Tank (American singer)

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Babbs in 2019
Babbs in 2019
Background information
Birth nameDurrell Artaze Babbs[1]
Also known asThe General
Born (1976-01-01) January 1, 1976 (age 45)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OriginWashington, D.C., U.S.
  • Singer
  • actor
  • songwriter
  • model
  • record producer
Years active1996–present
Associated acts

Durrell Artaze Babbs (born January 1, 1976),[2] better known by his stage name Tank, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. He is known for the singles "Maybe I Deserve" (2001), "Please Don't Go" (2006), and "When We" (2017). According to Billboard, Tank has sold 1.76 million albums in the U.S. as of 2013.[3]

Early life[edit]

Durrell Babbs was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin[4] and moved with his family as a child to Maryland. He was a multisport athlete at Crossland High School and was offered the opportunity to play college football.[2] However, Tank decided to focus on music and his talent eventually led him to an opportunity to sing background vocals for Ginuwine during one of Ginuwine's tours.[2]

Music career[edit]

2001–07: Force of Nature, One Man and Sex, Love & Pain[edit]

In 2001, Tank released his debut album Force of Nature which spawned the moderate hit Maybe I Deserve".[5][6] In 2002, Tank released his second album One Man and a single of the same name.[7]

Tank released his third solo album, Sex, Love & Pain, in May 2007.[8] The lead single of the album was the minor hit "Please Don't Go", which peaked at number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[6] Later in the year Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese Gibson formed a group called TGT.[9] The group was put on hold due to contractual issues, but would go on to sign a contract with Atlantic Records in September 2012.[10]

2010–14: Now or Never, This Is How I Feel and Stronger[edit]

Tank released his fourth studio album, Now or Never, in December 2010.[11] Tank collaborated with artists who included Chris Brown, Drake, Letoya Luckett on this project.[12] The singles were "Sex Music", "I Can't Make You Love Me", and "Emergency".[12]

Tank released his fifth studio album, This Is How I Feel, in May 2012.[13] Tank collaborated with the artists Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, T.I. and Kris Stephens on the album.[13] The song "Compliments", featuring Kris Stephens and T.I., was released as the lead single in October 2011.[14]

On September 14, 2013, Tank sang the U.S. national anthem before the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saúl Álvarez fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.[15]

His sixth studio album Stronger was released in August 2014. It featured the singles "You're My Star" and the title track. They did not make the US Hot 100 but both peaked in the Top 20 of the US Urban AC chart. The album marked a slight departure from his previous releases, focusing on a "retro R&B sound" for the album. Following disappointing sales of the release, Tank had claimed the album would be his last.[16]

2015–present: Sex Love & Pain II and Savage[edit]

In February 2015, a mixtape album, If You Were Mine, was released. Later that year, Tank premiered a new single, "You Don't Know", featuring Wale. It served as the lead single for his seventh studio album Sex Love & Pain II, released in January 2016. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart (marking his 5th album to do so) and #15 on the US Top 200 Albums chart. A second single "#BDAY" followed later that year, in addition to a holiday EP A Classic Christmas Night in December, released independently.

In May 2017, Tank performed at Washington DC's Black Gay Pride event, garnering both praise and criticism and setting off a debate concerning the rare instances male R&B artists perform at LGBT events.[17][18] In September 2017, Tank released his eighth studio album, Savage.[19] The album's lead single "When We", has peaked at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. In October 2019, Tank released his ninth studio album ELEVATION. He then released a piano-laced EP titled While You Wait on March 27, 2020.[6]

Other ventures[edit]

Writing and producing[edit]

Tank's songwriting and production credits include working with Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Dave Hollister, Fantasia Barrino, Kelly Rowland, Marques Houston, Omarion, Jamie Foxx, Pitbull, Donell Jones and Monica[4] as a member of the production team The Underdogs and with his own team, Song Dynasty.


He was a contributor to the score of the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, in which he had a cameo. He was also featured in the movie Preacher's Kid.[20] Tank played Donovan in Born Again Virgin (2015-2016). He also played recording company executive Jheryl Busby in the BET miniseries The New Edition Story (2017), The Bobby Brown Story (2018) and T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle (2018).

Personal life[edit]

He got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Zena Foster on January 16, 2017. They've been together on and off since 2000 and share two children, Zion and Zoey. They were married in Los Angeles, California, on July 22, 2018. There were several celebrities in the ceremony, including Kelly Rowland, Jamie Foxx, Larenz Tate, Letoya Luckett, Steelo Brim and many more.[21][22]

Tank is also the father of three more children from previous relationships: Jordan, Ryen, and Durrell Jr.[23]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Category Result Ref.
2008 Sex, Love & Pain Best R&B Album Nominated [24]
"Please Don't Go" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
2011 Take My Time (with Chris Brown) Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated [25]
2014 Three Kings (with TGT) Best R&B Album Nominated [26]

Soul Train Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Category Result Ref.
2014 Himself Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Nominated [27]


  1. ^ "Durrell 'Tank' Babbs".
  2. ^ a b c Nero, Mark Edward. "Tank: Bodybuilding R&B Singer". about.com. About Entertainment. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  3. ^ Ramirez, Rauly (August 29, 2013). "TGT's 'Three Kings' Debuts at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "Tank Bio". mtv.com. MTV. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "Force Of Nature by Tank". iTunes. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Tank - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "One Man - Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "Sex Love & Pain - Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  9. ^ "R&B Supergroup TGT Splits Up". Billboard. December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank Make TGT Group Official". Rap-Up. October 4, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  11. ^ "Now or Never - Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Now or Never (Deluxe Version) by Tank". iTunes. 13 December 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "This Is How I Feel (Deluxe Version) by Tank". iTunes. 8 May 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Tank 'This Is How I Feel' LP: Singer 'Believes In' Chris Brown, Talks Busta Rhymes' 'Fire Alarm' Phone Call". The Boombox. April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Watch: Tank Sings National Anthem at Mayweather vs Canelo Fight". Vibe. September 15, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "Weigh In: R&B Crooner Tank Slams Fans/Music Industry For Not Supporting R&B In Fiery Instagram Rant - That Grape Juice.net - Thirsty?". That Grape Juice.net. 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  17. ^ "Tank Performed at D.C.'s Black LGBT Pride and Now The Internet Is at War". Bet.com. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  18. ^ @tysandsnyc (May 29, 2017). "So Tank really did do Pride" (Tweet). Retrieved October 3, 2017 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Savage by Tank". iTunes. 29 September 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  20. ^ "SR Gospel: LeToya, Tank Preacher's Kid In Theaters, Plus BMI Trailblazers". Singersroom.com. January 9, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Billboard (2017-01-31). "Tank Proposes to Longtime Girlfriend". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  22. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  23. ^ Tank (2015-06-20). "Father's Day Exclusive: Tank Pens Heartfelt Letters To His Five Kids". Essence.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  24. ^ "2008 Grammy Award Winners and Nominees". The New York Times. February 9, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  25. ^ "Grammy Awards 2011: Winners and nominees for 53rd Grammy Awards". Los Angeles Times. 12 March 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  26. ^ "Grammys 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". Los Angeles Times. 7 December 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  27. ^ "Chris Brown & Beyonce Lead Soul Train Award Nominations". Billboard. October 13, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2016.

External links[edit]