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Shawn Emanuel

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Armed with a relentless determination but having no real connections in the industry, British R&B singer Shawn Emanuel single-handedly launched his career using the good old-fashioned art of persuasion and, of course, his talents. In 2003, while in his late teens, he simply approached the camp of Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and convinced them to incorporate him into their European tour. So, by the time R&B star Beyoncé and rapper Kanye West came rolling through the U.K. for their respective international tours, it was Emanuel who received the phone call to jump aboard for their concerts. Even at a very young age, he was always intrigued with music. Before attending primary school, he was caught several times on a small keyboard imitating Stevie Wonder. In addition, his father was a reggae artist who recorded under the name Dixie Peach for the London-based record label Jah Tubbys. During his teens, he cycled through a few boy bands before deciding to go solo. In fact, it was only within a few weeks of his last breakup that he went on tour with Rowland. Soon after sharing stages with major U.S. artists, he struck a five-album record deal with EMI/Capitol that he obtained through incessant phone calling and by compelling their recruiters to listen to his demo tape. His 2006 debut singles, "Slow It Down" and "U Better Believe It," were received very favorably, with the latter appearing in the U.K.'s Top 40 R&B chart. The hype surrounding this budding U.K. R&B star concurred with the 2007 release of his first album, Dreamworld, which mainly featured productions from Dan Carey (who produced for Australian pop singer and icon Kylie Minogue's resurgence during the 2000s). ~ Cyril Cordor



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