By Ardain Isma Jr.Special to CSMS MagazineOmari Ishmael Grandberry, better known as Omarion, was the former lead singer of the male band B2K. He is now the teenage heartthrob to many women around the world. Omarion has touched the lives of many people with the sound of his voice and the words in his songs. At the tender age of 22, Omarion has already accomplished more in his life than many other people that are four times his senior in high school. As a young child, Omarion learned a lot about the music industry from his half brother Marques Houston. When a reporter or interviewer asked Omarion why he does music, he gave a blunt reply. “It’s not for the money, women, and free gifts from endorsement companies. I do it strictly for my mom and the love and the passion for my music. Omarion was born on November 12, 1984 in Inglewood, California. His mother gave birth to him at an early age. She was only 16. While he was growing up, his mother noticed he had an impeccable talent for singing. Omarion used to sing around the house all the time, constantly practicing on his vocals. Even though Omarion had good singing ability, he first wanted to focus on rapping. Omarion’s mother noticed that and told him it would be wise to stick with singing rather than with rapping. His mother told him singers usually have longevity in the music business over rappers because singers usually reach a wider audience then rappers.Once his mother gave him the advice, he quickly changed his motive to singing. Omarion began singing everyday at school, home, church and even in the shower. Omarion had great singing ability, but he never joined his high school chorus. One day when he was at home, his aunt and uncle came by to visit. Omarion’s uncle Chris was the manager for his half brother’s singing group Immature. Immature was already a successful singing group all around the world.Omari’s uncle was looking for another group. He had already found three other members, but he needed just one good lead singer to complete the quartet. Uncle Chris thought Omarion’s voice was just right for the group. Omarion agreed; and then he joined the group. The group name was B2K. The Members of the group consisted of Jarrell Houston, Dreux Pierre Frederic, Demario Thornton, and last but not least Omari Ishmael Grandberry. The group auditioned for record executives at Sony entertainment. The executives at Sony were floored by their audition and signed them on the pot. B2k was on their way to the top of the music charts in 2002. Their self-titled album B2K debuted at the top of the R&B and Hip Hop charts. Their follow up album in 2003 titled Pandemonium debuted at # 1 in the billboard charts. The album eventually went on to go double platinum in America alone. The group made a movie together in 2004 entitled “You Got Served.” The movie wasn’t critically acclaimed, but it was a success at the box office, debuting #1at the box office in Supper bowl weekend, which brow a world record in the Guinness Book of World Records.Shortly after the success of the movie and albums, the group quickly disbanded on unreasonable differences. Omarion stayed with his managers’ team and old label, while the others went their separate ways. Omarion released his solo album entitled “O” in 2005. The album debuted #1 in the Billboard 200. “O” eventually went on to sell over 500,000 copies and went Gold in the U.S alone. Just recently this month, Omarion finally released his long delayed and anticipated album “21”.Results for the album’s position on the charts haven’t been released yet as of now, but the album has already gotten strong reviews on music sites across the country. Critiques agree that Omari will have the #1 spot in the charts next week on the billboard.Also see Tyler Perry: A success storyand Robyn Rihanna Fenty: A shining starand Amerie M.M. Rogers: The R&B Princess
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