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Olivia performing in 2007
|Birth name||Olivia Theresa Longott|
|Also known as||
February 15, 1981 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Jamaica, Queens, New York, U.S.|
Olivia Theresa Longott (born February 15, 1981 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.), professionally known as Olivia, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper and actress. She is best known for contributing vocals to 50 Cent's hit single "Candy Shop" and her debut album Olivia. She was also known as a regular cast member in the first three seasons (2011–13) of the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in New York City, Longott is of Indian, Cuban, Native American and Jamaican descent. She studied music at Bayside High School (New York City), in Queens and at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York . Olivia began her performing career in her teenage years.
After initially attempting to rap under the name "O-Lovely", Olivia chose to attend Hofstra University and Five Towns College to further her career in music. Olivia said people would frequently compare her voice to R&B singer Brandy. During her audition for American record producer Clive Davis, she sang the gospel hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow". Musician Joshua Thompson produced Olivia's demo, and arranged her audition for uArista Records executives and Davis. In an interview with Billboard, Olivia said she was signed to the label immediately after the meeting. J Records senior vice president Ron Gillyard described Olivia as "the real deal", emphasizing her roles as "a songwriter, a singer, and a rapper". At age 17, Olivia was the first artist signed to J Records by American record producer Clive Davis. Executives from the record company referred to her as "the First Lady of J". Olivia described herself as "the one chosen to flagship the label" since her single and album were one of the first projects released by the company. She defined her music as "R&B with a strong hip hop flava". The Morning Call's Righi reported the popularity of Olivia, along with R&B singer Aaliyah, reflecting that "the right attitude, hip-hop production and clothing—not to mention a body to die for" was considered more important in contemporary R&B than: "the plaintive human voice in the throes of transcendent ecstasy or bottomless hurt". She then parted ways with the label in 2002.
2004–2007: G-Unit era and Behind Closed Doors
In 2004, Olivia re-emerged as the first woman signed to G-Unit Records. She contributed vocals to the group's debut album Beg for Mercy and to 50 Cent's The Massacre, including the album's number-one single "Candy Shop". Her first solo single released via G-Unit Records was "Twist It", featuring fellow G-Unit member Lloyd Banks, followed up by "So Sexy" in summer 2005. Both songs failed to debut on the charts due to little promotion. Olivia briefly attended Hofstra University in New York and planned her second album, Behind Closed Doors, which was slated for a 2005 release on Interscope and G-Unit Records. Around the same time, Olivia contributed vocals to Shaggy's single "Wild 2nite". Olivia released her single, "Best Friend", featuring 50 Cent in 2006.
In 2007, it was announced Olivia and G-Unit had parted ways.
2009–2012: Show the World
In 2009, Olivia did a feature for Congolese singer Fally Ipupa on his song "Chaise Électrique". On April 12, 2011 she released her first music video for "December" the first single from her third album, Show the World. The song peaked at number 79 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In December 2011, she released her second single "Walk Away" and was seen filming scenes for the video. She was later cast as a member of VH1's Love & Hip Hop, on which she looked for a record label. After she declined a record deal from label EMI, it was expected that Longott would release music independently. In February 2012, she signed a deal with Jerry Wonda's Wonda Music. She later released a promotional single, "Soldier Girl", featuring Mavado.
2014–present: Right One for You
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In 2014, Longott released the single "Sun Don't Shine" featuring Sean Kingston. The same year, she released a book titled Release Me: My Life, My Words. In 2015, she announced her second studio album, Right One for You, which was later delayed for a release sometime in 2017. In early 2017, Longott premiered acoustic versions of her three singles "December", "Walk Away" and "Animal Attraction", which are planned to be included on her second extended play, Olivia Acoustics. Several of her recent songs are planned to be featured on her fourth album.
- Olivia (2001)
|2011–13||Love & Hip Hop: New York||Herself||Main role (Seasons 1–2)
Supporting role (Season 3)
- Olivia Speaks On Why She Really Left G-Unit!. YouTube. 3 November 2009.
- Ogunnaike, Lola (October 2005). Sole Sister. Vibe. Vibe Media Group. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved September 24, 2007.
- "Sole Sister". Vibe. October 2005. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016.
- Hall, Rashaun (March 28, 2001). "Patience Pays Off For J's Olivia". Archived from the original on March 31, 2016.
- namcgloster (May 31, 2011). "Pandora's Box: Mashonda Interviews Olivia Longott". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016.
- Reid, Shaheem (March 6, 2001). "Olivia 'Bizounce'-s up Chart, on Debut Album". Archived from the original on March 30, 2016.
- Longott, Olivia (July 1, 2014). Release Me: My Life, My Words. Urban Books. ISBN 978-1-60162-416-1.
- Perez, Jazmin (May 2001). "C'est chic". Archived from the original on March 31, 2016.
- Righi, Len (August 11, 2001). "Aaliyah and Olivia". Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
- "Olivia – Chart Search". Billboard. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
- HipHopDX (April 30, 2012). "Olivia Signs With Jerry Wonda's Wonda Music Label, New Album On The Way". HipHopDX.
- "New Music: Olivia f/ Sean Kingston – 'Sun Don't Shine'". Rap-Up.
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