Tristan Wilds

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Tristan Wilds
Wilds performing in Toronto in 2014.
Wilds performing in Toronto in 2014.
Background information
Birth nameTristan Paul Mack Wilds
Also known asMack Wilds
Born (1989-07-15) July 15, 1989 (age 33)
Staten Island, New York City
Occupation(s)Actor, singer-songwriter, record producer
Years active2005–present

Tristan Paul Mack Wilds is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and record producer, credited as Tristan Wilds as an actor and Mack Wilds as a recording artist.[1][2] He is known for his roles as Michael Lee on the HBO original drama series, The Wire, and as Dixon Wilson on the CW teen drama series, 90210. He was also featured in the Adele music video for "Hello". His debut album, New York: A Love Story was released on September 30, 2013[3][4] and was nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album at the Grammy Awards in 2014.[5] Wilds' second album, AfterHours was released on April 7, 2017.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Wilds was born and grew up in Staten Island, New York City. His mother, Monique Moncion, is of Afro-Dominican and Irish descent, and his father, Paul Wilds, is African-American.[7][8] His mother was first a beautician and then a stockbroker. Wilds attended and graduated from the Michael J. Petrides School in Staten Island.[5]

Acting career[edit]

His acting debut came in Miracle's Boys, a drama mini-series produced by Spike Lee on The N (now called TeenNick).[5] Wilds then made guest appearances on television shows such as Cold Case and Law & Order. The following year Wilds made his film debut in a bit-role in the independent drama film Half Nelson alongside Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling.[9]

Wilds appeared in such music videos "Roc Boys", "Teenage Love Affair" and "Ghetto Mindstate", among others.[10]

In 2006, Wilds joined the cast of the HBO drama television series, The Wire (then into its fourth season) in a major recurring role. He portrayed Michael Lee, a smart but troubled middle school student who lives in poverty and cares for his younger brother.[3][5][11]

In 2007, he appeared alongside Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, and Dakota Fanning in The Secret Life of Bees, the film adaptation of the novel of the same name.[7] Soon after his run on The Wire, he attended an acting workshop at the Roundabout Theatre Company where he worked alongside actress, Phylicia Rashad in productions of Stockholm Brooklyn and Wool at the Cherry Lane Theatre.[12]

In 2008, Wilds returned to television in The CW's teen drama series, 90210, a spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210. He played Dixon Wilson, a teenage boy who is adopted and moves with his family to Beverly Hills.[13] The show ran until 2013.[4] In March 2009, he secured a role in the George Lucas-produced war film Red Tails. The film follows the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American United States Army Air Force (USAAF) servicemen, during World War II. Wilds portrayed Ray "Ray Gun" Knight.[14] The film, which also starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Terrence Howard, was eventually released in January 2012 after numerous push-backs.[15]

In 2015, Wilds starred as Adele's love interest in the music video for her song, "Hello", directed by Xavier Dolan.[16] In early 2016, he starred in the VH1 television movie, The Breaks about the hip hop industry in the 1990s.[4] On the heels of its successful January TV movie premiere, VH1 greenlighted a full first season for the hip-hop drama, which started airing in 2017.[17] He also played Officer Beck, the Black officer at the center of the controversial shooting of a young white male in a racially charged town in the TV show Shots Fired.

Music career[edit]

Wilds met producer Salaam Remi in 2008 at the BMI Awards, which sparked Wilds' initial interest in becoming a music artist.[5] In 2010, Wilds signed a recording contract with independent record label, Ten2one. He released several singles, including "2 Girlz" which was featured on the fourth season of his TV show, 90210. The song Fall 4 Her was produced by Rico Love. Wilds' debut EP, Remember Remember, was released toward the end of 2011.[18][19]

Wilds began working with Salaam Remi on his debut studio album in 2012. He signed to Remi's Sony Music imprint, Louder than Life, that same year.[5] He released the first single off the album, "Own It," in June 2013. The album, New York: A Love Story, was released in September 2013.[10] It was well received by critics earning a Grammy nomination for the Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014. The album would lose to Rihanna's Unapologetic.[9]

In November 2015, Wilds released the first single, "Love in the 90z", off his second album that's being released sometime in 2016.[6][20] In March 2016, it was announced that Wilds had signed a management deal with Roc Nation.[21]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions




New York: A Love Story
  • Released: September 30, 2013
  • Label: Louder Than Life, Sony RED
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
179 28 15 36 7
  • Released: April 7, 2017
  • Label: The Ninety Five Percent, EMPIRE
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
46 15
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Heat
"Own It" 2013 35 18 New York: A Love Story
"Henny" 2014
"Love in the 90z" 2016 AfterHours
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of guest appearances
Title Year Other performer(s) Album
"Situationships" 2013 Fabolous, Tiara Thomas The Soul Tape 3
"Banned From Radio" 2014 Maino, Bodega Bamz, Chinx, Troy Ave, City Boy Dee
"Debut" DJ Prostyle
"Low" Mobb Deep The Infamous Mobb Deep
"Henny (Remix)" Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, French Montana
"All About You" Maino King of Brooklyn 2
"Bottle Girl (Remix)" Consequence, Blue Gem Movies on Demand 5
"Good Money" 2015 N.O.R.E., Troy Ave, Tweez, City Boy Dee Drinks
"Act Like That" Bridget Kelly
"50 Shots" Method Man, Streetlife, Cory Gunz The Meth Lab
"Troubled Times" 2016 Torae Entitled
"Money Dance II" J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Rick Ross, Camp Lo


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Half Nelson Jamal
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Zach Taylor
2012 Red Tails 2nd Lt. Ray "Ray Gun" Gannon
2020 Really Love Nick
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Miracle's Boys A.J. 3 episodes
2006–08 The Wire Michael Lee 22 episodes
2007 Cold Case Skill Jones (2002) Episode: ""8:03 AM"
2008 Law & Order Will Manning Episode: "Driven"
2008–13 90210 Dixon Wilson 111 episodes
2016 The Breaks DeeVee Television film
2016 Dinner in America with Brett Gelman Himself Television special
2017 The Breaks DeeVee 8 episodes
2017 Shots Fired Deputy Joshua Beck 10 episodes
2018 Dinner for Two[28] Chris Television film
2019 Tales Kayron Episode: "Deep Cover"
2022 Profiled: The Black Man [29] Host 4-Part Documentary
Music Video
Year Title Artist Director
2007 "Teenage Love Affair Alicia Keys Chris Robinson
2009 "Roc Boys" Jay-Z Chris Robinson
2011 "How To Love Lil Wayne Chris Robinson
2015 "Hello" Adele Xavier Dolan
Year Title Role Notes
2013 Black Actress Jared Smith Episode 5

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Black Reel Awards Breakthrough Performance The Secret Life of Bees Nominated
2019 Newark International Film Festival Best Actor in a Narrative Short[30] Fifteen Won


Year Award Category Work Result
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Star: Male 90210 Nominated
2010 Choice TV Actor Drama Nominated
2011 ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actor – Supporting Role Nominated
2012 Prism Award Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline – Substance Use Nominated
Male Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Nominated
2017 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special Shots Fired Nominated


Year Award Category Work Result
2014 Grammy Awards Best Urban Contemporary Album New York: A Love Story Nominated
BET Awards Best New Artist Mack Wilds Nominated
2017 Soul Train Music Awards Soul Train Certified Award Nominated


  1. ^ Iandoli, Kathy (July 30, 2013). "Tristan 'Mack' Wilds On His Move From Acting To Singing". NPR. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Lavallee, Andrew (September 25, 2013). "From Screen to Studio". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Jones, Tashara (January 3, 2016). "Tristan Wilds, Adele's ex from 'Hello', dishes on role in VH1 drama". New York Post. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hope, Clover (June 23, 2014). "VIBE Summer 2014 Cover Story: Mack Wilds". Vibe. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Harling, Danielle (January 4, 2016). "Mack Wilds Discusses Role In VH1's "The Breaks" & Plans For Sophomore Album". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Platt, Tevah (January 6, 2008). "Star of HBO's 'The Wire' is still an Islander at heart". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  7. ^ Hernandez, Lee (September 4, 2008). "Tristan Wilds: a Beverly Hills Dominican". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Harnick, Chris (October 23, 2015). "Adele's "Hello" Lover Is Tristan Wilds From 90210". E!. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Iandoli, Kathy (July 30, 2013). "Tristan 'Mack' Wilds On His Move From Acting To Singing". NPR. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Phull, Hardeep (September 14, 2013). "The Wire's' Tristan Wilds mixes it up with a new name and debut album". New York Post. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  11. ^ Vernon, Cheril (July 31, 2008). "Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson on the new 90210". Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "Tristan Wilds makes move to "90210"". Reuters. May 4, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  13. ^ Fernandez, Jay A. (March 19, 2009). "'90210' star joins 'Red Tails' film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Haque, Fahima (January 20, 2012). "'Red Tails' based on the Tuskegee Airmen opens Friday". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  15. ^ Case, Wesley (October 23, 2015). "'Wire' alum Tristan Wilds plays Adele's love interest in 'Hello' video". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  16. ^ VH1's 'The Breaks' to Become a Full Series; First Season Ordered,; accessed December 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Mack Wilds on Own it". Floss Magazine. October 19, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  18. ^ Burt, Sharelle A. (October 16, 2015). "7 actors that also topped the music charts". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  19. ^ Rathon, Rocko (November 24, 2015). "Mack Wilds Is Feeling Nostalgic On "Love In The 90z"". The Source. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  20. ^ "Mack Wilds Signs To Roc Nation". October 23, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  21. ^ -Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  23. ^ Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  24. ^ Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  25. ^ Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  26. ^ Staff. "Mack Wilds – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  27. ^ "Breaking News – TV One Announces the Production of "Dinner for Two," An Original Film Starring Tristan "Mack" Wilds and Chaley Rose". Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  28. ^ Jones, Tashara (February 11, 2022). "Why Tristan 'Mack' Wilds is hosting a docuseries on discovery". Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  29. ^ "Tristan Mack Wilds". IMDb. Retrieved September 20, 2021.

External links[edit]