D'Angelo He began performing as a young child, and recorded his debut album, Brown Sugar, in 1995. Though sales were sluggish at first, the album was eventually a hit, in large part to "Lady," a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and helped kickstart the burgeoning nu soul singers of the 1990s (along with Maxwell, Erykah Badu and others). The album was a critical success as well, and appeared on many critics' "best of" lists for the year.
In the five year gap between Brown Sugar and the follow-up, D'Angelo appeared on several soundtracks, including Belly ("Devil's Pie"), frequently singing covers like "Girl You Need a Change of Mind" (Eddie Kendricks, Get on the Bus), "She's Always in My Hair" (Prince, Scream 2) and "Heaven Must Be Like This" (The Ohio Players, Down in the Delta), as well as appearing on Lauryn Hill's landmark The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
The much-delayed follow-up to Brown Sugar, Voodoo, was finally released in 2000. It debuted at #1 and went on to win 2 Grammy Awards, one for Best R&B Album, and the other for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance. The lead single was "Untitled (How Does It Feel)", a tribute to the legendary artist Prince. The song became a huge R&B hit buoyed by an innovative video feature a nude D'Angelo performing the song with no accompaniment or ornamentation. The video was nominated for 4 MTV Video Music Awards and currently ranks #44 in VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Videos. He also performed "Be Here" (with Raphael Saadiq) from Saadiq's album Instant Vintage.
D'Angelo has a son, Michael Jr., with fellow neo-soul singer Angie Stone, and a daughter, Imani, born in October 1999.
In 2002, Q magazine named him in their list of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die".
In January of 2005, D'Angelo was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to the DUI and marijuana charge and, on April 13, was given a fine and suspended sentence and his driver's license was revoked. On September 12, he received a three-year suspended sentence on the cocaine possession charge.
On September 19, 2005, just a week after being sentenced for cocaine possession, D'Angelo was critically injured in Powhatan County, Virginia when the SUV he was riding in hit a fence, ejecting him from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He has now been released from the hospital and is recovering at home from multiple rib injuries and bruises. A followup release to Voodoo has yet to see the light of day; however, in recent months, D'Angelo is said to be hard at work on a third album, tentatively titled James River. Should the album eventually be released, it will be issued under Clive Davis' J Records label, which acquired D'Angelo's contract from Virgin Records sometime in 2005.