|Birth name||Luke James Boyd|
June 13, 1984 |
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Genres||R&B, neo soul, hip hop soul|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar|
|Labels||Island Def Jam, Mercury|
Luke James Boyd (born June 13, 1984), better known as Luke James, is an American R&B singer-songwriter. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, James began his musical career singing background for R&B artist Tyrese and later writing songs for recording artists such as Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Keri Hilson and Justin Bieber. Under the management of record producer Danja, James released his first mixtape, #Luke, in 2011. The mixtape's critically acclaimed single "I Want You" earned him a Best R&B Performance nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Like the first project, he released his second mixtape Whispers in the Dark as a free music download in 2012. His debut studio album, Made to Love, is scheduled to be released in 2014.
Early life and career beginnings
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised by a single mother, James was influenced by an eclectic array of music, particularly jazz and R&B. James said his love for music started when he watched a contestant perform a cover version of "A Song for You" on Showtime at the Apollo. He said "I got chills. And I get that feeling all over again whenever I think about that performance. At the time, I’d never said I wanted to be a singer; I just knew I wanted to entertain. And I’d never heard of Donny. But when my mother found her copy of one of his records, I knew then that I wanted to reach people that way."
As a child, James was inspired by several recording artists and musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Willie Nelson, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Alabama, among others. He credits his mother for introducing him to all kinds of music. James attended St. Augustine High School with schoolmate, (and future OFWGKTA member) singer-songwriter Frank Ocean. While in high school, he joined a musical trio named Upskale with friends Quinten Spears (known as Q) and Tah for a brief period, which introduced him to his longtime manager, choreographer Frank Gatson. After graduating high school, the trio split and James relocated to Los Angeles, California. Q and James later formed a duo called Luke & Q, where James performed under the name Luke Boyd. Shortly after forming the group, the duo was able to be the opening act for R&B artist and actor Tyrese Gibson during one of his concerts. However, after the failure to garner both James and Q much recognition, they decided to both part ways.
2007–present: songwriting and breakthrough
After disbanding, James honed his skills as a songwriter, quickly hooked up with producer Danja, and began to craft hits for those in the pop, R&B and soul genres. He also worked alongside Tank. He began to co-write hits such as Chris Brown's "Crawl" for his critically and universally panned third album, Graffiti. In addition to writing for Brown, he also wrote (or co-wrote) hits for pop artists such as Justin Bieber ("That Should Be Me"), Britney Spears ("Kill the Lights") and Keri Hilson ("Do It").
In 2011, he was personally selected by R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles to appear as a dancer in her "Run the World (Girls)" music video. In December 2011, he released his debut extended play (EP) album #Luke as a free digital download. His first single, "I Want You", received universal acclaim from critics for its production and for James' vocal performance. The single later earned him a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2012 Soul Train Music Awards. Upon release of his second free digital mixtape, Whispers in the Dark, in December 2012, James began to garner buzz for his formal debut album Made to Love, which is expected to be released from Def Jam in early 2014. On January 8, 2013, the album's first single, "Make Love to Me", was released to iTunes one month after the music video. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, James was nominated for Best R&B Performance award for his 2012 single "I Want You" (but he lost to Usher's "Climax"). On February 7, 2013, the song "I.O.U." was released as the second single from his anticipated album Made to Love. In 2013 he was personally chosen by R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles to be an opening act for her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. 
- Studio albums
- Made to Love (2014)
- #Luke (2011)
- Whispers in the Dark (2012)
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US||US R&B||US Adult R&B Airplay|
|"I Want You"||2012||—||97||40||#Luke|
|"Make Love to Me"||2013||—||—||—||Made to Love|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or receive certification.|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Soul Train Music Awards||Best New Artist||N/A||Nominated|
|2013||Grammy Awards||Best R&B Performance||"I Want You"||Nominated|
- "The 30 Hottest Celebrities Under 30". vibe.com. June 11, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Interview: Who is Luke James?". youknowigotsoul.com. October 21, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Bio: Luke James". Island Def Jam. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- "Luke James Bio". Last.fm. January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Cline, Georgette (December 30, 2011). "Luke James Admits He Was Once a 'Dirtbag,' Speaks on New EP". theboombox.com. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- "Best New Artist Nominees - 2012 Soul Train Awards". bet.com. October 31, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- "Hot Shot: Luke James Unwraps Risqué 'Make Love To Me' Cover". thatgrapejuice.net. January 9, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Video Premiere: Luke James – ‘Make Love to Me'". toyazworld.com. December 15, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Watch: Luke James Visits '106 & Park', Talks Grammy nomination, Beyonce, & More". thatgrapejuice.net. December 15, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "2013 Grammy Nominations". BET. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Premiere: Luke James' 'I.O.U.'". vibe.com. February 7, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "BEYONCÉ TAPS LUKE JAMES TO OPEN FOR EUROPEAN TOUR". April 18, 2013.
- "Luke James - Billboard Chart History". billboard.com. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- "Luke James On Sex-Symbol Status, Staying Humble & Soul Train". centrictv.com. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- "Luke James Remains Humble After Missing Grammy, Readies Debut Album for 2013". singersroom.com. February 10, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luke James.|
- Official website
- Luke James on Facebook
- Luke James on Twitter
- Luke James on YouTube
- Luke James at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview: Who is Luke James? YouKnowIGotSoul, October 2011.
- Interview with Luke James The BoomBox, December 2011.
- Interview with Luke James Global Grind, May 2012.
- Interview with Luke James Global Grind, January 2013.
- New Orleans R&B singer Luke James poised on the brink of stardom The Times-Picayune, February 2013.