Mark Morrison

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Mark Morrison
Born (1972-05-03) 3 May 1972 (age 49)
Hannover, West Germany[1]
OriginLeicester, England
Genres
Occupation(s)Singer - songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1993–present
Labels

Mark Morrison (born 3 May 1972) is a British R&B singer - songwriter. 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.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Hanover, West Germany, to Bajan parents, Morrison grew up in Highfields, Leicester, United Kingdom. He attended Rushey Mead School, before moving to Miami, United States. At the age of 19, he moved back to Britain.

Career[edit]

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.[2] 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.

Return of the Mack[edit]

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.[3] The following year, it was announced by Billboard that Morrison had signed a five-year worldwide deal with Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, making him the first, and only, European (British) artist to be signed with Death Row Records.[4]

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.[5]

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. Released on iTunes in 2020.[6]

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 3 June.[7] Also in June 2012, he announced the release of a new single titled "Ain't No Good". The single was set to be released 29 July 2013 and paid homage to the charity Refuge. The single was unsuccessful, and shelved before release. It would ultimately remain unreleased.[8]

In June 2013, Morrison released the music video[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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".

In July 2020, McDonald's featured "Return of the Mack" in a UK television commercial, as part of a post-COVID-19 lockdown promotional campaign to mark the resumption of services and the gradual reopening of restaurants.

In 2021, Morrison was featured alongside Chris Brown on G-Eazy's single "Provide", singing its intro, as it sampled his classic single "Return of the Mack".[12][13][14][15]

Legal issues[edit]

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 in jail just as his hit song "Return of the Mack" began rising up the US Billboard charts.[16][17] 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.[18][19] He was later cleared of the offensive weapon charge.[20]

He was convicted of affray for his part in a brawl resulting in one fatality and sentenced to community service.[17] 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.[17][21] While in prison, Morrison reportedly converted to Islam and attempted to change his name to Abdul Rahman.[22] Also in 1998, Morrison was banned from driving for six months and fined £1,380 after twice being caught driving without a licence.[23]

In 2002, Morrison was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and car theft.[24] He was released on bail but a policeman was later arrested on suspicion of taking a bribe from Morrison in return for his release.[24] Morrison failed to appear in court to face the charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest.[24]

In 2004, he was arrested and spent a night in custody, after a fracas in which a platinum and diamond medallion was snatched from around his neck during a confrontation at a Leicester nightclub.[25]

In 2009, Morrison was arrested for an assault in London.[26]

Personal life[edit]

In October 2020, Mark Morrison publicly stated that he will consider challenging Peter Soulsby to become the next Mayor of Leicester.[27]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CelebsNow (9 October 2016). "Whatever happened to… Mark Morrison?". CelebsNow. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Mark Morrison Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Official Charts Company – Mark Morrison And Connor Reeves – Best Friend". 23 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Death Row Heads To U.K." Billboard. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  5. ^ "love you too much – full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Sunday Shopping List – 14/01/07", BBC, 14 January 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2007
  7. ^ "Original TV Shows, Reality TV Shows". MTV. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Mark Morrison to release new single and album, embark on first worldwide tour", Music Week, 6 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012
  9. ^ Mark Morrison – I Am What I Am – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "I Am What I Am (Remixes) – EP". iTunes Store.
  11. ^ "Mark Morrison – N.A.N.G. 2.0 (feat. Crooked I & Shonie) – Single (2013) [iTunes]", Mryoung.net, 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013
  12. ^ Singles chart update
  13. ^ Republic World
  14. ^ GRM Daily
  15. ^ Revolt TV
  16. ^ Erlewine, Stephen. "Mark Morrison Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 25 May 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  17. ^ a b c Lister, David (1998) "In the news: Mark Morrison – Pop star takes the ultimate rap for a life of living dangerously", The Independent, 25 March 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  18. ^ "Mark Morrison Back In Custody After Jumping Bail", MTV, 18 March 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  19. ^ "SLAMMERTIME! MARK MORRISON IN WORMWOOD SCRUBS", NME, 23 February 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  20. ^ "Mark Morrison Not Guilty Of Offensive Weapon Charge", MTV, 27 March 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  21. ^ Heawood, Sophie (2006) "'I'm the most real black artist in England'", The Guardian, 8 March 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  22. ^ "Mark Morrison Changing Name", MTV, 28 October 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  23. ^ "MORRISON'S TROUBLES CONTINUE", NME, 24 February 1998. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  24. ^ a b c "MARK MORRISON DRAMA – POLICEMAN ARRESTED Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine", NME, 18 July 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  25. ^ Youngs, Ian (2004) "R&B star Mark Morrison arrested", BBC, 2 August 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  26. ^ "MORRISON FACING ASSAULT CHARGE AFTER ARREST", Daily Express, 12 June 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2010
  27. ^ Leicester Mercury

External links[edit]