Ray J Norwood
It’s been an 16 year rise to the top for singer, actor, TV presenter, entrepreneur and now reality TV star Ray J Norwood who has parlayed his daring and oftencontroversial profile into one of the most meteoric success stories in the history of the reality television genre. In it’s debut season on VH1, his new show For The Love Of Ray J rose quickly to #1 on the channel having broken records for original VH1 programming and often out rated shows on major networks. In fact, the show is such a big hit VH1 took the unprecedented step of migrating it to their sister station, MTV for simultaneous airings. In 2010 the success of For The Love Of Ray J spawned another hit Vh-1 series starring the entire Norwood clan, Brandy And Ray J: A Family Business that Ray J serves as the Creator, Executive Producer and Star. Alas, Ray J’s rise has been a 16 year quest to become his own man and prove his detractors wrong about his talent, his business acumen and his resilience. In 1993, while older sister Brandy was making her mark in the music arena, at age 12, Ray J nabbed the role of LJ on comedian Sinbad’s hit sitcom Sinbad. Always ahead of the curve, in 1997, Ray J released his first album, Ev’rything You Want (Elektra) and followed up with 2002’s This Ain’t a Game (Atlantic), which showcased Ray J’s trendsetting instincts, considering he was among the first to collaborate with legendary production duo The Neptunes. Ray J’s second album also featured the catchy and dynamic single “Wait A Minute,” an international club favorite and collaboration with superstar rapper Lil’ Kim. A few years later, Ray J continued to build his acting chops, making appearances on various television sitcoms, including co-starring on Moesha with sisterBrandy. Independent film roles followed but soon Ray J hit a career dry spell which caused him to recalibrate his career efforts toward his first true love – music – and offer the world a string of soul-stirring chart-topping hits. In 2005 with help from his family, Ray J founded and developed Knockout Entertainment, independently released his third album entitled Raydiation, and his career began to take off. Reemerging as an independent artist helped Ray J score his biggest hit single, “One Wish.” The galvanizing ballad, produced by mega-producer Rodney Jerkins, earned Ray J a BMI award and his first #1 single on the Billboard R&B charts, pushing Raydiation over the 400,000 sales mark – a phenomenal achievement for an independent release. Not one to rest on his laurels Ray J parlayed the success of his re-born music career into a multi-format presenter slot on a number of BET programs including top rated 106&Park. He simultaneously took on the starring role of Darrell ‘D-Mack’ McGinty in the newly re-vamped One On One TV series with co-star Kyla Pratt. This also meant Ray J had to become by coastal, flying from New York to Los Angeles every week to fulfill his commitments to both BET and One On One. All the shows he hosted at BET including BET Countdown.Com which he co-created and One On One enjoyed a substantial ratings boost with the addition of Ray J. In the spring of 2008, Ray J released his most successful album to date, All I Feel, a collection of ballads andup-tempo songs that showcase Ray J’s versatility, including the chart-topping “Sexy Can I” with newcomer Yung Berg. The single went triple platinum, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and became the fastest growing record in Koch Entertainment’s distribution history. # 1 on Billboard R&B chart and #1 on Billboard Independent Chart and All I Feel debuted # 7 on Billboard Hot 200 list. With a solid music career under his belt, In February 2009, proved that he couldcarry the television audience with his new smash #1 hit TV show – For The Love Of Ray J. The show was #1 for VH1 for the season ending in May 2009. It was the #1 top-rated show for all cable networks non- sports. In 2010 Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business debuted to stellar ratings for VH1 anchoring the network’s Sunday night programming block. The family reality show in which he stars with his parents Willie and Sonja Norwood and his superstar sister Brandy, chronicles their business and personal lives as a modern family striving to maximize their professional success while strengthening their family bond in the dynamic world of show business. Ray J currently is building his Knockout Entertainment label with newly signed rising star 15 year old Sahyba, and added a digital distribution to his label for unsigned artist. He’s currently working on his next album project and soon to add other reality TV shows to his created roster in 2012.