Tank (American singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tank in 2014
Tank in 2014
Background information
Birth nameDurrell Artaze Babbs[1]
Also known asThe General
Born (1976-01-01) January 1, 1976 (age 47)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OriginBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
EducationCrossland High School
Zena Foster
(m. 2018)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
Years active1996–present
Formerly of

Durrell Artaze Babbs (born January 1, 1976),[2] better known by his stage name Tank, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, producer and actor. He is known for the singles "Maybe I Deserve" (2001), "Please Don't Go" (2007), 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 Baltimore, Maryland. He was a multisport athlete in 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 the latter's tours.[2] Tank also became a backing singer for Aaliyah, who he had met through Ginuwine in 1997.[5][6][7]

Tank later signed as an artist with Aaliyah's record label Blackground Records.

Music career[edit]

2001–2007: 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".[8][9] In 2002, Tank released his second album One Man and a single of the same name.[10] In 2002, Tank would later be featured on late R&B singer Aaliyah's first posthumous compilation album, I Care 4 U.

Tank released his third solo album, Sex, Love & Pain, in May 2007.[11] The lead single of the album was the minor hit "Please Don't Go", which peaked at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[9] Later in the year Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese Gibson formed a group called TGT.[12] The group was put on hold due to contractual issues, but would go on to sign a contract with Atlantic Records in September 2012.[13]

2010–2014: Now or Never, This Is How I Feel and Stronger[edit]

Tank released his fourth studio album, Now or Never, in December 2010.[14] Tank collaborated with artists who included Chris Brown, Drake, Letoya Luckett on this project.[15] The singles were "Sex Music", "I Can't Make You Love Me", and "Emergency".[15]

Tank released his fifth studio album, This Is How I Feel, in May 2012.[16] Tank collaborated with the artists Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, T.I. and Kris Stephens on the album.[16] The song "Compliments", featuring Kris Stephens and T.I., was released as the lead single in October 2011.[17]

On September 14, 2013, Tank sang the U.S. national anthem before the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saúl Álvarez fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.[18]

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.[19]

2015–present: Sex Love & Pain II, Savage and R&B Money[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.[20][21] In September 2017, Tank released his eighth studio album, Savage.[22] 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.[9]

On February 26, 2021, Tank released the single "Can't Let It Show" of which the chorus interpolates the 1989 Kate Bush single "This Woman's Work". Kate Bush is credited for the song alongside Tank.[23][24]

In August 2021, it was announced that Blackground Records would be rereleasing discographies of artists including Tank, Aaliyah, Toni Braxton and Timbaland & Magoo.[25][26] Tank's first three studio albums were reissued on CD, cassette, vinyl, digital download and for the first time, streaming, on September 17, 2021.

On October 29, 2021, Tank released "I Deserve" from his upcoming tenth and final album R&B Money.[27][28][29] The single reached the top 10 on the R&B Radio chart.[24]

Tank was nominated, for the first time, for an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, held on November 21, 2021. He lost to The Weeknd.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32][33]

Tank is also the father of three more children from previous relationships: Jordan, Ryen, and Durrell Jr.[34]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums



Year Title Role Notes
2006 It Ain't Easy Aaron Video
2008 KeAnthony: A Hustlaz Story Jay Short
2010 Preacher's Kid Devlin Mitchell
2014 Second Chance Christmas Daron Richard TV Movie
2015 November Rule Paul
2017 Illicit Perry
2018 Me, Myself, & Them Mr. Jones Short
2021 Seven Deadly Sins: Lust Trey TV Movie
The Delrhonda Hood Story Slim


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Soul Train Himself Episode: "Episode #32.7"
2007 Lyric Cafe Himself/Celebrity Poet Episode: "Episode #1.5"
2011 The Protector Randy Episode: "Spoon" & "Affairs"
2012 Single Ladies Joe Mason Episode: "No Ordinary Love"
2014 According to Him + Her Himself Recurring Guest
2015 Togetherness Officer Damon Recurring Cast: Season 1
2015–16 Born Again Virgin Donovan Recurring Cast
2017 Unsung Himself Episode: "Dave Hollister"
Lip Sync Battle Himself/Competitor Episode: "Soul Train Special"
The New Edition Story Jheryl Busby Episode: "Part 1-3"
Saints & Sinners Himself Recurring Cast: Season 2
Grown Folks Quincy Recurring Cast
2018 Hit the Floor Warren Matthews Recurring Cast: Season 4
The Bobby Brown Story Jheryl Busby Episode: "Part 1 & 2"
2019 Ridiculousness Himself Episode: "Tank"
2021 Black Love Himself Episode: "How Love Begins"
2022 Real Husbands of Hollywood Himself Episode: "Wedding Gone-A-Rye"
Celebrity Game Face Himself Episode: "Kevin's BFFs"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Category Result Ref.
2008 Sex, Love & Pain Best R&B Album Nominated [35]
"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 [36]
2014 Three Kings (with TGT) Best R&B Album Nominated [37]

Soul Train Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Category Result Ref.
2014 Himself Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Nominated [38]


  1. ^ "Durrell 'Tank' Babbs". IMDb.
  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 September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "Tank Bio". mtv.com. MTV. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "Tank Remembers Meeting Aaliyah: 'I Was So Caught Up In Looking at Her'". The Boombox. August 25, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  6. ^ Madusa, S (May 7, 2021). "Tank Recalls Providing Background Vocals For Aaliyah On "Come Over"". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  7. ^ "Tank – Being Aaliyah's Background Singer & What Made Her Special (247HH EXCL)". YouTube. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "Force Of Nature by Tank". iTunes. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Tank – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "One Man – Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  11. ^ "Sex Love & Pain – Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "R&B Supergroup TGT Splits Up". Billboard. December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank Make TGT Group Official". Rap-Up. October 4, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Now or Never – Tank". Allmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Now or Never (Deluxe Version) by Tank". iTunes. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "This Is How I Feel (Deluxe Version) by Tank". iTunes. May 8, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Watch: Tank Sings National Anthem at Mayweather vs Canelo Fight". Vibe. September 15, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "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. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  20. ^ "Tank Performed at D.C.'s Black LGBT Pride and Now The Internet Is at War". Bet.com. March 14, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  21. ^ @tysandsnyc (May 29, 2017). "So Tank really did do Pride" (Tweet). Retrieved October 3, 2017 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "Savage by Tank". iTunes. September 29, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  23. ^ "Tank Can't Let It Show". Apple Music. February 26, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Folk, Antwane (November 29, 2021). "Tank's 'I Deserve' Reaches Top 10 at R&B Radio". Rated RnB. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  25. ^ Brown, Preezy (August 5, 2001). "Blackground Records To Release Albums By Aaliyah, Timbaland & Magoo And More On Streaming Platforms". Vibe.com. Retrieved September 17, 2001.
  26. ^ Leight, Elias (September 16, 2021). "Tank on Finally Streaming His Back Catalog: 'Now People Will Know I Existed Before 2010'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  27. ^ "R&B MONEY by Tank". February 4, 2022.
  28. ^ ""I Deserve" hit single and video OUT NOW!!! LETS GOOOOOO!!! R&B MONEY!!". Twitter. October 29, 2021. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  29. ^ "Tank I Deserve (Single)". Spotify. October 29, 2021. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  30. ^ "@TheRealTank scored his career-first nomination at this year's #AMAs". Twitter. November 18, 2021. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  31. ^ "SR Gospel: LeToya, Tank Preacher's Kid In Theaters, Plus BMI Trailblazers". Singersroom.com. January 9, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  32. ^ Billboard (January 31, 2017). "Tank Proposes to Longtime Girlfriend". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  33. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. January 31, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  34. ^ Tank (June 20, 2015). "Father's Day Exclusive: Tank Pens Heartfelt Letters To His Five Kids". Essence.com. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  35. ^ "2008 Grammy Award Winners and Nominees". The New York Times. February 9, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  36. ^ "Grammy Awards 2011: Winners and nominees for 53rd Grammy Awards". Los Angeles Times. March 12, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  37. ^ "Grammys 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  38. ^ "Chris Brown & Beyonce Lead Soul Train Award Nominations". Billboard. October 13, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2016.

External links[edit]