3 May 1972 |
Hanover, West Germany
|Genres||R&B, hip hop|
|Labels||WEA, Mack Life Records|
Mark Morrison (born 3 May 1972) is an English R&B singer, his single, "Return of the Mack", became a number-one or Top 10 hit in several European countries in 1996. The song peaked at number 2 in the United States the following year.
Early life 
Early career 
Mark Morrison's first official recording was the 1993 vinyl release, Where Is Our Love, pressed on his own private Joe'Mel label.
Main career 
In mid-1995, Morrison released his debut single, "Crazy", which became a Top 20 hit in the UK. The follow-up single, "Let's Get Down", also entered the Top 40. They were followed in the spring of 1996 by "Return of the Mack" which became a smash international hit, spending two weeks at #1 on the UK charts.
His debut album, also titled Return of the Mack, followed and became a multi-platinum success. It reached number four in the UK chart and sold 3 million albums worldwide. It spun off several more hit singles over the next year: "Crazy (Remix)", "Trippin'", "Horny", and "Moan & Groan" would all reach the UK Top 10, making him the first artist in British pop history to have five Top 10 hits from a debut album.
Although his career was going well, Morrison was constantly in trouble with the law. In 1997, he was imprisoned. The same year he received numerous nominations: four Brit Awards nominations, a Mercury Prize nomination, an MTV Europe Music Awards nomination, and five Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO) nominations. "Return of the Mack" began to climb its way to #2 on the American Billboard charts, receiving platinum status. It stayed on the Billboard charts for a lengthy 25 weeks.
Morrison performed at the 1997 Brit Awards. The performance influenced WEA and Morrison to release Only God Can Judge Me, a nine-track EP which contains live performances, interviews, prayers, and three full-length songs including "Who's The Mack!" which reached #13 in the UK.
Legal issues 
Morrison has faced various criminal charges during his career including a 1997 conviction for attempting to bring a firearm aboard an airliner for which he served three months just as his hit song, Return of the Mack, began rising up the US Billboard charts. In 1998, he failed to appear in court on charges of possessing an offensive weapon, choosing to instead fly to the West Indies island of Barbados. He was arrested and remanded into custody upon his return to the United Kingdom. He was later cleared of the offensive weapon charge.
He was convicted of affray for his part in a brawl resulting in one fatality and sentenced to community service. Morrison later was incarcerated in Wormwood Scrubs for a year for paying a lookalike to perform his court-appointed community service in his stead, while Morrison himself went on tour. While in prison, Morrison reportedly converted to Islam and attempted to change his name to Abdul Rahman. Also in 1998, Morrison was banned from driving for six months and fined £1,380 after twice being caught driving without a licence.
In 2002, Morrison was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and car theft. He was released on bail but a policemen was later arrested on suspicion of taking a bribe from Morrison in return for his release. Morrison failed to appear in court to face the charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In 2004, he was arrested and spent a night in custody after a fracas started when his medallion went missing.
In 2009, Morrison was arrested for an assault in London.
Return to music 
Morrison appeared on the 1999 Brit Awards where he presented an award, introduced Whitney Houston and announced his return to music. In September 1999, a single titled "Best Friend" featuring Connor Reeves & Gabrielle became Morrison's ninth Top 40 hit single, reaching #23 on the UK Singles Chart. The following year, it was announced by Billboard that Morrison had signed a five-year worldwide deal with Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight, making him the first, and only British artist to be signed with Death Row Records.
He later signed to soccer player Kevin Campbell's 2 Wikid label in 2003. His only release for the label, a single entitled "Just a Man"/"Backstabbers", was a minor UK hit, reaching #48 in the UK Singles Chart in August 2004.
In May 2006, Morrison released the limited edition CD/DVD album entitled Innocent Man in the United Kingdom on his private label, Mack Life Records/Mona Records. The title track, "Innocent Man", featuring DMX was released in March 2006. It was well received and reached #46 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2007, he was featured on hip-hop artist Cassidy's single titled "Innocent (Misunderstood)" from the B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story album. The track sampled Morrison's vocals from "Innocent Man", and charted on Billboard's Bubbling Under Singles chart.
In 2010, he announced the planned release of a new album entitled I Am What I Am which has a tentative release date of 2013. Plans for a world-wide tour to accompany the new release were also announced. As of 2013, this remains unreleased.
In 2012, Mark Morrison appeared as a guest feature on the Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth's "I'm On 2.0" which features notable rappers Big Krit, Jadakiss, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B, Tyga, Gudda Gudda and Bun B.
- Erlewine, Stephen. "Mark Morrison Biography". Allmusic. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Lister, David (1998) "In the news: Mark Morrison - Pop star takes the ultimate rap for a life of living dangerously", The Independent, 25 March 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "Mark Morrison Back In Custody After Jumping Bail", MTV, 18 March 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "SLAMMERTIME! MARK MORRISON IN WORMWOOD SCRUBS", NME, 23 February 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "Mark Morrison Not Guilty Of Offensive Weapon Charge", MTV, 27 March 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- Heawood, Sophie (2006) "'I'm the most real black artist in England'", The Guardian, 8 March 2006, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "Mark Morrison Changing Name", MTV, October 28, 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "MORRISON'S TROUBLES CONTINUE", NME, 24 February 1998, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "MARK MORRISON DRAMA - POLICEMAN ARRESTED", NME, 18 July 2002, retrieved 2010-05-31
- Youngs, Ian (2004) "R&B star Mark Morrison arrested", BBC, 2 August 2004, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "MORRISON FACING ASSAULT CHARGE AFTER ARREST", Daily Express, 12 June 2009, retrieved 2010-05-31
- Chart Stats
- Death Row Heads To U.K.
- Just a Man/Backstabbers, Chart Stats, retrieved 2010-05-31
- "Mark Morrison To Release 'Best Of' Album/European Tour", HipHop-Elements.com, 10 March 2008, retrieved 2010-05-31
- Mark Morrison Official website
- Macklife Records Official website
- Mark Morrison's channel on YouTube
- Mark Morrison on Myspace