6/2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) http://www.essence.com/2014/04/29/calvin-richardson-we-gon-love-tonight-produced-eric-benet