The World Famous Tony Williams

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The World Famous Tony Williams
Birth name Antony Williams
Also known as Tony Williams, Tony "Penafire" Williams
Origin Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Genres Soul, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, piano
Labels The High Society, Uncle Pete's Parade
Associated acts Kanye West

Antony Williams, better known by his stage name The World Famous Tony Williams or simply Tony Williams, is an American R&B and soul recording artist from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A singer, songwriter and record producer, Williams is perhaps best known for his vocals on his first cousin Kanye West's debut album, The College Dropout (2004) as well as subsequent albums from West.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tony Williams grew up an only child in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Both his mother and father had musical backgrounds, and Williams was given his first instrument, a saxophone, at the age of eight. He grew up singing in youth choirs at church and played in the marching band through his tenth grade year of high school. Williams love for music continued throughout his early adulthood as he went on to form several bands that ranged in style from Funk, Rock, Alternative, and Christian Alternative, and took on the role as lead vocalist.

Musical career[edit]

Songwriter[edit]

Williams’ name appears on Kanye West’s albums as Tony “Penafire” Williams which is the pseudonym he uses when crediting himself as a writer. He was a co-writer of two songs on The College Dropout, the Grammy Award winning 2004 album, following which Williams was invited to write for all of West’s subsequent albums.

On the 2005 MTV documentary, Composing History The Making of Late Registration, he was featured producing vocals for Brandy on the song "Bring Me Down", which he co-wrote. During that documentary, West described Williams as being “a great writer with a cutting edge voice.”[citation needed]

Singer[edit]

Tony Williams first became noticed as a singer when he debuted on Kanye West’s Grammy winning album The College Dropout, singing a version of the gospel hymn "I'll Fly Away". By the second album, Late Registration, Kanye was giving Williams shout outs on the song, "We Major" which gave rise to the line Kanye fans use in reference to Williams, “ I gotta say what’s up to Tony Williams”. On that same album Tony wrote the hook for the song, "Roses", which featured him singing with Patti Labelle. This album not only promoted Tony Williams name, but for the first time fans were able to match his voice and name with a face. He was featured on the song and the video for "Drive Slow". Later, he was seen singing with Kanye when West was featured on the MTV television series, Life and Rhymes of Kanye West.

By the time Kanye went on the Touch the Sky Tour, Williams was known as the background singer that always accompanied West, including on several world tours.[2]

Williams is one of a few performers who have performed at two different Inaugural Balls;[clarification needed] the Neighborhood Ball where he performed with Jay-Z on the song, History, and the Youth Ball where he performed with Kanye West. His voice is recognized on some popular Hip Hop songs, having performed with, for example, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nas, Game, and Rick Ross.[3]

In March 2010, Williams released his first mainstream project in the form of a mixtape, The World Famous Tony Williams: Finding Dakota Grey which was released with the GOOD Music stamp.[4] This project was a collection of original music, covers, and remixes, including the "Dreaming of your love remix" with the French rapper Matt Moerdock.

In October, 2010, Williams released his first single "Everything About You" from his debut studio album, King or the Fool, which was released on February 14, 2012.

Featured artist[edit]

The first time Williams experienced artistic autonomy was in 2007 when he made an appearance on Kanye’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape, singing a song he had written and that that was produced by Kanye, "Dreaming of Your Love". This legitimized him as a featured artist. It was at that time that Williams added “The World Famous” to his name to differentiate himself from the famous drummer with the same name, and because in the vocal sample of the song "Dreaming of Your Love" the intro says, “You’re listening to the world famous”. Williams has had songs played on Brazilian airwaves, where he sang some of the vocals in Portuguese, and some musical chart success in France.

Personal life[edit]

Williams now resides in Fort Worth, Texas.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected information
Title Album details
King or the Fool[5]

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with year released
Title Album details
Finding Dakota Grey[6]
  • Released: March 2, 2010
  • Label: GOOD Music
  • Format: Digital download
Some of My Best Rappers Are Friends[7]
  • Released: January 13, 2012
  • Label: The High Society
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of promotional singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Everything About You"[8] 2010 Non-album single
"Sleepover"[9] 2012 King or the Fool
"Another You"[10]
(featuring Kanye West)

Album credits[edit]

Year Album Song Credits
1999 Rashani - Positive and Progress
"All Ah Dem" Vocals
"How long" Vocals
"Conspiracy" Vocals
"Mickey Mouse Lovin" Vocals
2004 Kanye West - The College Dropout
"I'll Fly Away" Vocals
"Spaceship" Vocals/Writer
"School Spirit" Vocals
"Lil Jimmy Skit" Vocals
"Last Call" Vocals/Writer
2005 Kanye West - Late Registration
Late Registration & The People's Champ "Drive Slow" Vocals
"Crack Music" Vocals
"Roses" Vocals/Writer
"Bring Me Down" Writer/Vocal Producer
"We Major" Vocals/Writer
"Late" Vocals
2007 Kanye West - Graduation
"Good Morning" Vocals
"Champion" Vocals/Writer
"Flashing Lights" Vocals
"Everything I Am" Vocals
"Homecoming" Writer
2007 Consequence - Don't Quit Your Day Job!
"Don't Forget Em" Vocals
"Disperse" Vocals
"Who Knew My Luck Would Change?" Vocals
2008 Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
"Say You Will" Vocals
"Amazing" Vocals
"RoboCop" Vocals/Writer
"Street Lights" Vocals/Writer
2009 More Than a Game soundtrack
"History" Vocals/Writer
2009 Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
"A Star Is Born" Vocals
2010 Kid Sister - Ultraviolet (U.K. release)
"Daydreaming" Vocals
2010 Rick Ross - Teflon Don
"Live Fast, Die Young" Vocals
2010 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
"Dark Fantasy" Vocals
"Gorgeous" Vocals
"All of the Lights" Vocals
"Runaway" Vocals
"Hell of a Life" Vocals
"Lost in the World" Vocals
2011 Outlawz - Perfect Timing
"Remember Me" Vocals
2011 Promise - Awakening
"Everyone Knows" Vocals
2013 Kanye West - Yeezus
"Blood on the Leaves" Vocals

References[edit]

External links[edit]