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Get To Know Gregory Porter, An American Singer, Songwriter And Actor

Gregory Porter

 

Gregory Porter, a jazz baritone and composer, was born on November 4, 1971, in Sacramento, California, to Memphis, Tennessee, native Rufus Porter and Shreveport, Louisiana, minister Ruth Porter. He and his seven siblings, however, were raised in Bakersfield, California. Porter learned to sing at a young age from his father.

He received a full athletic scholarship to San Diego State University after graduating from Highland High School in Bakersfield in 1989. His shoulder was injured during his junior year (1992), cutting his planned football career short.

In 2004, he relocated to Brooklyn, New York, to work as a chef in his brother’s Bedford-Stuyvesant cafe during the day and as a jazz singer at night. Porter married Victoria Stepanov, a visual artist from Moscow, Russia, in 2005. Demyan and Josie are their two children.

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Porter started wearing a Kangol Summer Spitfire flat cap in 2012, with a modified strap that covers his ears and chin. He started wearing the cap due to recent skin surgery, but he now wears it because his fans recognize him with that look.

Porter released several albums on the Motéma label, the first of which came after his 40th birthday. Water, his 2010 album, debuted at number 40 on the Billboard Album chart and remained there for two weeks. It received a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Vocal Album” at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. He released Be Good in 2012, which peaked at number six and stayed on the charts for 75 weeks.

Hey Laura was nominated for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in 2013. Liquid Spirit, his second album that year, debuted at number one and remained there for 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 200. It sold over a million copies and was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.”

Furthermore, Be My Monster Love with the David Murray Infinity Quartet, which featured Macy Gray and Porter singing duets, peaked at number 47 on the album chart. At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, it received the Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Vocal Album” in 2014. Issues of Life: Features and Remixes, his final album released in 2014, peaked at number 36 and remained there for two weeks. Porter also received the ASCAP Foundation Jazz Vanguard Award in 2014.

Take Me to the Alley by Porter peaked at number one in 2016 and remained on the charts for 75 weeks. Porter had become an international star by that point, performing in both the United Kingdom and Norway. Nat King Cole & Me by Porter was released in 2017. It peaked at number one and remained on the charts for 26 weeks. In 2019, Porter released One Night Only: Live At The Royal Albert Hall in London, which peaked at number nine and stayed on the charts for four weeks. His most recent studio album, All Rise, was released in 2020. This work received a Grammy nomination for “Best R&B Album” at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Porter lost his brother, Lloyd Cornelius Porter, to COVID-19 complications on May 6, 2020.

 

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Written by How Africa News

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