Ester Dean

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Ester Dean
Birth name Esther Renay Dean
Born (1982-04-15) April 15, 1982 (age 33)
Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts

Esther Renay Dean[1] (born April 15, 1982),[2] better known by her stage name Ester Dean, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Her 2009 single "Drop It Low" featured singer Chris Brown. Dean has also co-written songs for many artists including Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra, Mary J. Blige, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Clarkson, Ciara, The Pussycat Dolls, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Girlicious, Keri Hilson, Rihanna, R. Kelly, Britney Spears, Melody Thornton, Vanessa White, Kevin McHale, Selena Gomez, G.R.L., Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, Pia Toscano, Tinie Tempah, Lil Wayne, Machine Gun Kelly and Eurovision Song Contest 2012 winner Loreen.

In 2011, Dean contributed to the soundtrack for the animated film, Rio by Blue Sky Studios.

In 2012, she voiced two of the characters in the fourth film in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and also wrote a song for the movie, entitled "We Are (Family)". Dean made her acting debut in the film Pitch Perfect (2012) as Cynthia-Rose Adams, a role she reprised for the sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015).

Life and career[edit]

Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Dean grew up

Ester Dean was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. After graduating from Omaha North High School in 2001,[3] she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, until relocating to Los Angeles, California. She was raised by her mother, Hester.[4][5] When Dean relocated to Los Angeles, California, she became a successful songwriter, and was introduced to Polow da Don, and later signed to Zone 4 Records/Interscope Records. During her tenure, Dean has amassed a catalog of songs she has written or co-written for other artists, such as Britney Spears, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Vanessa White, Priyanka Chopra, G.R.L., Monica, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Kelly Rowland, Girlicious, Katy Perry, Trey Songz, Kelly Clarkson, Ciara, Usher, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Pia Toscano, Kevin McHale, Selena Gomez, Melody Thornton, Ginuwine, Teyana Taylor, Scotty McCreery, Beyoncé, and Mary J. Blige, among others.

Dean recorded and released her first single, "Drop It Low" which features singer Chris Brown, from the LeBron James documentary, More Than a Game (2009), which peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first US Top 40 single. The song received positive reviews, and the song was remixed by artists such as Lil Wayne, Trey Songz and Diddy. Dean has co-written songs featured on the Step Up 3D Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010) and Burlesque: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010).

Throughout 2011, Dean carried on songwriting. While working on her album, she co-wrote "Super Bass", for Nicki Minaj's debut album Pink Friday (2010).[6] The song has gone on to achieve the position of number three on the Hot 100.[7] "Super Bass" is included as part of the title of a UK Deluxe edition of Minaj's album, Pink Friday (Super Bass Edition).[8] Dean has an appearance on Rio: Music From The Motion Picture (2011) with "Let Me Take You To Rio". Dean is a co-writer and is featured on the song "Invincible", the second single from American rapper Machine Gun Kelly's debut album Lace Up (2012). The song has been used in a HTC ReZound ad and also served as one of several theme songs for WrestleMania XXVIII.

Dean made an appearance in Ice Age: Continental Drift. "I'm just excited," she says of playing her character, the Sloth Siren. "On August 23, I go put my voice down. And my character gets to sing." Dean is one of many musicians in the Ice Age: Continental Drift cast. Singers Drake, Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Lopez also lended their voices to the film.[9]

Dean's song "Drop It Low" appears on The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2013).[10]

On May 13, 2014, Dean announced via Instagram that she had parted ways with Interscope, and would be acting as an independent artist.[11]

On March 23, 2015, Dean self-released a six song EP Miss Ester Dean while she was opening for Nicki Minaj on The Pinkprint Tour.[12] It was later made available by Eye Know a Secret, Inc. for purchase on the iTunes Store on April 15, 2015.[13]



Dean possesses a mezzo-soprano range. Her vocals were described by Billboard as "raw, energetic vocals cover a wide range: from club banger to melodic doo-wop/hip-hop."[14] Dean's vocals have also been described as similar to Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. "The songwriter's voice is pitched dead center between two artists. The first is frequent collaborator Rihanna...the other is Nicki Minaj when she sings."[15]

Songwriting style[edit]

In a 2012 article in The New Yorker, Dean described her preferred method of songwriting: "I go into the booth and I scream and I sing and I yell, and sometimes it's words but most time [sic] it's not...and I just see when I get this little chill [on her upper arm, below the shoulder] and then I'm, like, 'Yeah, that's the hook.'"[16]


Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions, showing year released
Title Details Peak chart positions Tracklist


Miss Ester Dean[17]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Pop
"Drop It Low"
(featuring Chris Brown)
2009 46 38 35 More Than a Game OST
"Baby Makin' Love"[22] 2012 Non-album singles
"Bam Bam"[23]
"I Can't Make You Love Me"[24] 2013
"How You Love It"[25]
(featuring Missy Elliott)
"Get My Dough"[26] 2014
"Twerk'n 4 Birk'n"[27]
"Twerkin 4 Birkin"[28]
(featuring Juicy J)
"Crazy Youngsters" 2015 99 Pitch Perfect 2 OST
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Love Suicide"
(Tinie Tempah featuring Ester Dean)
2011 Disc-Overy
(MGK featuring Ester Dean)
[A] Lace Up
"We've Only Just Begun"[30]
(Michael Woods featuring Ester Dean)
2012 Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other appearances[edit]

Year Title Album Other artist (s)
2009 "I Love U" Graffiti Chris Brown
2010 "I Know You Got a Man" Battle of the Sexes Ludacris, Flo Rida
"Grammy" The DeAndre Way Soulja Boy
2011 "Let Me Take You To Rio" Rio: Music from the Motion Picture Carlinhos Brown
"Take You To Rio" N/A
2012 "Let It Grow (Celebrate the World)" Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: Original Songs from the Motion Picture N/A
"We Are (Family)" Ice Age: Continental Drift (plays during credits only) Keke Palmer, Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Heather Morris
2013 "Bad Bitches" RockaByeBaby Cassie
"Wide Open" Underground Luxury B.o.B
2014 "Rio Rio" Rio 2: Music from the Motion Picture

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director Ref.
2009 "Drop It Low" Joseph Kahn [31]
2012 "Invincible" Isaac Rentz [32]
2014 "Baby Making Love" [33]
2015 "Crazy Youngsters" [34]


Year Film Role
2011 Rio Boy in Gondola (voice)
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Sloth Siren and Gutt's Siren (voice)
2012 Pitch Perfect Cynthia-Rose Adams
2015 Pitch Perfect 2


  1. ^ "Invincible" did not enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 24 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs chart.[29]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Public Record with birth date accessed 5/23/2015
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Gary Trust (15 June 2011). "Adele 'Rolling' Along Atop Hot 100, Jason Aldean & Nicki Minaj Reach Top 10". Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Nicki Minaj - Super Bass -". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Pink Friday (Super Bass Edition) -". Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Erica Thompson (19 August 2011). "Ester Dean Talks 'Ice Age 4,' New Album and Missy Elliott". Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Explicit] [+digital booklet]: Various artists: MP3 Downloads". 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  11. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Ester Dean: Artists To Watch 2010". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  15. ^ "The Singles Bar: Ester Dean ft. Nicki Minaj, "Gimme Money"". Popdust. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  16. ^ Seabrook, John (26 March 2012). "The Song Machine". The New Yorker. LXXXVIII (6): 48–55. 
  17. ^ "Miss Ester Dean - EP - Ester Dean". iTunes. 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Ryan, Gavin (May 16, 2015). "ARIA Singles: Wiz Khalifa Charlie Puth See You Again No 1 For 6 Weeks". Noise11. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Baby Makin' Love by Ester Dean". Soudcloud. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  23. ^ "Bam Bam by Ester Dean". Soudcloud. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  24. ^ "I Can't Make You Love Me by Ester Dean". Soudcloud. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  25. ^ "How you love it ft. Missy Elliott by Ester Dean". Soudcloud. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  26. ^ "Get My Dough - Single - Ester Dean". iTunes. 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  27. ^ "Twerk'n 4 Birk'n - Single - Ester Dean". Retrieved 2015-07-03. 
  28. ^ "Twerkin 4 Birkin (feat. Juicy J) - Single - Ester Dean". iTunes. 2014-06-28. Retrieved 2015-07-03. 
  29. ^ "MGK Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  30. ^ "We've Only Just Begun (feat. Ester Dean) - Single - Michael Woods". iTunes. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  31. ^ "Ester Dean - Drop It Low ft. Chris Brown". YouTube. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  32. ^ "MGK - Invincible (Explicit) ft. Ester Dean". YouTube. 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  33. ^ "Ester Dean - Baby Making Love". YouTube. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2015-07-03. 
  34. ^ "Ester Dean - Crazy Youngsters (from Pitch Perfect 2)". YouTube. 2015-06-14. Retrieved 2015-07-03. 

External links[edit]