|Born||3 May 1972|
Hannover, West Germany
Mark Morrison (born 3 May 1972) is a British R&B singer. His single, "Return of the Mack", became a No. 1 or Top 10 hit in several European countries in 1996. The song peaked at No. 2 in the United States the following year.
Born in Hannover, West Germany, to Bajan parents, he grew up in Highfields, Leicester, United Kingdom and attended Rushey Mead School (now Rushey Mead Academy), before moving to Miami, United States. At the age of 19, he moved back to Britain.
Mark Morrison's first official recording was the 1993 vinyl release, "Where Is Our Love", pressed on his own private Joe'Mel label.
In mid-1995, Morrison released his debut single, "Crazy", which became a Top 20 hit in the UK, and was a club favourite. The follow-up single, "Let's Get Down", also entered the Top 40. They were followed in the spring of 1996 by "Return of the Mack" which became a smash international hit, spending two weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart.
His debut album, also titled Return of the Mack, followed and became a multi-platinum success. It reached number four in the UK chart and sold 3 million albums worldwide. It spun off several more hit singles over the next year: "Crazy (Remix)", "Trippin'", "Horny", and "Moan & Groan" would all reach the UK Top 10, making him the first artist in British pop history to have five Top 10 hits from a debut album.
Although his career was going well, Morrison was constantly in trouble with the police. In 1997, he was imprisoned. The same year he received numerous nominations: four Brit Awards nominations, a Mercury Prize nomination, an MTV Europe Music Awards nomination, and five Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO) nominations. "Return of the Mack" began to climb its way to No. 2 on the American Billboard charts, receiving platinum status. It stayed on the Billboard charts for a lengthy 40 weeks. Morrison had one minor US hit, 1997's "Moan & Groan," which went to number 76.
Morrison performed at the 1997 Brit Awards. The performance influenced WEA and Morrison to release Only God Can Judge Me, a nine-track EP which contains live performances, interviews, prayers, and three full-length songs including "Who's The Mack!" which reached No. 13 in the UK.
Morrison has faced various criminal charges during his career including a 1997 conviction for attempting to bring a firearm aboard an airliner for which he served three months just as his hit song "Return of the Mack" began rising up the US Billboard charts. In 1998, he failed to appear in court on charges of possessing an offensive weapon, choosing to instead fly to Barbados. He was arrested and remanded into custody upon his return to the United Kingdom. He was later cleared of the offensive weapon charge. In 1999, there was an altercation with a local youth in Leicester city centre named later as Matthew Milnes in which an altercation escalated so seriously that the police had to use tear gas to bring the incident to a close.
In 1999, he was convicted of armed robbery for holding up an off licence.
He was convicted of affray for his part in a brawl resulting in one fatality and sentenced to community service. Morrison later was incarcerated in Wormwood Scrubs for a year for paying a lookalike (Gabriel Maferika) to perform his court-appointed community service in his stead, while Morrison himself went on tour. While in prison, Morrison reportedly converted to Islam and attempted to change his name to Abdul Rahman. Also in 1998, Morrison was banned from driving for six months and fined £1,380 after twice being caught driving without a licence.
In 2002, Morrison was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and car theft. He was released on bail but a policeman was later arrested on suspicion of taking a bribe from Morrison in return for his release. Morrison failed to appear in court to face the charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In 2009, Morrison was arrested for an assault in London.
Return of the Mack
Morrison appeared on the 1999 Brit Awards where he presented an award, introduced Whitney Houston and announced his return to music. In September 1999, a single titled "Best Friend" featuring Connor Reeves & Gabrielle became Morrison's ninth Top 40 hit single, reaching No. 23 on the UK Singles Chart. The following year, it was announced by Billboard that Morrison had signed a five-year worldwide deal with Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight, making him the first, and only, European (British) artist to be signed with Death Row Records.
He later signed to soccer player Kevin Campbell's 2 Wikid label in 2003. His only release for the label, a single entitled "Just a Man"/"Backstabbers", was a minor UK hit, reaching No. 48 in the UK Singles Chart in August 2004.
In May 2006, Morrison released the limited edition CD/DVD album entitled Innocent Man in the United Kingdom on his private label, Mack Life Records/Mona Records. The title track, "Innocent Man", featuring DMX was released in March 2006. It was well received and reached No. 46 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2007, he was featured on hip-hop artist Cassidy's single titled "Innocent (Misunderstood)" from the B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story album. The track sampled Morrison's vocals from "Innocent Man", and charted on Billboard's Bubbling Under Singles chart.
On 29 January 2007, he released the single titled "Dance 4 Me" featuring Tanya Stephens. It was the fourth single to be released from his album Innocent Man. The official music video was directed by Ray Kay. For unknown reasons, to this date the single remains unreleased and was removed from purchase shortly after release.
In 2012, Mark Morrison appeared as a guest feature on Houston rapper Trae tha Truth's "I'm on 2.0" which featured notable rappers Big K.R.I.T., Jadakiss, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B, Tyga, Gudda Gudda and Bun B. A music video for "I'm on 2.0" starring Morrison and all artists featured was released on June 3. Also in June 2012, he announced the release of a new single titled "Ain't No Good". The single was set to be released July 29, 2013 and paid homage to the charity Refuge. The single was unsuccessful, and shelved before release. It would ultimately remain unreleased.
In June 2013, Morrison released the music video to "I Am What I Am" shot by DIS Guise of Visionnaire Pictures, with the release date set for the single on iTunes of 1 September 2013. Despite being a fan-favourite, the single was shelved, and removed from purchase before its release.
On 20 October 2013, he released a single titled "N.A.N.G. 2.0" featuring Crooked I & Shonie.
On 7 July 2014, Morrison released an EP titled I Am What I Am. The EP included the singles "I Am What I Am" and "N.A.N.G. 2.0", with five additional new songs.
In May 2017, a series of Burger King commercials for "Mac and Cheetos" featured a remix of Morrison's classic, entitled "Return of the Mac and Cheetos".
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- Erlewine, Stephen. "Mark Morrison Biography". Allmusic. Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 25 May 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
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- Mark Morrison – I Am What I Am. YouTube.
- "I Am What I Am (Remixes) - EP". iTunes.
- "Mark Morrison – N.A.N.G. 2.0 (feat. Crooked I & Shonie) – Single (2013) [iTunes]", Mryoung.net, 24 November 2013, retrieved 24 November 2013