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Ginuwine performing in 2014
Ginuwine performing in 2014
Background information
Birth nameElgin Baylor Lumpkin
Also known asTornado[1]
Born (1970-10-15) October 15, 1970 (age 53)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
OriginForestville, Maryland, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
DiscographyGinuwine discography
Years active1991–present
Formerly of
(m. 2003; div. 2015)
RelativesRetta (cousin)

Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (born October 15, 1970),[3] better known by his stage name Ginuwine (JIN-yoo-wine), is an American R&B singer. He began his career as a member of the musical collective Swing Mob in the early 1990s. As a solo act, he signed with Epic Records[4] to release his 1996 debut single, "Pony". The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and preceded the release of his debut studio album Ginuwine...The Bachelor (1996), which saw moderate but steady commercial success and received double platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[5] His second and third albums, 100% Ginuwine (1999) and The Life (2003) both peaked within the top five on the Billboard 200 while the latter spawned the single "Differences", which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains his highest charting song.[5]

His fourth album, The Senior (2003) spawned the top ten single "In Those Jeans", as well as the top 40 singles "Hell Yeah" (featuring Birdman) and "Stingy". His fifth, Back II da Basics (2005) peaked within the top ten of the Billboard 200 and served as his final release with Epic; he signed with Warner Records to release his sixth album A Man's Thoughts (2009), which performed similarly despite mixed critical reception. Serving as his final release on a major label, his albums Elgin (2011) and A Ginuwine Christmas (2011) followed thereafter.[5]

According to Billboard, as of 2013, Ginuwine has sold an estimated 6.98 million albums in the US.[6] Aside from his solo career, he formed the R&B trio TGT alongside contemporaries Tyrese Gibson and Tank in 2007, with whom he has released one studio album.

Early life[edit]

Elgin Baylor Lumpkin was born on October 15, 1970, in Washington, D.C. He is named after NBA legend Elgin Baylor, a fellow D.C. native. In 1988, he graduated from Forestville High School (later known as Forestville Military Academy) in Forestville, Maryland, and later graduated from Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, with a paralegal associate's degree.[citation needed]



Lumpkin began his career as a member of Swing Mob, a Rochester, New York-based record label and music compound founded by Donald "DeVante Swing" DeGrate, Jodeci, Chad Elliott, and Darryl Pearson. There, he met rapper Melissa "Missy" Elliott, rapper Melvin "Magoo" Barcliff, producer Steven"Stevie J" Jordan, singer-songwriter and rapper Stephen "Static Major" Garrett, Benjamin Digital Black Bush, producer-singer Jawaan Smoke E. Digglera Peacock , singers Leshawn Shellman, Radiah Scott, Chonita Coleman, Rolita White, Susan Weems, Charlene "Tweet" Keys, heavy metal artist Baazar Boogieman Royale, and producer Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, who became his main collaborators through the 1990s. After Swing Mob folded, they continued working together on different projects, one of which was Ginuwine's 1996 debut album, titled Ginuwine...The Bachelor. The first single, "Pony" peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

His second album, 100% Ginuwine, was released in 1999 and featured the hit single "So Anxious". After 100% Ginuwine, Ginuwine and Timbaland grew apart. Producers such as R. Kelly and Troy Oliver have crafted hits for him since then. In 2001, Ginuwine had a number-four hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Differences", which also peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Within a year, Ginuwine lost both of his parents. He later wrote and recorded a song that is featured on his third album The Life entitled "Two Reasons I Cry". In 2002, he was a featured artist on P. Diddy's number-one hit "I Need a Girl (Part II)". Later that year, Ginuwine started his own label, Bag Entertainment. Ginuwine's third album, The Senior was released in 2003. It featured the hit singles "Stingy", "Hell Yeah" and "In Those Jeans".

Ginuwine's fifth album, Back II Da Basics, was released on November 15, 2005. The album debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling close to 100,000 copies. Ginuwine stated on BET's Top 100 countdown that the album went Gold with sales of 500,000 copies.[7]

In May 2007, an album entitled I Apologize was released in stores. Although attributed to Ginuwine, the release was an unauthorized album and included only three Ginuwine songs – apparently from stolen masters – and ten songs by other artists. Ginuwine spoke against the unofficial release on both his MySpace page and through YouTube.[8] In 2007, Ginuwine collaborated with Canadian hip-hop artist Belly in the latter's debut solo song "Pressure", which was featured in Belly's debut album the Revolution, released in June 2007.

Ginuwine's sixth album entitled A Man's Thoughts, was released on June 23, 2009. The album was produced by The Underdogs, B Cox, Timbaland, The Runners, Johnta Austin, Oak and Polow Da Don. The album includes guests appearances from Brandy, Missy Elliott, Bun B and Timbaland.[9] Ginuwine formed a group with Tank and Tyrese named TGT. Their first single was a remix of Tank's "Please Don't Go". They were supposed to tour but plans fell apart due to conflicting schedules.[10]

Ginuwine announced on his Myspace Blog on August 21, 2008, that due to label and legal issues, they will not be able to release an official TGT album.[11] Ginuwine is the founder and CEO of LoveSong Incorporated, after completing his contract with 550 Music/Epic. Ginuwine announced on his Myspace blog on August 21, 2008, that he signed a major label deal with Notifi Records/Warner Brothers.[11]

Ginuwine introduced producer MELROG and rapper Young Knight a.k.a. Knightron on the Back 2 Da Basics album. Currently Knightron is working on his own album under Ginuwine's label BAG ENT. Ginuwine's seventh studio album, Elgin, was released on Valentine's Day in 2011.

In 2014 Ginuwine was working on a studio album called Same Ol' G...the Bachelor and confirmed that Timbaland and Missy Elliott were executive producing the project.[12] The album was never released.


In 2007, Ginuwine, Tyrese, and Tank and formed an R&B group called TGT and were signed to Atlantic Records in 2012. Their Grammy-nominated debut album Three Kings was released in 2013. The first single of the album "Sex Never Felt Better" was released on iTunes on February 14, 2013, for Valentine's Day.[13][14]


Ginuwine was originally cast in the 2004 film You Got Served. Ultimately R&B artist Marques Houston was cast in his place. The writer of the movie kept Ginuwine's real name "Elgin" as the name for one of the lead characters. He also was cast as R&B singer "Romeo" in the film Juwanna Mann. He also appeared in three episodes of Moesha as Khalib, called "All This and Turkey, Too", "You Say He's Just A Friend", and "On the Rebound"

Ginuwine appeared on Half & Half as R.J. Jackson in the episode "The Big Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls Episode" that aired in 2004.

In February 2011, Ginuwine co-starred in the Gospel Music Channel's debut of John Ruffin's stage play The Ideal Husband, which also stars Darrin Dewitt Henson, Jackée Harry, Clifton Powell, Shirley Murdock, Shanti Lowry and Erica Hubbard.[15]


Ginuwine is a spokesman for the beverage Adult Chocolate Milk, a 40-proof vodka-based version of chocolate milk.[16][17]


Ginuwine appeared in the CBS show Martial Law starring Sammo Hung and Arsenio Hall. In the episode "How Sammo Got His Groove Back" airing November 21, 1998, Ginuwine plays Hall's nephew, Zeke Meadows, a singer who is a target for murder by a ruthless CD bootlegger.

Ginuwine appeared on the UPN television sitcom Half & Half where he played R.J. Jackson, the friend of Spencer's (Chico Benymon) which aired in November 2004.

In the NBC series Parks and Recreation, character Donna Meagle is Ginuwine's cousin. He appeared on the show as himself twice: the season six finale "Moving Up," (performing at the Unity Concert) and the seventh-season episode "Donna & Joe."

On January 5, 2018, Ginuwine entered the UK reality show Celebrity Big Brother 21. He was evicted on January 23, 2018, and came in 11th place.

In 2023, Ginuwine competed in season ten of The Masked Singer as "Husky". He was eliminated in "I Wanna Rock" alongside Sebastian Bach as "Tiki".[18]

Personal life[edit]

Ginuwine lost both his parents; his father died by suicide, and his mother to cancer less than a year later. Ginuwine struggled with grief and depression; he also thought of taking his own life. He received counseling from his pastor, which turned him to a more positive path.[19][20] He recorded the song "Two Reasons I Cry" about the death of his parents on his 2001 album The Life.[21]

Ginuwine was married to the rapper Tonya M. Johnston,[22][23][24] better known by her stage name Solé. Ginuwine met Solé in June 1999 and they began dating in October 1999. They were married on September 8, 2003, in the Cayman Islands. They lived in Maryland.[25] They have two daughters together: Story (born March 29, 2001)[26] and Dream Sarae Lumpkin (born November 1, 2002).[27] He has a son, Elgin Jr. (born January 30, 1991), from a previous relationship, as well as four other children with three different women.[28] In February 2009, Ginuwine announced he has seven children: Ramonda, Tiffany, Elgin, Ginel, Tahjair, Story and Dream, plus two step-children through his now-ex-wife Sole: Dejan and Cypress.[29][30] In November 2014, he announced he and Solé had separated.[31] Their divorce was finalized July 22, 2015.[32]

Ginuwine's cousins are famed Entertainment Attorney, Antavius Weems, and American comedienne and actress Retta.[33][34][35]

In the 2023 memoir, The Woman in Me, Britney Spears stated that Justin Timberlake had acted inappropriately and put on a blaccent when meeting Ginuwine. The apparent revelation quickly garnered interest across the internet.[36] However, in December 2023, Ginuwine stated, "I can tell you I don’t remember that happening. I truly don’t remember that happening [...] If Justin would’ve did something like that, I probably would’ve looked at him like, "Why are you acting like that?" If he did that, that would be something that I would remember. That would’ve definitely stuck out."[37][38]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Juwanna Mann Romeo
2003 Honey Himself
2006 Da Jammies G (voice) Video short
2008 Baby Dil Deewana Short
2011 The Ideal Husband Reggie TV movie
The Bachelor Party Trey Video
2014 Chocolate City Pharaoh
2016 Paid in Full Brad
2017 Chocolate City: Vegas Strip Pharaoh


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Martial Law Zeke Meadows Episode: "How Sammo Got His Groove Back"
2000 Moesha Khalib Recurring cast: season 6
2003 Platinum Hoody Rob Episode: "Loyalty"
2004 Half & Half R.J. Jackson Episode: "The Big Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls Episode"
2014-15 Parks and Recreation Himself Episode: "Moving Up: Part 1 & 2" & "Donna and Joe"
2018 Your Husband Is Cheating on Us Himself Main cast
2023 The Masked Singer Himself/Husky Season 10 contestant

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "From The Bassment: Ginuwine aka Tornado", The Thomas Crown Chronicles, August 3, 2010.
  2. ^ "Ginuwine is an R&B Legend". April 28, 2017.
  3. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. "This Day in Black History: Oct. 15, 1970". BET interactive, LLC. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Ginuwine – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c "RIAA – Gold & Platinum: "Ginuwine"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Ramirez, Rauly (August 29, 2013). "TGT's 'Three Kings' Debuts at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "The BillBoard 200". November 23, 2005. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  8. ^ Ginuwine – I Apoligize [sic] (2007) on YouTube (February 26, 2007).
  9. ^ "A Man's Thoughts: Ginuwine: Music". Amazon. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Bolden, Janeé (May 23, 2007). "SOHH Soulful: Tyrese, Ginuwine & Tank Form R&B Supergroup". Archived from the original on July 7, 2007.
  11. ^ a b "Ginuwine's Official Myspace". Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  12. ^ "Ginuwine Confirms that Timbaland Will Produce His New Album, Set to be Titled "Same Ol G" –". November 28, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  13. ^ " – New Music: TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine, Tank) – 'Sex Never Felt Better'".
  14. ^ "Ginuwine – This is RnB – Hot New R&B Music, R&B Videos, News, Photos". August 19, 2023.
  15. ^ "Ginuwine's Hot Date Tips! First Impressions, Connecting and Romance After Marriage!". February 26, 2011.
  16. ^ Hwang, Kellie (January 19, 2011). "Chocolate milk gets a grown-up twist with some vodka added". USA Today.
  17. ^ "Ginuwine plays 'milkman' for new beverage, Adult Chocolate Milk". SoulCulture. January 3, 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  18. ^ Schneider, Michael (December 6, 2023). "'The Masked Singer' Reveals Identity of Husky and Tiki: Here Are the Celebrities Under the Costumes". Variety=. Retrieved May 27, 2024.
  19. ^ "Ginuwine Speaks On Music, Mental Health and His Suicide Attempts". June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
  20. ^ "I Was So Close To Ending My Life". June 16, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  21. ^ Aquallante, Dan (March 30, 2001). "THE GINUWINE ARTICLE – R&B ARTIST FACES TRAGEDY AND COMES BACK SINING". NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  22. ^ Garner, Joshua (April 22, 2010). "Genuine home-grown talent". Post-Newsweek Media, Inc. Retrieved May 18, 2010. with his wife, Tonya Lumpkin, a former rapper known as Solé
  23. ^ "Tonya M. Johnston on ASCAP". ASCAP. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  24. ^ " – Official Sole Website". Archived from the original on June 20, 2000. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  25. ^ Bedard, Paul (June 18, 2009). "Lives In MD Suburbs". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  26. ^ Sole/Ginuwine have daughter Archived December 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Adam's Rib". Archived from the original on December 22, 2004. Retrieved July 24, 2008. G tells Niki of Sister 2 Sister mag that his second daughter was born on November 1 and that he has had a vasectomy
  28. ^ "Ginuwine Tells S2S I have 4 Baby Mamas". Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  29. ^ "Ginuwine and Sole have nine kids together & from previous relationships". Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  30. ^ "FF to 17:14, DiamondKShow". February 24, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  31. ^ "Ginuwine addresses divorce rumors |". Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  32. ^ "Ginuwine Is Officially a Bachelor, Finalizes Divorce". The Boombox. August 5, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  33. ^ Jung, E. Alex. "Retta Has a Story to Tell". Vulture. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  34. ^ Spanos, Brittany (June 22, 2016). "Ginuwine Takes Sexual Innuendo to Absurd Lengths in 'Leave It In'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  35. ^ Nilles, Billy (February 28, 2018). "Retta, the Revelation". E Online. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  36. ^ October 25, 2023. "Britney Spears Recalls Justin Timberlake Using Blaccent During Ginuwine Interaction". Vibe. Retrieved March 6, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ Adejobi, Alicia (December 8, 2023). "Ginuwine reveals shocking plot twist in his cringe encounter with Justin Timberlake". Metro. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  38. ^ Pierre, Mekishana (December 8, 2023). "Ginuwine Reacts to the Justin Timberlake 'Fo Shiz' Incident in Britney Spears' Memoir". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved March 6, 2024.

External links[edit]