|Birth name||Luke James Boyd|
|Born||New Orleans, Louisiana|
Luke James Boyd, better known as Luke James, is an American singer-songwriter. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he 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 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Like the first project, he released his second mixtape, Whispers in the Dark, as a free music download in 2012. His self-titled debut studio album was released on September 23, 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, director, and 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 The Singer. 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 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 2005, he appeared in Destiny's Child's Soldier video, with the members of the Upskale music trio. In 2011, he was personally selected by R&B singer Beyoncé to appear as a model/actor 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 self-titled debut album, 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 directed by his manager Frank Gatson. At the 56th Annual 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 debut album. In 2013, he was personally chosen by Beyoncé to be an opening act for her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In August 2013 he released a video for "Oh God" featuring Hit-Boy; the music video was directed by Sarah McColgan. On December 4, 2013, he released another visual for "Strawberry Vapors", also directed by Sarah McColgan, the song was another release off the Whispers in the Dark album.
- Studio albums
- Luke James #54US (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 James / #Luke|
|"Make Love to Me"||2013||—||—||—||Luke James|
|—||—||—||Whispers in the Dark|
(featuring Rick Ross)
- The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (opening act)
Awards and nominations
|2013||2013 Soul Train Music Awards||Centric Award||n/a||Winner|
|2012||Soul Train Music Awards||Best New Artist||N/A||Nominated|
|2013||Grammy Awards||Best R&B Performance||"I Want You"||Nominated|
- "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.