Ginuwine Biography

Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, 15 October 1970 (1975 is also cited), Washington, DC, USA. Talented R&B performer Ginuwine began his musical apprenticeship at the age of 12, performing at parties and (illegally) at bars with his friends in the neighbourhood outfit, Finesse Five. From this he progressed to a solo act, which was initially built around impersonations of his childhood idol, Michael Jackson. Working on his education at the same time, he graduated from Princes Georges Community College with a paralegal degree. He met rookie producer Timbaland in New York, and the two recorded the unusual, synthesizer-infused R&B effort ‘The Pony’ together. The song attracted strong interest, and at the age of 21 Ginuwine chose to sign with the New York-based Sony subsidiary 550 Music. He enjoyed immediate success with the release of ‘Pony’ which reached number 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart, and number 6 on the Hot 100 chart. As a result his debut album, written and recorded with Timbaland, was assured of mainstream media attention, and reached number 45 on the album chart. To promote the set, Ginuwine set out on a national tour supporting Aaliyah, Dru Hill, Mary J. Blige and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. A string of crossover hit singles followed, including ‘Tell Me Do U Wanna’, ‘I’ll Do Anything/I’m Sorry’ and ‘Only When U R Lonely’. On the strength of his work with the singer, Timbaland went on to become one of the main forces in late 90s R&B.

Ginuwine made his acting debut in November 1998, appearing in the CBS series Martial Law. Another stand-out Timbaland track, March 1999’s ‘What’s So Different’ (which reached UK number 10), provided him with his strongest single to date. The US Top 10 album 100% Ginuwine was another showcase for his classy vocal skills and Timbaland’s inventive production, featuring the huge radio hit ‘So Anxious’. During the following two years, Ginuwine balanced shooting his movie debut with the recording of a new album, The Life. The single ‘Differences’ was a major US pop hit. In 2002 he made his big-screen debut in the basketball comedy Juwanna Mann. Both The Senior (2003) and Back II Da Basics (2005) were classy, mature collections which focused on ballads and mid-tempo songs.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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