|Birth name||Omari Ishmael Grandberry|
|Also known as||
|Born||November 12, 1984|
|Years active||1990, 1999–present|
Omari Ishmael Grandberry (born November 12, 1984), known as Omarion, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. He is best known as being the lead singer of R&B group B2K. Managed by Christopher B. Stokes, the group achieved success with hits like "Bump, Bump, Bump". After the group's disbandment, Omarion released his debut solo album O. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 spawning two hits, "O" and "Touch". Omarion received a Grammy nomination for the album at the 48th Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album. His second solo album, 21 (2006), which contained hits "Entourage" and "Ice Box". Omarion also ventured into acting, with appearances in films, You Got Served, Fat Albert, Somebody Help Me, The Proud Family Movie and Feel the Noise. His third album Ollusion was released January 12, 2010 with the lead single "I Get It In". He is now a new artist of Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label and is also a managed artist of Jay-Z's Roc Nation label.
Born in Inglewood, California, to Leslie Burrell and Trent Grandberry, Omarion is the oldest of seven children. At school he played on the football team and was also known for his quirky dance moves. Although he dropped out of school midway, Omarion began to perform at age five. Before he made it into the music business, he was in commercials for Kelloggs Corn Pops and McDonald's. He also made cameos in the R&B girl group Before Dark's music videos, before he embarked on a career in music. The smooth harmony singing that formed an integral part of the band B2K, helped him establish a solo career. His younger brother O'Ryan is also a singer.
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In 1999, while he was hosting a New Year's Eve party, music manager Chris Stokes, approached Omarion about joining a new band he was creating called B2K. Omarion agreed and was positioned as the lead singer. They named their group B2K (which meant Boys of the New Millennium) to represent the fact that they got together in the beginning of a new millennium. They had made a cameo in Lil' Bow Wow's video for "Ghetto Girls", and were the opening act on the Scream Tour. B2K broke into the US pop charts in late 2001 with the song "Uh Huh", a driven by more-dance-than-hip-hop beats and a hot delivery, contrasting from the usual material favored by boy bands. The group's debut album, B2K was released on March 12, 2002. The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs albums chart. Their debut album included follow-up singles including "Gots Ta Be", which managed to break the top 40 by charting at #34. The final single, "Why I Love You", was released in the spring, along with a music video that featured cameos from labelmate Jhené Aiko and Naya Rivera. Even though it had very little success on the Billboard 100, charting at #73, it broke the top 20 on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, charting at #19. Nevertheless, the group's debut album was certified gold in the summer. B2K also performed a concert special for Nickelodeon in July of that year. They were also featured in the magazines Word Up and Right On, along with other R&B artists. After performing on the Scream Tour II with Bow Wow, TG4 and IMx, B2K released a Christmas album titled Santa Hooked Me Up. That same month, the group released their fourth single, "Bump, Bump, Bump" which featured Bad Boy executive, P. Diddy, which was the lead single of their second album. Not long after that, B2K released their second album, Pandemonium! on December 10, 2002, and featured collaborations with P. Diddy, Makeba Riddick, Romeo of IMx, and Jhene. Pandemonium! debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200 and at number three on Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. The lead single, "Bump, Bump, Bump" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became the group's first top ten and number one single. The second single, "Girlfriend", was released in 2003, and broke the top 40 and the U.S. R&B top 20 by charting at #30 and #19, respectively. The single was promoted with a music video featuring Will Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Flex Alexander, and Omarion's then-girlfriend and actress Jennifer Freeman. The final single, "What A Girl Wants", had only minor success on the US R&B Songs Chart, charting at #47. They were featured on the Scream Tour III along with Bow Wow, Marques Houston, Nick Cannon, R.O.C., Jhené, and Mario. In 2003 all of the members filmed the movie You Got Served along with IMx members Marques Houston and Jerome Jones, TV host Steve Harvey and actresses Meagan Good and Jennifer Freeman. The movie stars Houston and Omarion as the lead members of a dance crew that compete in a competition, with the members of B2K as the rest of their crew members. The movie also spawned a soundtrack, which included the single "Badaboom", which featured rapper Fabolous and charted #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group also won a Kids' Choice Award in 2003 for Favorite Music group. Around the time the movie was released, manager Chris Stokes announced the group's split, claiming internal disagreements for the split.It's over.
On February 22, 2005, Omarion released his debut solo album O. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The first single from the album was "O". The single peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single "Touch", peaked at #94 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album received a third and final release with, "I'm Tryna", which failed to chart. O has sold over 758,000 copies in the United States since its release. Omarion received a Grammy nomination for the album at the 48th Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
On December 26, 2006 Omarion released his second album 21. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The first single from the album was "Entourage". The second single "Ice Box", produced by Timbaland, peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is Omarion's most successful solo single to date, reaching gold certification by the RIAA. 21 has sold over 390,000 copies in the United States since its release.
2007–09: Face Off
In late 2007, Omarion and Bow Wow recorded a collaboration album entitled Face Off. The album sold over 100,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell over 500,000 copies, reaching gold certification by the RIAA. The first single from the album was "Girlfriend", followed up by "Hey Baby" as the second single.
On March 30, 2009, Lil Wayne confirmed that Omarion was officially signed to Young Money Entertainment but only after four months he parted ways with the label, with both Lil Wayne and Omarion confirming he was out for business reasons. In early 2010, Omarion signed with EMI and created his own label, StarrWorld Entertainment. Omarion later re-released the single "I Get It In" with Lil Wayne replaced by Gucci Mane. Then he released his second single "Speedin'". He released his third studio album Ollusion, which sold 19,400 copies in its first week.
2011–present: New label and Sex Playlist
In early 2011, Omarion worked on his first mixtape presented by DJ Drama, titled The Awakening. Originally to be released on April 27, 2011, the mixtape was instead released on May 11, 2011. On May 2, 2012, Omarion signed with Rick Ross label Maybach Music Group and Warner Bros. Records. He then appeared on Self Made Vol. 2 and is set to release his debut EP through the labels. Also in 2012, Omarion signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation Management. On November 29, 2012, Omarion released his debut EP Care Package. On November 5, 2013 Omarion released his second EP Care Package 2.
In November 2014, Omarion released the lead single from his upcoming fourth studio album. The song, "Post to Be," features Chris Brown and Jhené Aiko. "Post to Be" gained substainatal commercial success, reaching No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. This makes "Post to Be" Omarion's second highest charting song. The song also peaked in the top ten on Urban Radio chart, Rhythmic chart, and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and reached gold status by the RIAA in May 2015. He released his fourth studio album, Sex Playlist, on December 2, 2014. In June 2015, Omarion released a new single called "I'm Up" featuring Kid Ink and French Montana.
In early 2004, Omarion appeared in several films, most notably You Got Served in which he starred alongside Marques Houston, as well as his former B2K band mates. The movie centered around a group of friends in a hip hop dance crew who take part in underground dance competitions. That same year, he played the role of the school bully "Reggie" in the comedy Fat Albert, based on the animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Towards the end of 2007, he displayed his acting skills in the thriller Somebody Help Me. This movie was released exclusively on DVD and aired on BET in celebration of Halloween. Omarion has also made several appearances in a number of TV shows, including One on One. Omarion also played the voice of Fifteen Cent in The Proud Family Movie. His portrayal of a rapper, who gets involved with thugs, in the movie Feel the Noise, received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. Omarion also co-produced Feel the Noise.
In 2010, Omarion became a judge on the fifth season of America's Best Dance Crew, replacing former judge Shane Sparks. He left after Season 5 to focus on his music career. In November 2011, Omarion was seen on set with Japanese star Koda Kumi. On December 6, 2011, it was revealed that he collaborated with the star on the song "Slow" for her 2012 album Japonesque and appeared in the music video. On August 18, 2014 Omarion was cast to be a part of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood along with his mother and girlfriend Apryl Jones while awaiting the arrival of the first child. In June 2015, Omarion stated in an interview that he wants to open his own dance studio by the end of the year.
- Studio albums
- Collaborative albums
- Face Off (2007) (with Bow Wow)
- Self Made Vol. 2 (2012) (with Maybach Music Group)
- Self Made Vol. 3 (2013) (with Maybach Music Group)
- Care Package (2012)
- Care Package 2 (2013)
Awards and nominations
- American Music Awards
- 2005, Favorite R&B Male Artist (Nominated)
- BET Awards
- 2005, Viewer's Choice Award: O (Winner)
- 2005, Best New Artist (Winner)
- Urban Music Awards
- 2007, Most Inspiring Act (Winner)
- Image Awards
- 2008, Outstanding Duo or Group w/ Bow Wow (Nominated)
- 2006, Outstanding New Artist (Nominated)
- MTV Movie Awards
- Teen Choice Awards
- 2004, Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male for: You Got Served (Nominated)
- 2005, Choice Music: Make-Out Song for: "O" (Nominated)
- 2005, Choice Music: R&B Artist (Nominated)
- 2005, Choice Music: R&B Track for: "Touch" (Nominated)
- 2008, Choice Music: R&B Track for: "Hey Baby (Jump Off)" w/ Bow Wow (Nominated)
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