15 November 1953, Natchez, Mississippi, USA. ONeal was one of the best-known soul crooners of the late 80s. In 1978, he joined Flyte Tyme with future producers Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis. The group (as Time) became the backing band for Prince, although ONeal was soon dismissed for insubordination. During the early 80s, he began a solo career as a vocalist, making his first recordings with Jam and Lewis producing in 1984. The resulting album was issued by the local Tabu label, and contained R&B hits with A Broken Heart Can Mend, Innocent (a duet with Cherrelle) and If You Were Here Tonight. The latter reached the UK Top 20 in 1986, after Cherrelles Saturday Love (which featured ONeal) had been an even bigger success there. His career was interrupted by treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, but ONeal broke through to the mainstream US audience in 1987/8 with his second album and the singles Fake, Criticize and Never Knew Love Like This, another collaboration with Cherrelle. He remained very popular in the UK with live performances (including a Princes Trust concert) and a BBC Television special, and Criticize reaching the Top 5.
When, in 1991, ONeal released his first album of new material for three years, it went straight into the UK Top 5. Jam and Lewis were again the producers. ONeals popularity steadily waned during the mid-to-late 90s, and by the time of 1996s Lovers Again (released in America in 1998) he was no longer working with Jam And Lewis. After an extended hiatus from the recording scene, ONeal returned in 2002 with Saga Of A Married Man.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.