The soul of a man can be described in many parts. It can describe his tenacity to stay true to his craft, it will illustrate his passion, and it will ultimately define his essence; the musical legacy of Calvin Richardson will prove why he is noted as “The Prince of Soul.”
Emerging as the fifth child out of nine, Richardson grew up in the Bible belt, Monroe, North Carolina where he got his musical foundation in Gospel. As a youth he sang alongside his mother who was a part of a successful local Gospel ensemble The Willing Wonders. Adding to his musical diet Richardson got his fair share of R&B/soul servings from the likes of Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding to Donny Hathaway.
While making his rounds on the Gospel circuit Richardson became acquainted with Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and Joel “Jo Jo” Hailey, who went on to form the 90s top charting R&B group Jodeci. Motivated by the success of his friends, he formed his own R&B group Undacova. Richardson and his group came to the national forefront contributing to the soundtrack of the mid 90s urban cult classic film, New Jersey Drive alongside Outkast, Total with Notorious BIG, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly to Heavy D & the Boyz with the mid-tempo groove “Love Slave.”
Spring boarding his career as a solo artist after Undacova disbanded Richardson emerged in 1999 with the release of his debut solo effort ‘Country Boy’ via Uptown/Universal Records. The album’s lead singles included “True Love” featuring Chico DeBarge and “I’ll Take Her” featuring Richardson’s friend “K-Ci.” The album noted as a solid effort failed to make a strong impact commercially, it would be four years until his sophomore effort.
In the time between his debut and follow-up effort, Richardson was busy crafting music for the release of his second album, female soul chanteuse Angie Stone heard a demo of Richardson’s “More Than a Woman,” she later went on to record Richardson’s song as a duet for her 2002 album ‘Mahogny Soul.’ The song went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2003, solidifying Richardson not only as a phenomenal singer but songwriter as well.
Caught in limbo with this record label, Universal Records, Richardson’s long awaited sophomore album was released in 2003 on his new label, Hollywoord Records. His second album, ‘2:35 PM’ was named to commemorate the time one of his children was born. With Richardson’s album getting heavy support at Urban AC radio with the release of singles from the album including – “Keep on Pushin,’” “Not Like This,” and “I’ve Got to Move;” the successful push of Richardson’s album allowed him to land at #65 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart and #8 on the R&B chart respectively. ‘2:35pm’ went on to sell around a quarter of a million units solidifying Richardson as a successful artist while being true to his craft, soul music.
Calvin Richardson Will Perform At Women’s Empowerment 2013 was originally published on foxync.com