Summer Walker

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Summer Walker
Summer Walker Toronto Nov 2019.jpg
Walker performing in 2019
Born
Summer Marjani Walker[1]

(1996-04-11) April 11, 1996 (age 26)
EducationNorth Springs High School[2]
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2017–present
PartnerLondon on da Track (2019–2021)
Children1
Musical career
GenresR&B[3]
Labels
Websitesummerwalkermusic.com

Summer Marjani Walker (born April 11, 1996)[1] is an American R&B singer. In 2017, they signed to Love Renaissance and Interscope Records. The following year, they released the mixtape Last Day of Summer, which spawned the single "Girls Need Love", that became their first top 40 entry on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart following a remix featuring Drake.[4] In October 2019, Walker released their debut studio album Over It, which spawned the US top 20 single "Playing Games".[5][6]

Over It was released to universal acclaim from music critics,[7] it also debuted at number-two on the Billboard 200 chart, breaking the record for the biggest streaming debut-week ever for a female R&B artist;[8] while also being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[9]

On November 5, 2021, they released their sophomore studio album Still Over It, which debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200. The album broke the record for most album streams in a single day by a female artist on Apple Music,[10] and broke their previous record for largest streaming debut-week for a female R&B artist; while they also tied with Taylor Swift as the only two female artists that have held 18 songs concurrently on the Billboard Hot 100.[11]

Their accolades include a Billboard Music Award, two Soul Train Music Awards, and a Grammy Award nomination.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2016 to 2018, they had a small cleaning business, and was also stripping in Atlanta before they taught themselves how to play the guitar by watching tutorials on YouTube. Soon after, they began performing covers, posting various videos of themselves to the platform.[12]

Musical career[edit]

2018–2019: Career beginnings and Last Day of Summer[edit]

Walker was discovered by a woman, who has the same name as them and works as the studio manager of an Atlanta-based label called Love Renaissance.[12] In 2017, they signed with this label and Interscope Records. On October 19, 2018, Walker released their debut commercial mixtape, titled Last Day of Summer, supported by the lead single, "Girls Need Love".[13] Walker's album contained their thoughts on love, doubt, and womanhood.[14] Towards the end of 2018, Walker went on tour with 6lack on the From East Atlanta With Love Tour.[15] Following the success of Walker's mixtape, Apple Music named Walker as its newest Up Next artist in 2019, and they became the number 8 R&B artist worldwide across the platform.[16] On January 25, 2019, Walker released their first EP titled Clear, consisting of four tracks of acoustic recordings.[17] On February 27, 2019, they released the remix to their song, "Girls Need Love", with Drake.[18]

2019–2020: Breakthrough and Over It[edit]

On August 23, 2019, Walker released a track, called "Playing Games" as the first official single for their debut studio album, titled Over It.[19] The song, which contains an interpolation of Destiny's Child's number-one hit "Say My Name", was produced by London on da Track. On September 12, Walker revealed that Over It would be released on October 4 via LVRN and Interscope Records.[20] Along with their album announcement, they shared the official artwork. Over It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 134,000 units in its first week. Its debut week marked the largest streaming week for an R&B album by a female artist, in terms of on-demand audio streams.[21] The album also topped the R&B Albums chart for 14 nonconsecutive weeks, and as of July 2020, has yet to chart below number 7.[22] Walker supported Over It with their accompanying The First and Last Tour, which kicked off on October 20.[23] Due to their social anxiety, Walker canceled the remaining 20 out of 29 dates on the tour committing to 9 of them.[24] On November 17, Walker won their first Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist, they later received backlash from fans for their short speech and was accused of faking their social anxiety.[25]

During early 2020, Walker collaborated with an American rapper 21 Savage on a song, titled "Secret". Walker also appeared on a remix for Justin Bieber's song Yummy. In April 2020, they was featured on Khalid's remix of "Eleven". On June 29, Walker announced the release of an EP, titled Life on Earth to be released on July 10. The announcement came a day after they performed "Session 32" and "Come Thru" with Usher at the 2020's BET Awards, where Walker was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.[26] Life on Earth debuted atop the Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart, becoming Walker's second number one. It also debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 becoming Walker's second top 10 project on the chart.[27] Two tracks from the EP charted on the "Billboard" Hot 100, "Let It Go", and "My Affection" featuring PartyNextDoor, at numbers 84 and 86, respectively.[28] "Come Thru" featuring Usher was certified platinum on August 20 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A few days later, on August 25, their song "Body" was certified gold, "Playing Games" was certified two-time platinum, and "Girls Need Love" was certified three-time platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), respectively.[29] On September 14, Walker was a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing "Body" from their debut album Over It. The performance received praise from music-critics and fans alike, with Rolling Stone describing the performance as "beatific". On October 14, Walker won the Billboard Music Award for the Best Female R&B Artist at the 2020's Billboard Music Awards beating out Beyoncé and Lizzo. It became Walker's first Billboard Music Award win from three nominations respectively. Walker was also nominated for Top R&B Artist and Top R&B Album for Over It. On November 23, they released a repackaged version of the Over It album, titled Over It (Complete Edition). The repackaged version of the album features all 18 songs from the standard version of the album plus additional instrumentals, a capella versions, live renditions and more. On December 10, Walker's debut song, "Session 32" was certified gold and their collaboration featuring Jhené Aiko, titled "I'll Kill You" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), respectively. On the Billboard 200 year-end chart of 2020, Over It was the second best performing R&B album of the year behind The Weeknd's After Hours and was the seventeenth best performing album overall.[30]

2021-present: Still Over It[edit]

On November 5, 2021, Walker released their second album Still Over It which has since broken the record for biggest R&B debut on the US albums chart since Beyoncé's album Lemonade. The album surpassed 166,000 units within the first week of release. On November 29, Walker and Ari Lennox performed the song "Unloyal" together at the 2021 Soul Train Music Awards.

The "No Love" extended remix featuring Cardi B was announced on March 21, 2022. On March 25, it was released along with a music video.[31] In May, Walker was featured on Kendrick Lamar's track "Purple Hearts" from the 2022 album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, for which Walker earned their first Grammy Award nomination.[32]

On September 28, 2022, Ciara released the single "Better Thangs", featuring Walker.[33] The official music video, directed by Mia Barnes, premiered online on September 30.[34]

Personal life[edit]

While teaching themselves guitar through YouTube tutorials, Walker worked as a stripper in an Atlanta strip club. In an interview with The Face they stated that the experience was "helping them grow out of their shell" and that it was "a fun experience".[35]

Walker has well over 23 tattoos as of 2019,[36] including face tattoos.[12]

In November 2020, Walker announced that they were expecting their first child, with then-boyfriend London on da Track.[37] Their daughter, Bubbles, was born in March 2021.[38][39] On June 25, 2022, Walker announced on Instagram Live that they were expecting their second child.[40]

Artistry[edit]

Walker has said that they draw inspiration from Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, and Erykah Badu.[41]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
Mixtapes and EPs

Tours[edit]

Headlining[edit]

  • The First and Last Tour (2019)[42]
  • The Summer Walker Series (2022)[43]

Awards and nominations[edit]

American Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020[44] Herself Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Nominated
"Playing Games" Favorite Soul/R&B Song Nominated
Over It Favorite Soul/R&B Album Nominated
2022[45] Herself Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Nominated
Still Over It Favorite R&B Album Nominated

BET Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020[46] Herself Best New Artist Nominated
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist Nominated
2021[47] Nominated
2022[48] Nominated
"Unloyal" BET Her Award Nominated

Billboard Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020[49] Herself Top R&B Artist Nominated
Top R&B Female Artist Won
Over It Top R&B Album Nominated
2022[50] Herself Top R&B Artist Nominated
Top R&B Female Artist Nominated
Still Over It Top R&B Album Nominated

Billboard Women in Music

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2022[51] Herself Chart Breaker Award Won

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2023[32] Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers Album of the Year (as featured artist and songwriter) Pending

iHeartRadio Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020[52] Herself Best New R&B Artist Won
R&B Artist of the Year Nominated
"Girls Need Love" (with Drake) R&B Song of the Year Nominated
2021[53] Herself R&B Artist of the Year Nominated
"Playing Games" R&B Song of the Year Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020[54][55] Herself Push Best New Artist Longlisted
"Eleven" (with Khalid) Best R&B Nominated

Soul Train Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2019[56] Herself Best New Artist Won
R&B/Soul Female Artist Nominated
"Girls Need Love (Remix)" Song of the Year Nominated
2020[57] "Come Thru" (with Usher) Nominated
Best Collaboration Nominated
Over It Album of the Year Won
Herself Best R&B/Soul Female Artist Nominated
"Playing Games" The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award Nominated

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "The Untold Truth of Summer Walker". Nickiswift.com. December 19, 2020.
  3. ^ Leight, Elias (November 4, 2021). "Summer Walker Is a Star. But they Signed a 'Brutal' Record Deal to Get There". RollingStone. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Johnson, Zoe (October 19, 2018). "Take A Walk With Summer Walker On The 'Last Day Of Summer'". Vibe. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  5. ^ @billboardcharts (October 14, 2019). ".@IAMSUMMERWALKER has eight songs on..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Songs: October 19, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Wicker, Jewel (October 1, 2019). "Chartbreaker: Summer Walker Readies Star-Studded New Album After Drake Co-Sign". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  8. ^ "Summer Walker's 'Over It' Earns Biggest Streaming Week Ever for an R&B Album by a Woman". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media, LLC.
  9. ^ White, Roman (May 9, 2020). "Summer Walker's 'Over It' Officially Goes Platinum".
  10. ^ Records, Interscope. "Summer Walker Shatters Apple Music Record For Most Album Streams In A Day By A Female-Identifying Artist Ever". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Zellner, Xander (November 16, 2021). "Summer Walker Ties Taylor Swift for This Billboard Hot 100 Record". Billboard. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "Summer Walker went from housekeeper to R&B it girl — and they're still a mystery". Los Angeles Times. October 21, 2019.
  13. ^ P., Milca (October 20, 2018). "Summer Walker Officially Arrives With "Last Day Of Summer" Project". HotNewHipHop.
  14. ^ "5 Times We Fell In Love With Summer Walker on Her 'Last Day of Summer' Debut". Ones to Watch. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "6LACK Announces World Tour Featuring Tierra Whack, Boogie & More". HotNewHipHop. August 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "Summer Walker Named the First Apple Music Up Next Artist of 2019". Broadway World. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  17. ^ P., Milca (January 26, 2019). "Summer Walker Shares Soulful "CLEAR" EP". HotNewHipHop.
  18. ^ Blistein, Jon (February 27, 2019). "Hear Drake Drop First New Verse of 2019 on Summer Walker's 'Girls Need Love' Remix". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
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  29. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA.
  30. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End". Billboard.
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  32. ^ a b Lee, Taila (November 15, 2022). "2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List". The Recording Academy. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  33. ^ Mier, Tomas (September 28, 2022). "Ciara Taps Summer Walker for 'Better Thangs,' a 'Feel-Good R&B Anthem'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  34. ^ "New Video: Ciara – 'Better Thangs' (ft. Summer Walker)". The Grapejuice. September 30, 2022. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  35. ^ "Summer Walker: 5 Things To Know About The Pregnant Singer Calling BF London On Da Track 'A Bum'". November 28, 2020.
  36. ^ @applemusic (January 28, 2019). "Some tattoo talk with @IAMSUMMERWALKER. Watch her #UpNext film now, only on Apple Music. apple.co/summerwalker" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "Summer Walker Is Pregnant With Her First Child". Essence. November 20, 2020.
  38. ^ "Summer Walker & London on da Track share first photos of their daughter's face". Capital XTRA. July 15, 2021.
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  48. ^ Carras, Christi (June 1, 2022). "Lil Nas X calls out 2022 BET Awards snub: 'An outstanding zero nominations again'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
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  50. ^ Grein, Paul (April 8, 2022). "The Weeknd & Doja Cat Lead 2022 Billboard Music Awards Finalists: Full List". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  51. ^ "Billboard Women In Music awards 2022: Summer Walker accepts the Chart Breaker Award". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  52. ^ Fields, Taylor (January 8, 2020). "2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees Revealed: See the Full List". iHeartRadio. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  53. ^ Fields, Taylor (May 27, 2021). "2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards: See The Full List Of Winners". iHeartRadio. Archived from the original on May 28, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  54. ^ Drake, Carolyn (July 23, 2020). "Doja Cat, Pop Smoke, And More Are Nominated For VMAs' Best New Artist". Uproxx. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
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  56. ^ "2019 Soul Train Awards". BET. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
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