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Raphael Saadiq Biography

Home > Music > S > Saadiq, Raphael > Biography

Birth Name: Charles "Charlie" Ray Wiggins
Born: 1966/05/14
Birth Place: Oakland, California, United States
Years Active: 1983-present
Genres: R&B, Soul, Singer-songwriter, Rock, Hip Hop

Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins in Oakland, California; May 14, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Saadiq has been a standard bearer for R&B since his early days as a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! He also produced songs of such artists as Joss Stone, D'Angelo, TLC, Mary J. Blige and John Legend. He and D'Angelo were occasional members of The Ummah, a music production collective, composed of members Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and the late Jay Dee (also known as J Dilla) of the Detroit-based group Slum Village.

Saadiq began his professional career as the lead vocalist and bassist in the rhythm and blues and dance trio Tony! Toni! Toné! He used the name Raphael Wiggins while in Tony! Toni! Toné!, where he was joined by his brother Dwayne Wiggins, and his cousin Timothy Christian. In the mid-1990s, he adopted the last name Saadiq, which means "man of his word" in Arabic. Tony! Toni! Toné! became major R&B superstars throughout the late-1980s and 1990s. However, after the 1996 album “House of Music,” failed to duplicate previous success, Tony! Toni! Toné! went their separate ways.

In 1995, Saadiq had his biggest solo hit to date, when “Ask of You,” featured on the “Higher Learning” soundtrack, peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and at #2 on the R&B chart. In 1997, Saadiq hooked up with EPMD for the tune “Da Joint.” Two years later, he teamed up with Q-Tip for another minor hit, “Get Involved,” which was featured on the animated TV series “The PJs” and on its soundtrack.

In 1999, Saadiq's next big project became the R&B supergroup Lucy Pearl. He recorded the self-titled album with Dawn Robinson of En Vogue and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest. The group only released one album, their self-titled 2000 release.

He released his first solo album Instant Vintage in 2002 which reached #25 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album earned him his first Grammy nominations, for Best R&B Album, while “Be Here” was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2003.

In 2004, Saadiq released the album “Ray Ray” on his own record label Pookie Entertainment. It peaked at #86 on the Billboard 200, at #18 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #3 on the Top Independent Albums charts.

His third solo album, “The Way I See It,” was released on Columbia Records in 2008. The album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It garnered three Grammy nominations including Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Never Give You Up" featuring Stevie Wonder and CJ Hilton, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “Love That Girl” and Best R&B Album.

“Stone Rollin’” was released in 2011 and it debuted at #14 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Its single, “Good Man” reached #52 on the Billboard Hot 100.