Miguel Jontel Pimentel
October 23, 1985
Miguel Jontel Pimentel (born October 23, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. Raised in San Pedro, California, he began pursuing a music career at age thirteen. After signing to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut studio album, All I Want Is You, in November 2010. Although it was underpromoted upon its release, the album became a sleeper hit and helped Miguel garner commercial standing.
After Jive's dissolution in 2011, he moved to RCA Records and released his second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream, in 2012 to critical acclaim. In June 2015, Miguel released his third album, Wildheart, which also received critical acclaim. His fourth studio album War & Leisure was released in 2017 to further acclaim. Miguel incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, pop, rock and electronic styles into his music, and has been compared to vocalists Babyface and Prince.
Miguel Jontel Pimentel was born on October 23, 1985, and raised in San Pedro, California. He is one of two sons of an African American mother and a Mexican American father. Miguel's parents divorced when he was eight years old. At a young age, Miguel was introduced to the older R&B his mother listened to, and his father's musical tastes, including funk, hip hop, jazz and classic rock.
In eleventh grade, Miguel was introduced by a friend to a member of the production company Drop Squad, and he subsequently spent the rest of high school learning his way around a recording studio before seeking a record deal. Miguel is also close high school friends with rapper Blu, who also lived in San Pedro.
2000–2006: Career beginnings
Miguel signed a production deal with Drop Squad in 2000. In 2004, he auditioned to be part of the group Fatty Koo, but their label, Columbia Records chose someone else to complete the sextet. Later in 2004, Miguel was signed by independent record label Black Ice and started working on his studio album, Young & Free. It was scheduled to be released on November 30, 2006, but was ultimately shelved. Black Ice released the single "Getcha Hands Up" with a video debut on 106 & Park, but Miguel decided to change his sound and image and walked away from Black Ice Records. He later said in an interview for LA Weekly, "We shot a video, and if you ever see it, you will laugh your ass off. I have a fitted hat on and a white T-shirt and baggy jeans. I was 19 years old and it was the first time anyone had ever given me money."
2007–2011: Signing and belated debut
For nearly a year, Miguel's manager at the time submitted several songs to music mogul Mark Pitts; after receiving a song titled "Sure Thing"—which Miguel described as a "highly personal ... record that no one was ever supposed to hear"—Pitts scheduled a meeting with Miguel in October 2007. The following month, Miguel signed a recording contract with Jive Records. Miguel recalled that the signing of his contract took place in a "very small room in a very small office in a small corner of the building at Jive". After being signed, he recorded his debut album All I Want Is You, but was sued by Black Ice for breach of contract. Consequently, his album was not released for two years. In 2007, Miguel also contributed vocals to three tracks on the debut collaborative project of Blu and Exile, Below the Heavens, appearing under the moniker "Miguel Jontel".
For the following three years, he contributed to Usher's Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond, as well as Asher Roth's Asleep in the Bread Aisle and Musiq Soulchild's "IfULeave". Miguel also released Mischief: The Mixtape; he explained that the title referred to his attempt to "[tell] people that there is an alternative to getting sort of the same thing".
After his protracted contract dispute with Black Ice was settled, All I Want Is You was released in November 2010. It initially performed poorly, debuting at number 109 on the Billboard 200 on 11,000 copies sold, and was underpromoted by Jive, amid the label's dissolution. The album's title track attained radio airplay, while Miguel toured as a supporting act for Trey Songz and Usher. Its following two singles, "Sure Thing" and "Quickie", performed well on the charts, After falling off the chart for three weeks, All I Want Is You became a sleeper hit, as it re-entered the Billboard 200 and climbed the chart for 22 weeks, before peaking at number 37 on May 14, 2011. It ultimately spent 45 weeks on the chart, and sold 404,000 copies in the US.
2012–2013: Label change, second album, and controversy
After Jive was shut down and absorbed by RCA Records, Miguel was moved to RCA, where Pitts was named president of urban music, and received a new marketing team. His second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream, was released on October 2, 2012, to critical acclaim. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 71,000 copies in its first week. As of February 2013, Kaleidoscope Dream has sold 322,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In February 2013, he released a politically driven video for the song "Candles in the Sun". The album's lead single "Adorn", which had been released on August 7, became a sleeper hit on urban radio. It was Miguel's second number-one single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and his highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 17. By September, the single had sold 190,000 copies. According to NPR's Audie Cornish, Miguel "broke through to a national audience in 2012" with both "Adorn" and Kaleidoscope Dream. The second single "Do You..." was released on September 18, and reached number 32 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. On March 3, 2013, "How Many Drinks?" was released as its third single. By February 20, Kaleidoscope Dream had charted for 20 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sold 321,400 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
In August 2013, the new single "#Beautiful" with Mariah Carey became Miguel's third million-seller in the US, following "Sure Thing" and "Adorn". During an energetic performance of "Adorn" at the Billboard Music Awards on May 19, Miguel failed in an attempt to leap across the stage, injuring two audience members in the process. Barely missing the stage, Miguel landed on two women, hooking his right leg over one and knocking the other into the stage. The incident, known as the "Miguel Leg Drop", became an immediate internet sensation and has been satirized in numerous internet memes and gifs. It has also been the subject of controversy, with the show's producers claiming that they had denied the singer permission to attempt the leap, while Miguel's representatives have countered that no objections were raised during earlier rehearsals.
2014–present: Wildheart, War & Leisure and Te Lo Dije
Miguel released his third studio album titled Wildheart on June 30, 2015. In December 2014, Miguel released a 3-track EP entitled NWA.HollywoodDreams.Coffee in promotion for the album. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Urban Contemporary Album, also "Coffee" was nominated for Best R&B Song. In 2016, Miguel released the single "Waves" that's been remixed by RAC and Tame Impala.
Miguel played a Cuban-American gangster in Ben Affleck's period crime drama Live by Night, which was released on December 25, 2016, He covered Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" for the theatrical trailers of Fifty Shades Darker (2017).
Miguel partnered with Revolve Impact and headlined the Schools Not Prisons tour, along with other musicians, to spread awareness of mass incarceration throughout California. His music video for "Now" was filmed in Adelanto, which is the location of California's largest immigration processing center, Adelanto Detention Center. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he expresses his advocacy on the corruption and abuse of the immigration system on detained immigrants, "to see innocent people being ripped from their way of life to essentially be incarcerated and used as cheap labor is really crazy to me."
Miguel sang a duet of "Remember Me" with Natalia Lafourcade on the soundtrack of Disney Pixar's movie Coco, which debuted in theaters in the US on November 22, 2017. He also performed the song live at the Oscars in 2018. In January 2019, Benny Blanco, Miguel, and Calvin Harris released a music video for the song "I Found You", in tandem with the While They Wait campaign, an initiative by Brooklyn Defender Services, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services and American Civil Liberties Union which raises awareness about the challenges immigrants face while waiting for asylum. In an interview with The Breakfast Club Power 105:1 it was revealed Miguel was working on a Latin album. In April 2019, Miguel released the Spanish EP Te Lo Dije. The EP peaked at number 11 on the Top Latin Albums chart, becoming his first chart entry there.
July 13, 2020 – Miguel began conversations with Twitter users on behalf of a GQ interview. He was asked when he would release a new album. Miguel personally replied physically on the social media platform and clarified verbally in the video to expect another, "project", by the end of the year. The term project may not be a sufficient exchange of a full release album. Or it may mean Miguel has begun collaborative performances with other Latin music artists again.
In April 2021, Miguel released his new EP Art Dealer Chic 4 via ByStorm and RCA Records.
Miguel identifies himself as part of the new wave of R&B artists that include Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Elle Varner. About.com editor Mark Edward Nero characterizes his music as "eclectic, artsy R&B-pop". Miguel cites musicians Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, Phil Collins, Donny Hathaway, The Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, Saul Williams, Queen, Usher and Pharrell Williams as influences in addition to expressing his admiration for Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and Diane Warren. Miguel revealed his desire to have worked with James Brown, whom he considers the "last innovator for me when it comes to soul". In addition to singing, Miguel also plays the guitar.
Miguel incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, rock and electronic styles into his music. Miguel described his sound as "nostalgic in a sense that it's familiar ... it's shocking, edgy, energizing". In an interview with Paper magazine, he regarded his music as "fly, funkadelic, intergalactic-hip-hop-meets-sexy-orgasmic crazy, dope shit". Miguel is often compared to Babyface and Prince. His vocals are influenced by classic rock bands such as The Beatles, Queen, The Police and Def Leppard. Brian McManus of The Village Voice writes that "Marvin Gaye, Prince, and (his comparison) Van Morrison all linger in his voice." In LA Weekly Salaam Remi states: "Miguel is letting his art rule his whole flow, and that's the best place for an artist to be. To me he kind of feels like Prince, where he's doing this eclectic blend but still coming back to focused songs." Speaking in 2021, media personality and culture critic Charlamagne tha God called Miguel "the greatest R&B singer of the past decade", adding that, "There's a lot of other brothers and sisters doing they thing man, but I'm just talkin' 'bout when it comes to like, that old OG traditional R&B that I love, you know. Jodeci type sh*t and you know, Dru Hill, Guy, 'Piece of My Love.' That soulful mmm! It's always been Miguel for me."
Miguel has been in a relationship with model Nazanin Mandi since 2005. In January 2016, it was announced that they were engaged. The couple married on November 24, 2018, at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, California. On September 27, 2021, Miguel and Mandi announced their separation. In February 2022, the couple called off their separation.
In 2017, Miguel was accused of sexual assault by Xian Bass, a fan of his music. Miguel denied the accusation, calling it "bizarre" and "twisted," as well as claiming that Bass' story of what transpired is not accurate.
- Live by Night (2016) as Esteban Suarez
- Detroit (2017) as Malcolm
- The Platinum Life (2017, TV Series) as Himself
- Fearless (2020) as Arcannis (voice)
- Jeddah, Birth Index, 1905–1985
- "Johnson&Jonson feat. Miguel Jontel as Jontel Johnson on TIDAL". Archived from the original on February 19, 2020.
- Nero, Mark Edward. "Album Review: Miguel – 'Kaleidoscope Dream'". About.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Jeffries, David. "Miguel – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- "New wave of neo-soul". Chicago Tribune. October 11, 2013. Archived from the original on August 22, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Miguel – Singer – Biography". Biography. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Carley, Brennan (August 22, 2012). "Frank Ocean, Miguel, and Holy Other Usher in PBR&B 2.0". Spin. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Check Out: six tracks from Miguel's "Kaleidoscope Dream"". Pretty Much Amazing. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- Rytlewski, Evan (October 9, 2012). "Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream". The A.V. Club. Chicago. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Graham, Nadine (March 24, 2011). "Q&A: Miguel". Soul Train. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Garraud, Tracy (August 2, 2010). "R&B Rude Boy". Vibe. Vibe Media Group. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- Wood, Mikael (October 11, 2012). "Miguel Finds His Place". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Kwateng, Danielle (June 24, 2010). "Interviews: Miguel Makes Beautiful Music". Madame Noire. pp. 1–3. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- Horne, Adam (June 7, 2010). "Miguel Builds Industry Buzz with Genre-Defying Sound". The Boombox. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- "Blu Says He Is "Biggest Hypocrite Since 2Pac," Talks Working With Rising Star Miguel". Hiphopwired.com. September 10, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "By The Numbers: Miguel's Kaleidoscope Dream". The Fader. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Mitchell, Gail (September 16, 2006). "An OK Place to Be". Billboard. Vol. 118, no. 37. p. 50. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- San Miguel, Celia. "Show & Prove". XXL. Harris Publications. Retrieved August 27, 2010.[dead link]
- Lipshutz, Jason (September 21, 2012). "Miguel's 'Kaleidoscope Dream': Inside The R&B Dynamo's Fresh Start". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Catarinella, Alex (August 19, 2010). "Less Is More". Paper. Paper Publishing Company. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- Concepcion, Mariel (September 17, 2010). "Miguel Calls Playing Eminem & Jay-Z's Stadium Show 'Unbelievable'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Blu & Exile Below the Heavens". Allmusic. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "Miguel (The Eclectric)". Right On!. Retrieved August 27, 2010.[dead link]
- Perry, Clayton (July 2, 2010). "Miguel Jontel: Singer, Songwriter and Producer". AllHipHop. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- McCarthy, Sean (October 19, 2012). "Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream". PopMatters. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Ramirez, Erika (June 10, 2011). "Chart Juice: Miguel Describes His Sound & Announces Next Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "All I Want Is You – Miguel". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- "Kaleidoscope Dream Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Caulfield, Keith (October 10, 2012). "Muse's 'The 2nd Law' Leads Seven Top 10 Debuts on Billboard 200". Billboard. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Langhorne, Cyrus (February 20, 2013). "Bruno Mars Leads The Way, Kendrick Lamar Exits Top 20, Frank Ocean Strikes Gold". Sohh.Com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Battan, Carrie (February 20, 2013). "Watch Miguel's Political "Candles in the Sun" Video". PitchforkMedia. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (November 11, 2012). "Miguel helps lead the charge for an edgier kind of R&B artist". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "Miguel – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Cornish, Audie (December 31, 2012). "Miguel: An 'Honest Introduction' To An R&B Star". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- "Do You – Single by Miguel". iTunes. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "Miguel – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Jonze, Tim (February 8, 2013). "Miguel: the slow-burn success of a new R&B superstar". The Guardian. London. The Guide section, p. 10. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Langhorne, Cyrus (February 20, 2013). "Bruno Mars Leads The Way, Kendrick Lamar Exits Top 20, Frank Ocean Strikes Gold". SOHH. Archived from the original on February 24, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Grein, Paul (July 31, 2013). "Week Ending July 28, 2013. Songs: Radio Hesitates On One Direction | Chart Watch – Yahoo! Music". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Miguel Lands on Fans in Dramatic Jump at Billboard Music Awards". Billboard. May 20, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "14 Examples of the Miguel Leg Drop Meme from Memes!". Funnyordie.com. May 20, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Miguel Practiced His Billboard Music Awards Jump Twice, Says Rep". Huffingtonpost.com. June 6, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Miguel Announces 'Wildheart' Release Date". Rap-Up. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
- "Instagram". Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- Murphy, Sarah (December 19, 2014). "Miguel 'nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee' (EP stream)". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- Miguel talks acting in new movie w/ Ben Affleck!. YouTube. November 9, 2015. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
- [dead link]
- "'Fifty Shades Darker' Trailer Features Miguel Covering Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love'". Billboard.com. September 13, 2016.
- Josephs, Brian (May 16, 2016). "Sia Announces U.S. Tour With Miguel and AlunaGeorge". Spin.com. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- "Miguel to headline immigrant advocacy #SchoolsNotPrisons festival in Adelanto". REVOLT TV. October 18, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- "R&B Singer Miguel Headlines Concert to Close Immigrant Prisons". California Endowment. November 2, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Reed, Ryan (December 1, 2017). "Watch Miguel's Stirring, Politically Charged 'Now' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Lamarre, Carl (November 3, 2017). "Miguel Announces New Album 'War & Leisure', Shares 'Told You So' Video". Billboard.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
- "Benny Blanco & Miguel's Powerful 'I Found You' Video Gives Refugee Fight a Face: Watch". Billboard.com. January 4, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- "Te Lo Dije – EP by Miguel on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. April 5, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- "Miguel Drops 'Art Dealer Chic 4' EP".
- Janneti, Cola (November 9, 2010). "Miguel: Evolving into Greatness". Singersroom. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Reid, Shaheem. "Miguel Hopes to Get on 'All I Want Is You' Partner J. Cole's Album". MTV News. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- Muhammad, Latifah (October 28, 2010). "Miguel Inspired by Kanye West's Honesty". The Boombox. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (November 16, 2010). "Newcomer Miguel ready for the spotlight with his 'eclec-tric' hybrid of R&B". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- "My Way: 10 Artists Usher Has Influenced". The Bet Honours. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- "Artist Influences for Miguel". MTV. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- "Interviews | Miguel Jontel: Indescribable Music". Singersroom. February 22, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- McManus, Brian (January 16, 2013). "Pazz & Jop: Miguel Is Living The Dream". The Village Voice. New York. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Marie, Erika (April 17, 2021). "Charlamagne tha God Names Miguel the 'Greatest R&B Singer of the Past Decade'". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
- "Miguel Talks Justin Bieber, Meditation & Liquid Courage for the GRAMMYs". Hot93.7. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
'I just started looking into Transcendental Meditation,' he said. 'A lot of people don't understand that voice in your head that is consistently going, or thinking. There is a way to take a break from that, and just kind of be in the moment. That is what that whole meditation is about. It's just brilliant.'
- "Miguel's Girlfriend Nazanin Mandi Is Hot, And I Would Not Recommend Instagram-Stalking Her". Pink is the New Blog. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
The truth about Nazanin is that she seems really sweet, and I like that she's been with Miguel since forever. How cute were they back in the day? This was their first date in 2005.
- Macon, Alexandra (November 27, 2018). "Miguel and His Longtime Love, Nazanin Mandi, Are Married—Inside Their Wedding at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in California . The couple split up in 2021". Vogue.com. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- Michaud, Sarah; Chiu, Melody (September 27, 2021). "Miguel and Nazanin Mandi Separate After 17 Years Together: We 'Wish Each Other Well'". People. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
- Kirkpatrick, Emily (February 16, 2022). "Miguel and Wife Nazanin Mandi Are Back Together After Announcing Separation". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
- "Miguel's War & Leisure and the Allegation We Forgot". Spin. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
- Wright, Tolly (December 12, 2017). "Miguel Responds to Sexual-Misconduct Allegation: 'Unfair And Unwarranted'". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2021.