About Anthony Hamilton
Some things, thankfully, never go out of style. Case in point: the bona fide soul of Anthony Hamilton.
That distinctive, six-time Grammy-nominated voice is back on “The Point of It All,” Hamilton’s third official studio album (So So Def/Zomba, November 18). Like “Comin’ From Where I’m From” (2003) and “Ain’t Nobody Worryin’” (2005) before it, this new album once again plays up the singer/songwriter’s natural talent: rich, soul-steeped vocals breathing sonorous life into emotion-packed lyrics. But this time around, you’ll find the former barber cutting up a little more than usual.
“I want fans to hear my growth,” says the Charlotte, North Carolina native. “But I also want to open up the ears of those who don’t know about Anthony Hamilton. I don’t always want to be known as the sad cat. I like to have a good time, too. I’ve taken fans to church and baptized them; there are those who say I’ve healed them with my music. Now we’re going to boogie in the name of the Lord.”
Attracting fans right from the start, Hamilton’s unique voice draws its soulful force and story-telling inspiration from such pioneers as Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Johnny Guitar Watson and Marvin Gaye. Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach, however, Hamilton paved his own road to fame. It’s a road that stretches back to Charlotte, where a 10-year-old Hamilton began singing in the local church before hitting the local nightclub and talent show circuits in his teens.
Later training as a barber, however, didn’t impede Hamilton’s musical pursuit. A 1993 trek to New York City resulted in his signing with Uptown Records, home at the time to Mary J. Blige and Jodeci. Thus began a six-label odyssey that tested Hamilton’s patience and perseverance. Rather than dwell on the negative, the singer honed his chops contributing background vocals on D’Angelo’s worldwide “Voodoo” tour and making guest appearances on songs by Eve, Xzibit and 2Pac.
Not just a fan favorite, Hamilton is also the go-to singer for other artists whether the medium is R&B/soul, gospel, hip-hop, pop or country. In addition to new albums by Young Jeezy (“The Recession”) and the Nappy Roots (“The Humdinger”), Hamilton guests on upcoming projects by Dr. Dre, T-Pain, Nat King Cole and Fonzworth Bentley.
Over the last three years, he has written and/or sung with a who’s who in music including Al Green, Josh Turner, Keyshia Cole, John Rich (Big & Rich), Santana and Mint Condition. A 2007 highlight was Hamilton’s cameo appearance in the Oscar-nominated film “American Gangster” starring Denzel Washington as well as his performance on the soundtrack’s lead song, the Diane Warren-penned “Do You Feel Me.”
“It’s pretty much the same rhythm, the same core, and that allows me to do a country song then bounce back to rap and then gospel,” says Hamilton of his effortless versatility. “At the end of the day, it’s what the heart and soul are saying; it’s what I’ve got to say to people. I enjoy it all.”
In addition to giving back through music, Hamilton participates in various national and local outreach initiatives including his own TASTE Foundation (Take a Step to Elevate). And while his future plans include writing and executive producing feature films, Hamilton remains committed to music. He and his vocalist wife Tarsha McMillian have established independent label Mister’s Music Recordings, whose roster includes Ashville, North Carolina rapper Ashes Clay.
“After all the ups and downs I’ve experienced,” says Hamilton, “I’ve still got the same jones.”
And that–bottom line–is “The Point of It All.”