Lyfe Jennings performing "Cry" live at Howard Theatre
|Birth name||Chester Jermaine Jennings|
|Born||June 3, 1978|
|Origin||Toledo, Ohio, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, record producer, instrumentalist|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, piano|
|Labels||Sony Music Entertainment, RED Warner Bros. Records, Asylum Records, Universal Music / Fontana|
Chester Jermaine "Lyfe" Jennings (born June 3, 1978) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. He plays the guitar, bass, and piano which he integrates into his music. The New York Times referred to him as a "socially minded R&B singer".
Lyfe Jennings was born on June 3, 1978 in Toledo, Ohio to a working-class family and was the middle of five kids. As stated in "Ghetto Superman" and "More Than A Girl" from The Phoenix, Lyfe lost his father at a young age. When he was a teenager, Lyfe Jennings started to perform with the group called "The Dotsons". "The Dotsons" consisted of himself, his brother, and two cousins. In the beginning of the 90s, however, the band disbanded. During this time, Lyfe began to get into legal trouble and his musical career came to a halt when he was sent to prison at then age of 14.
In 2002, after serving 10 years in prison, Lyfe returned to his musical aspirations. Two days after his December 2002 release from prison, he recorded a four-song demo CD.After a month post release, he performed at the Apollo. He was booed as he walked onto the stage, but when the Apollo audience heard his gritty falsetto and lyrical songwriting, they were swayed to the tune of five amateur-night victories in a row. Lyfe sold about 1,000 copies of his four-song demo CD during his Apollo "residency." His growing success, influenced Lyfe to move to New York City and pursue a major-label deal. Columbia Records provided him with a contract and released his debut, Lyfe 268-192 in August 2004. A year after its original release, the album was reissued with a new version of "Hypothetically" added as bonus track featuring American Idol winner, Fantasia.
Lyfe released an more hip-hop-oriented follow-up The Phoenix arrived in August 2006, with Three 6 Mafia and Young Buck making guest appearances. Lyfe Change released in April 2008, featuring a handful of new production associates as well as a verse from T.I. Jennings. Subsequently, Lyfe accepted a new deal with Warner Bros. and began working on another album, tentatively titled Sooner or Later, which he stated would be his last. The album was finally released in August 2010 and featured guest spots from Bryan-Michael Cox, Warryn Campbell, Fabolous, Bobby Valentino, Ludacris, Anthony Hamilton, and Jazmine Sullivan. Lyfe completed another prison stint for his actions stemming from a 2008 domestic dispute.
He returned to music in October 2013 with Lucid, released on the Mass Appeal label. Like all of his previous studio releases, it peaked in the Top 10 of Billboard's R&B chart. Tree of Lyfe, recorded primarily in his home studio, followed in June 2015. On his new album, Tree of Lyfe, Lyfe Jennings describes it as his most personal work to date and produced the majority of the album at his home studio in Greenwood, Mississippi . When asked about his current musical mindset, Lyfe Jennings response is one of reflection and experience, "Everybody feels like they have to reinvent themselves. I don’t think you can reinvent the truth. It is what it is. I’m not focused on reinvention. I want to go deeper. This album reaffirms the reasons why people started loving this music in the first place."
His youngest son, Knoah Mendoza born January 2016, with ex-girlfriend, model India Mendoza.
Jennings has two more children, both born days apart in April 2018.
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, in October 2008 after arguing with Joy Bounds, he followed her to her family's house in Smyrna, Georgia. At the residence, he destroyed the door, fired shots in the street, and then led police on a 90 mph chase that ended when he crashed his 2005 Corvette. In September 2010 he was sentenced to three and a half years after he pleaded guilty to multiple charges arising from the incident.
- Studio albums
- 2004: Lyfe 268‒192
- 2006: The Phoenix
- 2008: Lyfe Change
- 2010: I Still Believe
- 2013: Lucid
- 2015: Tree of Lyfe
- 2019: 777
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- "Singer Lyfe Jennings Heads Back To Prison, Retires Via Twitter".