Jazmine Sullivan

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Jazmine Sullivan
Jazmine Sullivan 2015.jpg
In Beverly Hills, California on June 25, 2015
Background information
Born (1987-04-09) April 9, 1987 (age 31)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, actress
Years active2007—present
LabelsJ, Arista, RCA
Associated acts

Jazmine Marie Sullivan (born April 9, 1987) is an American singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut single "Need U Bad", produced by Missy Elliott, reached #1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while her second single, "Bust Your Windows", produced by Salaam Remi, peaked at #4. Elements of R&B, reggae, dub, pop, jazz, neo soul, and doo-wop can be heard in her work. Sullivan cites singers Brandy, Changing Faces, Kim Burrell, Lauryn Hill, and Dorinda Clark-Cole as her main influences and inspirations.[1]

Early life and her Family[edit]

Jazmine Sullivan was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother Pam is a former backup singer for Philadelphia International Records. When she was five years old, her father landed a position as a curator for the city's Historic Strawberry Mansion in the Strawberry Mansion section, and her family moved into the historical landmark. She is a 2005 graduate of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where she was a vocal music major.[2]

Sullivan began singing as a contralto in the children's choir, and later in the adult choir. Sullivan's exposure to secular music was initially limited.[3] At thirteen, she sang with Stevie Wonder at his grandson's birthday.[4]

At fifteen, Sullivan signed to Jive records. She recorded an album, which was never released, and she was eventually dropped from the label.[2] She maintained a working relationship with Missy Elliott, who produced a number of the tracks for her debut project, including the buzz single "Backstabbers"—produced by Timbaland and written by Elliott. While unsigned, Sullivan took songwriting into her own hands, and would later re-team with Elliott for her first two studio albums after being signed to J Records in 2007.[4]

Jazmine Sullivan's fathers name is Don and mothers is Pam. Her grandmothers name is Marie. She has cousins named Laila and Journey and nieces Madison, and Kennedy and their two brothers. Other family members are Tahirah, Chaq, Dorene, Kayla, Derrick, Dale and Rashida, amongst others.

Music career[edit]

Songwriting and career beginnings (2003–present)[edit]

Sullivan's first recorded appearance was a guest appearance on Kindred the Family Soul's song "I Am", as well as background vocals on the song "Party's Over", and the title track to their 2003 debut Surrender to Love.[5][6] Before releasing her début album, a song that Sullivan had written and recorded with producers Cool & Dre titled "Say I" was given to Dre's then-girlfriend Christina Milian for her third album, So Amazin'. The song became the lead single, peaking at #13 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as well as #21 on the Hot 100.[citation needed]

2008–2009: Fearless[edit]

Sullivan first appeared on the mainstream music scene with her debut single "Need U Bad", released in May 2008. The song, which featured additional vocals by Missy Elliott and Sandy "Pepa" Denton of Salt-n-Pepa, went to #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and peaked at #37 on the Hot 100.[citation needed]

Sullivan's debut album Fearless was released on September 23, 2008. She wrote every song and served as the album's executive producer alongside Missy Elliott, Salaam Remi and Peter Edge. The album received production from Elliott, Remi, Stargate, Carvin & Ivan, Jack Splash, and Fisticuffs. Fearless debuted at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and at #6 on the Billboard 200.[citation needed]

Sullivan followed her début single with the release of the second single from Fearless, "Bust Your Windows", which reached #4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #31 on the Hot 100, becoming her most successful single on that chart to date. "Bust Your Windows" appeared on the debut episode of the Fox hit television show Glee and was also nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Song. In 2014, Stevie Wonder claimed he considered "Bust Your Windows" a classic song.[7] "Lions, Tigers & Bears" was released as the album's third single in December 2008. It scored her third consecutive top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, reaching #10, and garnered some mainstream success by reaching #74 on the Hot 100.[citation needed]

Sullivan later pursued success in the UK when she released "Dream Big" as her first official UK single in February 2009, though it failed to chart there. The song was later released as the fourth US single from the album in April 2009, but also failed to chart there. The album's fifth and final single, "In Love with Another Man", was released in August 2009 and was only moderately successful by reaching #37 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. A sixth single, "Switch!", was set to be released in November 2009, though its release was later cancelled. The album received Gold certification by the RIAA, and has sold more than 510,000 copies in the United States so far.[citation needed]

Sullivan was featured on a song entitled "Smoking Gun" with Jadakiss on his 2009 album The Last Kiss. She was also a supporting act for R&B singer Maxwell on his highly successful 2008 U.S. tour and was the opening act for Ne-Yo's 2009 Year of the Gentleman Tour. She additionally appeared on Ace Hood's second album, Ruthless, on the song "Champion". She went on to headline a few dates with Ryan Leslie, before participating in the Essence Music Festival in June 2009. That same year, Sullivan appeared in commercials for Cotton Incorporated. Additionally, Sullivan made a guest appearance on Snoop Dogg's tenth studio album Malice n Wonderland on the song "Different Languages".

2009–11: Love Me Back[edit]

Sullivan began working on her second album, Love Me Back, in 2009.[8] Producers contributing to the album included Missy Elliott,[9] Lamb, Ne-Yo, Anthony Bell, Los da Mystro, Ryan Leslie, and Salaam Remi,[10] who was also a major contributor to Fearless. Songs recorded for the album include "Love You Long Time", "Don't Make Me Wait" (a tribute to Prince), "Redemption", "Excuse Me", "Good Enough", and the reported sequel to "Bust Your Windows" titled "You Get On My Nerves", which was co-written by Ne-Yo.[9]

The album was completed in June 2010 and released on November 30, 2010.[8] The album's lead single, "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)", was released on July 10, 2010. The song reached #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

The album's second single, "10 Seconds", was released to radio in late September, and peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song, originally set to be released on October 25, was ultimately released on November 22. The music video for the single was released on November 12.

In early December 2010, Billboard honoured Sullivan as the 'Rising Star' for 2010.[11]

2011–present: Return with new album Reality Show[edit]

In January 2011, Sullivan announced via Twitter that she was indefinitely leaving the music industry saying, "I promised myself when it wasn't fun anymore I wouldn't do it. And, here I am. I'm not saying I won't ever sing again in my life because I don't believe that. But in this moment… right now… [I] got some things to figure out".[12]

In 2014, she returned to music with the announcement of her new album, Reality Show. In an interview with Billboard, Sullivan described her return as inevitable, saying she "...can't escape [her] calling".[13] She based Reality Show on watching reality shows during her hiatus which inspired the namesake. The album consists of 14 songs, and features production from Key Wane and Salaam Remi.[13] The first official single is called "Dumb", featuring Meek Mill, and was released on May 12, 2014.

On January 13, 2015, Jazmine Sullivan released Reality Show to widespread critical acclaim, with the album reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B Albums and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[14] Reality Show sold 30,000 copies in its first week. Slant Magazine commented, "Despite what the rasp in her voice might suggest, Sullivan clearly sees herself as something other than R&B's next great queen of pain. Her central themes—love and self-image—don't stray far from genre convention, but her musical versatility and keenly observed characters make her one of the most captivating artists in R&B today."[15] The album has recently earned Sullivan three Grammy Award nominations for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album.[16]

In 2016, Sullivan was featured in the visual album "Endless" by Frank Ocean. Sullivan lent her vocals to four songs from the album: "Alabama", "Wither", "Hublots", and "Rushes".

In 2017, Sullivan was the lead writer for these four songs on Mary J. Blige's album Strength of a Woman, and sang backup vocals on the first three of them: "Thick of It", "Set Me Free", "Glow Up", and "Thank You." ("Strength of a Woman" album liner notes) In 2017, she in partnership with Bryson Tiller contributed "Insecure" to Issa Rae's HBO series of the same title.[17]




  • Insecure (with Bryson Tiller) (2017), RCA Records
  • Baltimore (2015), RCA Records
  • Mascara (2014), RCA Records
  • Forever Don't Last (2014), RCA Records
  • Dumb (2014), RCA Records
  • Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles) (2010), J Records
  • 10 Seconds (2010), J Records
  • Bust Your Windows (2009), RCA/JIVE Label Group
  • " Need You Bad" (2008), J Records
  • Dream Big (2009), J Record

Awards and nominations[edit]

Billboard Women in Music
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010 Jazmine Sullivan Rising Star Won
BET Awards
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2009 Jazmine Sullivan Best New Artist Nominated
Best Female R&B Artist Nominated
Centric Award Won
2015 "Dumb" (featuring Meek Mill) Centric Award Nominated
Grammy Award
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2009 Jazmine Sullivan Best New Artist Nominated
"Need U Bad" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
"In Love with Another Man" Best Traditional R&B Performance Nominated
"Bust Your Windows" Best R&B Song Nominated
Fearless Best Contemporary R&B Album Nominated
2010 "Lions, Tigers & Bears" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
Best R&B Song Nominated
2011 "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
2016 "Let It Burn" Best Traditional R&B Performance Nominated
Best R&B Song Nominated
Reality Show Best R&B Album Nominated
NAACP Image Awards
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2009 Jazmine Sullivan Outstanding New Artist Nominated
2016 Jazmine Sullivan Outstanding Female Artist Nominated
"Let It Burn" Outstanding Song Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2009 Jazmine Sullivan Best New Artist Nominated
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Lady Gaga
Billboard Rising Star Award
Succeeded by
Nicki Minaj
Preceded by
Jamie Foxx
ASCAP Best R&B Song
Succeeded by


  1. ^ DeLuca, Dan (2008-11-20). "All About Jazmine (In the Mix)". Blogs.phillynews.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived August 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Jazmine Sullivan performs "Accept What God Allows" on Apollo". YouTube. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jazmine Sullivan Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018
  5. ^ Iandoli, Kathy. "Jazmine Sullivan: More Than the Next Lauryn Hill". allhiphop.com. All Hip Hop. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  6. ^ Kindred The Family Soul - Surrender To Love (CD liner notes). Hidden Beach Recordings/Epic Records. EK 86491
  7. ^ Why is Jazmine Sullivan so Underrated? Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018
  8. ^ a b [2] Archived July 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b [3] Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Jazmine Sullivan Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018
  11. ^ Published Friday, Dec 3 2010, 20:17 GMT (2010-12-03). "Fergie named 'Billboard Woman Of The Year' - Showbiz News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-10-12.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Cline, Georgette (3 January 2011). "Jazmine Sullivan Announces Departure From Music Career". Theboombox.com. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Billboard/ Jazmine Sullivan Is 'Completely Finished' With 'Reality Show' Album; Talks 3-Year Hiatus: Exclusive". Billboard.com. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2014-05-30.
  14. ^ "Jazmine Sullivan's 'Reality Show' Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums'".
  15. ^ "Jazmine Sullivan Album Review'".
  16. ^ "2016 Grammys: Complete List of Nominees". E! Online. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  17. ^ Jazmine Sullivan Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018
  18. ^ Jazmine Sullivan at Spotify Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018

External links[edit]