Blu Cantrell was born Tiffany Cobb on March 16th, 1976 in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Cantrell’s parents split when she was still a child, and she was raised by her mother Susi, a jazz singer and former Mrs. Rhode Island, along with her five siblings, Adam, Tino, Nicky, Kelli, and Summer. Her interest in music started at a young age when she was taken to various clubs where her mother was performing because she could not afford to pay for a babysitter. After graduating from high school, Cantrell left Providence for New York City, where she began to pursue her own singing career at the age of 17. She spent the next few years recording demos, and singing backup vocals for established artists, most notably for Puff Daddy. Cantrell got her big break in early 2001 when Tricky, Tab and Laney Stewart of Red Zone Entertainment heard one of her demos after a chance meeting while visiting Atlanta. This started a bidding war, involving five record labels, which was won by Antonio "L.A." Reid, CEO of Arista Records. Reid advised Tab and Tricky to join Blu in the studio and begin work on her first release immediately.
In late July 2001, her debut album, So Blu, was released. The album debuted and peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and reached #5 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
So Blu's leadoff single "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)", which peaked at #2 on the Hot 100, became the most added record to radio in the country, breaking Elvis's record of most played on all genres of radio. The single also earned Cantrell Grammy Award nominations for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, and an American Music Award nomination for Favourite Soul/R&B New Artist in 2002. The singles "I'll Find a Way" and "Till I'm Gone" were also released. In August, 2001, the RIAA certified the album gold having sold 600,000 copies in the U.S.
Following the success of So Blu, Cantrell returned to the recording studio to work on her second album with an ensemble of producers including Dr. Dre, "Tricky" Stewart, Shep Crawford, Soulshock & Karlin, and Ivan Matias. The album, entitled Bittersweet, was released in July 2003 and peaked at #37 on the Billboard 200 chart in its opening week and entered the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #8 selling 29,000 units. The album includes guest appearances from artists such as Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot, Lady May, Fat Joe, Sean Paul, and Inner Circle's Ian Lewis. The leadoff single "Breathe" became a smash hit in Europe, spending four weeks at #1 in the United Kingdom, but only saw modest success in the United States peaking at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second and final single "Make Me Wanna Scream", featuring Reggae artist Ian Lewis, also saw success in the U.K. where it reached #24. Bittersweet did not share the domestic success of So Blu, selling only 228,000 copies in the U.S, but saw Cantrell earn a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album.
Blu Cantrell Discography
2001 So Blu
2001 "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)"
2001 "I'll Find a Way"
2002 "Till I'm Gone"
2003 "Breathe" (featuring Sean Paul)
2004 "Make Me Wanna Scream"(featuring Ian Lewis)
Blu Cantrell Trivia
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