Chuckii Booker

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Chuckii Booker
Birth name Eugene Allen Booker, Jr.
Born (1966-12-19) December 19, 1966 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres R&B, New Jack Swing
Occupation(s) Musician, Producer, Bandleader
Instruments Vocals, Bass guitar, Guitar, Keyboards
Years active 1984–present
Labels Atlantic Records
Associated acts Barry White, Troop, Janet Jackson, Tease, Angela Winbush, Gerald Levert, Bette Midler, Lalah Hathaway
Notable instruments
Bass guitar, Guitar, Keyboards

Chuckii Booker (born December 19, 1966 in Los Angeles, California) is an American award-winning producer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader.

Biography[edit]

Booker emerged in the late 1980s as a prominent urban contemporary R&B artist and producer. He began recording music after being signed by his late godfather Barry White to his production company in 1984. Later, he played keyboards with the short-lived Epic Records band Tease for three years. Booker, known throughout the industry as a keyboard player, is considered by his music peers to be a bass player.

Booker received his recording contract in an unlikely manner. He gave his demo tape to the manager of Gerald Albright to showcase his skills as a musician. However, Booker had forgotten about the songs on the other side of the tape, which contained original songs with vocals. As a result, he was offered a recording contract with Atlantic Records.[1]

Cover of Booker's now-rare debut album Chuckii.

Booker signed a recording contract with Atlantic to release his debut album Chuckii in 1989 in which he played all the instruments and sang all vocals. The album fared well on the strength of hit singles "(Don't U Know) I Love U" and the #1 R&B single "Turned Away." The follow-up final album Niice 'N Wiild was released in 1992 and yielded another chart-topping R&B hit "Games". Chuckii also wrote, performed and produced the single "Crypt Jam" from the CD soundtrack Tales from the Crypt. Booker also made a cameo in the movie House Party 3 as a piano player in the hotel lobby scenes which starred Kid N' Play, Bernie Mac and Chris Tucker.

Booker produced for several recording artists throughout the years - including Troop which yielded two #1 singles (All I Do Is Think of You & Spread My Wings), his godfather Barry White, Janet Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Kool & the Gang and many more. He was the musical director, producer and keyboardist for Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation Tour as well as the opening act. Booker got the gig after he was invited by Jackson to the premiere of her long-form video Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814. Although Booker went to the premiere to mingle with celebrities, he was caught off guard when Jackson asked him after the screening to be his musical director for the tour.[2]

In the mid to late 90's, Booker was also the music director and keyboardist for TLC and their CrazySexyCool tour as well as New Edition Home Again Tour and Faith Evans on her "Keep The Faith" U.S. tour. He was also the pianist for Tina Turner for her "Wildest Dreams" tour in 1997 replacing Kenny Moore who succumbed to a heart attack during the tour.

Booker was also involved with one of the biggest R&B tours of 2008 as musical director with Mary J. Blige on her "Heart Of The City" tour alongside Jay-Z as co-headliner. Chuckii also served as musical director for acts such as Tevin Campbell, Brownstone and recently, Keyshia Cole. In recent production, Booker was one of the producers for Lionel Richie's album Coming Home released in 2007 as well as producer and arranger for Richie's Collection of Holiday Classics album for NBC's "Sounds of the Season".

Booker has carved a sizeable niche for himself as a record producer for artists such as Lalah Hathaway, Troop, En Vogue, Angela Winbush, Diana Ross, Anastacia, Commissioned, Lionel Richie, and Bette Midler.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Chuckii comes from a vast musical background family which includes his uncle, a jazz flautist and his grandmother, who is a gospel pianist. His mother, Selestine Booker - who has played and recorded with such Gospel artists as James Cleveland and Norman Hutchins - also played on his debut album on the song "Keep Your Guard Up".[4]

Booker attended the Pasadena Art Center College of Design on a scholarship program specializing in Graphic Arts. He is known to have one of the most extensive comic book collections ranging from popular Marvel and D.C. comics to obscure paperback novels.

He was also co-owner of the private recording and mixing studio Aire L.A. Studios in Glendale, California.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1989: "Turned Away" - US Pop #42, US R&B #1
  • 1989: "(Don't U Know) I Love U" - US R&B #4
  • 1989: "Touch" - US R&B #13
  • 1992: "Games" - US Pop #68, US R&B #1
  • 1993: "I Should Have Loved You" - US R&B #38

External links[edit]

References[edit]