Despite a musical career that‘s been marked by personal and public tragedies, Life Jennings still believes that his latest new album will be his last. The 37 year-old R&B star and father of three has decided that he needed to spend more time with his children. So with the releases of “I still Believe,” his fourth studio project that was released on Tuesday, August 31, Lyfe said good bye to his career. But to many of its fans and music insiders some will wonder if maybe the singer should not reconsider his decision.
“I Still believe,” which was originally titled, “Sooner or Later” was set to be released in 2009 but with Lyfe wanting to spend more time to make “I still Believe” his best album, the release date was pushed back to a late summer date.
“Busy,” the lead single that was released earlier this year, reached number 39 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts and “Statistics,” the second single from the album, which was produced by T-Minus was inspired by comedian Steve Harvey’s relationship-focused book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment.” The song and the music video were also released on June.
It was during his ten-year prison sentence for arson at the tender age of 19 and an inspirational copy of Erykah Badu, “Baduizm” that the singer gained his love of music back. Life was not always that dark for the Toledo native, while growing in Ohio, a young Lyfe started singing in his church choir, even forming a group with his brothers and cousins but it was really his time in a jail cell that made him realized that music was simply his only way out. So upon his release in 2002, he began seriously to pursuit his dreams spending his second day of freedom recording a four-song CD and the third day performing at a club.
In 2003, the singer continued his road to recovery by showcasing his talent to a nation-wide audience on “Showtime at The Apollo“ winning the amateur competition five times. During his successful time at the show, Lyfe started selling independently his EP’s “What Is Love” and “she Got Kids,” which garnered regular spins at local radio. He eventually sold thousands copies of both songs. To fulfill his dreams, Jennings moved to New York looking out for agents, promoters and record labels, thus prompting him to write and co-produced a song for a major label as well as making cameo in different music videos and being the opening act for major recording artists, including Nelly.
“Lyfe 268-192,” Lyfe’s prison number and debut album was released on June 2004, selling 1.1 million copies in the US. It was re-released a year later with two new remix tracks. After much success with his debut, Lyfe begin to work on his second album, “The Phoenix,” which featured the single S.E.X, but the project only sold 425,000 copies.
As for the “socially minded R&B singer” life goes on and the 13- tracks album will continue in the footsteps of his 2008’s “Lyfe Change.” So with his love of music Lyfe once again keeps on going and this time it is in style with the help of fellow artists Fabolous, Bobby V, Ludacris, Anthony Hamilton and Jazmine Sullivan that the artist he’s saying goodbye to his career. But for how long…?
Written by Valerie Varasse
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