Luke James (American singer)

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Luke James
Also known asLuke Boyd
BornNew Orleans, Louisiana
GenresR&B, neo soul, soul, PBR&B
OccupationsSinger–songwriter, dancer
InstrumentsVocals, piano, keyboards, guitar
Years active2006–present[1]
LabelsThe Island Def Jam Music Group, Def Jam, Mercury
Associated actsChris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, Justin Bieber, Brandy, Danja, Britney Spears, Keri Hilson
 
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Luke James
Also known asLuke Boyd
BornNew Orleans, Louisiana
GenresR&B, neo soul, soul, PBR&B
OccupationsSinger–songwriter, dancer
InstrumentsVocals, piano, keyboards, guitar
Years active2006–present[1]
LabelsThe Island Def Jam Music Group, Def Jam, Mercury
Associated actsChris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, Justin Bieber, Brandy, Danja, Britney Spears, Keri Hilson

Luke James is a Grammy–nominated American R&B singer–songwriter. He received a nomination for Best R&B Performance for his single, "I Want You" at the 55th Grammy Awards to be presented in February 2013.[2] James rode to claim as a member of the R&B duo Luke & Q (under the name Luke Boyd) with fellow member Quinten Spears. He is also notable for appearing as one of the dancers in the "Run the World (Girls)" music video by Beyoncé Knowles in 2011, with who she personally selected to appear in her video.[3]

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Early life

Early life and career beginnings

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, James had grew up on all kinds of music, particularly jazz. His love for music started by watching an episode of Showtime at the Apollo, where a contestant performed a cover version of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" (later made famous by Donny Hathaway). James recalls, "I got chills. And I get that feeling all over again whenever I think about that performance. At the time, I’d never said I wanted to be a singer; I just knew I wanted to entertain. And I’d never heard of Donny. But when my mother found her copy of one of his records, I knew then that I wanted to reach people that way."[3]

Growing up, James was inspired by several recording artists and musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Willie Nelson, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Alabama, among others. He credits his mother for introducing him to all kinds of music.[3] James later attended St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana with schoolmate, (and future OFWGKTA member) singer–songwriter Frank Ocean.[1] While in high school, he originally joined a musical trio named Upskale with his best friends Q and Tah for a brief period, it is where he would met his longtime manager, choreographer Frank Gatson.[1] After the trio's decision to split, and shorty after graduating from high school, he relocated to Los Angeles. Q and James both formed a duo called Luke and Q, and James would go under the stage name Luke Boyd.[1]

Shorty after forming Luke and Q, the duo was able to open for fellow R&B artist and actor Tyrese Gibson during one of his concerts. However, after the failure to garner both James and Spears much recognition, they decided to both part ways for good.

2007–present: Songwriting and breakthrough

After disbanding, James honed his skills as a songwriter, quickly hooked up with producer Danja, and began to craft hits for those in the pop, R&B and soul genres. He also worked alongside Tank. He began to co-write hits such as Chris Brown's "Crawl" for his critically and universally panned third album, Graffiti. In addition to writing for Brown, he also wrote (or co-wrote) hits for pop artists such as Justin Bieber ("That Should Be Me"), Britney Spears ("Kill the Lights") and Keri Hilson ("Do It"), just to name a few.

In 2011, James got his first recognition in the music industry when he appeared as a dancer in superstar Beyoncé Knowles's music video, "Run the World (Girls)". Shorty after that, he released his first single, entitled "I Want You", which received rave reviews for it's production and praised James' performance. The single earned James his first career Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance for "I Want You" at the 55th Grammy Awards in February 2013.[2]

References