Will Downing

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Will Downing
Downing in 2019
Downing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameWilfred Downing
Born (1963-11-29) November 29, 1963 (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul, neo soul, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1986–present
LabelsPeak, Hip-O, GRP, Mercury, Motown, PolyGram, Island
Websitewww.willdowning.com

Wilfred "Will" Downing (born November 29, 1963)[1] is an American singer and songwriter.[2] He is married to singer Audrey Wheeler, who was a member of the R&B group Unlimited Touch.[1]

Biography[edit]

Downing enrolled in Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York. Alumni of the school include record label executives Clive Davis (who founded Arista Records), Kedar Massenburg (who later became president of Motown), Stephanie Mills and singer Barbra Streisand.[3] Downing, who eventually recorded for Motown, graduated with Massenburg in the class of 1981. Downing then attended college at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. In the mid-1980s, he moved back to New York City, and worked on albums by Jennifer Holliday, Kool & the Gang, Gerald Albright, Billy Ocean, Regina Belle, Rachelle Ferrell and Mica Paris. Later he sang with Arthur Baker's group, Wally 'Jump' Junior.[2] Downing then used Baker as a producer after he signed with Island Records.

In 1988, Downing signed a recording contract with 4th & Broadway Records, and his first solo album, Will Downing, was released that same year. His version of the John Coltrane piece, "A Love Supreme",[2] reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[4] Downing stayed with 4th & Broadway for just one album and switched to Island Records for his second release, Come Together As One (1989).[2] Switching labels to Mercury for his fourth outing, 1993's Love's the Place to Be, Downing scored his best-selling album to date with about 235,000 copies sold in the United States and over 300,000 copies in the UK.[5] He remained with Mercury for two more albums, Moods in 1995 and Invitation Only in 1997, both of which sold well.[2] All the Man You Need received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional R&B Album in 2000. The album included "When You Need Me", a duet single with Chante Moore.[6] In 2002, Downing received the International Association of African-American Music Diamond Award.[7]

In December 2006, Downing suffered from polymyositis.[2] Despite the debilitating aspects of the disease, he worked towards releasing a new album in 2010.[8] Love, Lust, & Lies: An Audio Novel was released in September that year.[2] Beyond performing, Downing is a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association. On tour, he conducts the charity bowling event, Strike Against Stroke, to raise funds towards awareness and education in the African American community, which is disproportionately affected. The American Heart Association recognized Downing for his efforts, honoring him as a Celebrity Ambassador. He is also a keen photographer, and self-published the 2005 coffee table book Unveiled Series I. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He has been married twice. He is currently married to his second wife. He has three children. His cousin is former Boyz II Men member and musician Michael McCary.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions Certifications / Note
US[9] R&B/
Hip-Hop
[10]
Jazz[11] Con.
Jazz
[12]
UK[13]
1988 Will Downing
  • Released: March 1988
  • Label: Island
20
1989 Come Together as One
  • Released: October 24, 1989
  • Label: Island
62 36
1991 A Dream Fulfilled
  • Released: March 5, 1991
  • Label: Island
22 43
1993 Love's the Place to Be
  • Released: August 3, 1993
  • Label: Mercury
166 24
1995 Moods
  • Released: November 7, 1995
  • Label: Mercury
139 23 3
1997 Invitation Only
  • Released: October 28, 1997
  • Label: Mercury
127 30
1998 Pleasures of the Night
(with Gerald Albright)
169 36 1
2000 All the Man You Need
  • Released: July 18, 2000
  • Label: Motown
100 25
2002 Sensual Journey
  • Released: May 7, 2002
  • Label: GRP
90 11 2
2003 Emotions
  • Released: October 14, 2003
  • Label: GRP
92 9 2 2
2004 Christmas, Love and You
  • Released: November 9, 2004
  • Label: GRP
40 4 3
2005 Soul Symphony
  • Released: October 5, 2005
  • Label: GRP
85 18
2007 After Tonight
  • Released: October 30, 2007
  • Label: Peak
37 1
2009 Classique
  • Released: June 16, 2009
  • Label: Peak
22 3
2010 Lust, Love & Lies (An Audio Novel)
  • Released: September 14, 2010
  • Label: Peak
42 11
2013 Silver
  • Released: February 8, 2013
  • Label: Sophisticated Soul / WD Productions
62
2014 Euphoria
  • Released: March 11, 2014
  • Label: Sophisticated Soul / WD Productions
40 3 2
2015 Chocolate Drops
  • Released: March 31, 2015
  • Label: Sophisticated Soul / WD Productions
9 2
  • R&B #22
2015 Black Pearls 10
2017 Soul Survivor
  • Released: September 22, 2017
  • Label: Shanachie
19
2018 'Promise
  • Released: November 30, 2018
  • Label: Shanachie

Compilations[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions Note
US
R&B
[10]
2002 Greatest Love Songs
  • Released: January 15, 2002
  • Label: Hip-O / Island
78
A Love Supreme – The Collection
  • Released: September 2, 2002 (UK)
  • Label: Spectrum
2006 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Will Downing
  • Released: June 6, 2006
  • Label: Hip-O / UMe
32
2014 Collection
  • Released: November 24, 2014
  • Label: Concord
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Dance
[15]
US R&B
[15]
UK
[16]
1988 "A Love Supreme" 4 77 14
"Sending Out an S.O.S" 45
"In My Dreams" 34
"Free" 48 58
1989 "Where Is the Love" 19
"Test of Time" 35 67
1990 "Come Together as One" 40 50 48
"Sometimes I Cry"
"Wishing on a Star"
1991 "I Try" 13
"The World Is a Ghetto" 83
"I Go Crazy" 37
"Something's Going On"
"Don't Make Me Wait"
1993 "There's No Living Without You" 57 67
1994 "Love's the Place to Be"
"Break Up to Make Up" 66
1995 "Just to Be with You" 98
"Sorry, I" 45
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Will Downing Page". Soulwalking.co.uk. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Wynn, Ron. "Will Downing - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  3. ^ [1] Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Will Downing - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "Downing, Will Study Guide & Homework Help". eNotes.com. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  6. ^ Billboard - 8 Jul 2000 - Page 24 "released first single "When You Need Me," a duet with MCA's Chante Moore"
  7. ^ "International Association of African-American Music". Iaaam.com. June 7, 2002. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Will Downing Will Power". Abilitymagazine.com. January 3, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Will Downing US Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Will Downing - TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "Will Downing - JAZZ ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  12. ^ "Will Downing - CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "UK Charts > Will Downing". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "British certifications – Will Downing". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 10, 2017. Type Will Downing in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  15. ^ a b "Will Downing Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  16. ^ "WILL DOWNING - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 5, 2020.

External links[edit]