Miguel (singer)

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Singer Miguel 2013 2.jpg
Miguel performing in 2013
Born Miguel Jontel Pimentel
(1985-{{padleft:10|2|0}-23) October 23, 1985 (age 32)<ref>http://www.biography.com/people/miguel-21249827</ref>
San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, U.S.<ref name="California birth">California, Birth Index, 1905-1995</ref>
Other names
  • Miguel Jontel
  • (2006–09)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • record producer
  • Nazanin Mandi
  • (2005–present)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • sampler
Years active 2000–present
Associated acts
Website officialmiguel.com

Miguel Jontel Pimentel (born October 23, 1985), better known as Miguel, is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. Raised in Los Angeles, he began creating music at age thirteen. After signing to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut studio album, All I Want Is You, in November 2010. Although it was underpromoted upon its release, the album became a sleeper hit and helped Miguel garner commercial standing.<ref name="Rytlewski"/><ref name="Graham">Graham, Nadine (March 24, 2011). "Q&A: Miguel". Soul Train. Retrieved 2012-10-17. </ref>

After Jive's dissolution in 2011, he moved to RCA Records and released his second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012 to critical acclaim. On June 29, 2015, Miguel released his third studio album, Wildheart, which also received universal critical acclaim. Miguel incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, rock and electronic styles into his music, and has been compared to vocalists Babyface and Prince.

Early life

Miguel was born and raised in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California.<ref>Garraud, Tracy. "R&B Rude Boy". Vibe. Vibe Media Group. Retrieved August 3, 2010. </ref><ref name="Wood"/> He is one of two sons born to a Mexican American father and an African American mother.<ref name="MN">Kwateng, Danielle (June 24, 2010). "Interviews: Miguel Makes Beautiful Music". Madame Noire. pp. 1–3. Retrieved August 27, 2010. </ref> Miguel's parents divorced when he was eight years old.<ref name="TBB">Horne, Adam (Jun 7, 2010). "Miguel Builds Industry Buzz with Genre-Defying Sound". The Boombox. Retrieved August 27, 2010. </ref> At a young age, Miguel was introduced to the older R&B his mother listened to,<ref name="MN"/> and his father's musical tastes, including funk, hip hop, jazz and classic rock.<ref name="Wood"/>

At age five, Miguel wanted to become a dancer. However, at 13 he began pursuing a career in music.<ref name="MN"/> At 14, he was writing songs and developing ideas with a four-track recorder he took from his uncle.<ref name="Wood"/> In ninth grade, Miguel was introduced by a friend to a member of production company Drop Squad, and he subsequently spent the rest of high school learning his way around a recording studio before seeking a record deal.<ref name="Wood"/> Miguel is also close high school friends with rapper Blu, who also lived in San Pedro.<ref>"Blu Says He Is "Biggest Hypocrite Since 2Pac," Talks Working With Rising Star Miguel". Hiphopwired.com. 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2015-06-26. </ref>


2000–06: Career beginnings

Miguel signed a production deal with Drop Squad in 2000.<ref name="Fader"/> In 2004, he auditioned to be part of the group Fatty Koo, but their label, Columbia Records chose someone else to complete the sextet. Later in 2004, Miguel was signed by independent record label Black Ice and started working on his studio album,<ref name="Fader">"By The Numbers: Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream". The Fader. October 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-24. </ref> Young & Free. It was scheduled to be released on November 30, 2006,<ref>Mitchell, Gail (September 16, 2006). "An OK Place to Be". Billboard. 118 (37): 50. Retrieved 2012-10-24. </ref> but was ultimately shelved.<ref name="Jeffries"/> Black Ice released the single "Getcha Hands Up" with a video debut on 106 & Park, but Miguel decided to change his sound and image and walked away from Black Ice Records.<ref name="XXL">San Miguel, Celia. "Show & Prove". XXL. Harris Publications. Retrieved August 27, 2010. [dead link]</ref> He later said in an interview for LA Weekly, "We shot a video, and if you ever see it, you will laugh your ass off. I have a fitted hat on and a white T-shirt and baggy jeans. I was 19 years old and it was the first time anyone had ever given me money."<ref name="Wood">Wood, Mikael (October 11, 2012). "Miguel Finds His Place". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2012-10-24. </ref>

2007–11: Signing and belated debut

Further information: All I Want Is You (album)

For nearly a year, Miguel's manager at the time submitted several songs to music mogul Mark Pitts; after receiving a song titled "Sure Thing"—which Miguel described as a "highly personal ... record that no one was ever supposed to hear"—Pitts scheduled a meeting with Miguel in October 2007. The following month, Miguel signed a recording contract with Jive Records.<ref name="TBB"/><ref name="XXL"/> Miguel recalled that the signing of his contract took place in a "very small room in a very small office in a small corner of the building at Jive".<ref name="Paper">Catarinella, Alex (August 19, 2010). "Less Is More". Paper. Paper Publishing Company. Retrieved August 27, 2010. </ref> After being signed, he recorded his debut album All I Want Is You,<ref name="Lipshutz"/> but was sued by Black Ice for breach of contract.<ref name="stadium">Concepcion, Mariel (September 17, 2010). "Miguel Calls Playing Eminem & Jay-Z's Stadium Show 'Unbelievable'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved September 24, 2010. </ref> Consequently, his album was not released for two years.<ref name="Lipshutz">Lipshutz, Jason (September 21, 2012). "Miguel's 'Kaleidoscope Dream': Inside The R&B Dynamo's Fresh Start". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-10-20. </ref> In 2007, Miguel also contributed vocals to three tracks on the debut collaborative project of Blu and Exile, Below the Heavens, appearing under the moniker "Miguel Jontel".<ref>"Blu & Exile Below the Heavens". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 September 2014. </ref>

That album was a huge learning experience. I left the marketing of my album and me as an artist up to the discretion of the label. They marketed me like the typical R&B artist, which I can't really blame them for, because that's what they know. But that's not what my lifestyle was.

— Miguel, Billboard<ref name="Lipshutz"/>

For the following three years, he contributed to Usher's Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond, as well as Asher Roth's Asleep in the Bread Aisle and Musiq Soulchild's "IfULeave".<ref name="RO">"Miguel (The Eclectric)". Right On!. Retrieved August 27, 2010. [dead link]</ref><ref name="AHH">Perry, Clayton (July 2, 2010). "Miguel Jontel: Singer, Songwriter and Producer". AllHipHop. Retrieved August 27, 2010. </ref> Miguel also released Mischief: The Mixtape; he explained that the title referred to his attempt to "[tell] people that there is an alternative to getting sort of the same thing".<ref name="AHH"/>

After his protracted contract dispute with Black Ice was settled,<ref name="Wood"/> All I Want Is You was released in November 2010.<ref name="Rytlewski">Rytlewski, Evan (October 9, 2012). "Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream". The A.V. Club. Chicago. Retrieved 2012-10-19. </ref> It initially performed poorly, debuting at number 109 on the Billboard 200 on 11,000 copies sold,<ref name="Lipshutz"/> and was underpromoted by Jive,<ref name="Rytlewski"/> amid the label's dissolution.<ref name="McCarthy">McCarthy, Sean (October 19, 2012). "Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-10-20. </ref> The album's title track attained radio airplay, while Miguel toured as a supporting act for Trey Songz and Usher.<ref name="Lipshutz"/> Its following two singles, "Sure Thing" and "Quickie", performed well on the charts,<ref name="Jeffries"/> After falling off the chart for three weeks,<ref name="Ramirez"/> All I Want Is You became a sleeper hit,<ref name="Graham"/> as it re-entered the Billboard 200 and climbed the chart for 22 weeks, before peaking at number 37 on May 14, 2011.<ref name="Ramirez">Ramirez, Erika (June 10, 2011). "Chart Juice: Miguel Describes His Sound & Announces Next Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-11-09. </ref> It ultimately spent 45 weeks on the chart,<ref>"All I Want Is You - Miguel". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-22. </ref> and sold 404,000 copies in the US.<ref name="Lipshutz"/>

2012–13: Label change, second album, and controversy

Further information: Kaleidoscope Dream
Miguel Performing at MTV Africa Music Awards 2014.JPG

After Jive was shut down and absorbed by RCA Records, Miguel was moved to RCA, where Pitts was named president of urban music, and received a new marketing team.<ref name="Lipshutz"/> His second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream, was released on October 2, 2012, to critical acclaim.<ref>"Kaleidoscope Dream Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-10-24. </ref> The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 71,000 copies in its first week.<ref>Caulfield, Keith (October 10, 2012). "Muse's 'The 2nd Law' Leads Seven Top 10 Debuts on Billboard 200". Billboard. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012. </ref> As of February 2013, Kaleidoscope Dream has sold 322,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.<ref>Langhorne, Cyrus (2013-02-20). "Bruno Mars Leads The Way, Kendrick Lamar Exits Top 20, Frank Ocean Strikes Gold". Sohh.Com. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> In February 2013, he released a politically driven video for the song "Candles in the Sun." <ref>Battan, Carrie (2013-02-20). "Watch Miguel's Political "Candles in the Sun" Video". PitchforkMedia. Retrieved 2013-02-20. </ref> The album's lead single "Adorn", which had been released on August 7,<ref>"FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. </ref> became a sleeper hit on urban radio.<ref name="Kennedy">Kennedy, Gerrick D. (November 11, 2012). "Miguel helps lead the charge for an edgier kind of R&B artist". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012. </ref> It was Miguel's second number-one single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and his highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 17.<ref>"Miguel – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013. </ref> By September, the single had sold 190,000 copies.<ref name="Lipshutz"/> According to NPR's Audie Cornish, Miguel "broke through to a national audience in 2012" with both "Adorn" and Kaleidoscope Dream.<ref>Cornish, Audie (December 31, 2012). "Miguel: An 'Honest Introduction' To An R&B Star". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013. </ref> The second single "Do You..." was released on September 18,<ref>"Do You – Single by Miguel". iTunes. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012. </ref> and reached number 32 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.<ref>"Miguel – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013. </ref> On March 3, 2013, "How Many Drinks?" was released as its third single.<ref name="Jonze">Jonze, Tim (February 8, 2013). "Miguel: the slow-burn success of a new R&B superstar". The Guardian. London. The Guide section, p. 10. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013. </ref> By February 20, Kaleidoscope Dream had charted for 20 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sold 321,400 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.<ref>Langhorne, Cyrus (February 20, 2013). "Bruno Mars Leads The Way, Kendrick Lamar Exits Top 20, Frank Ocean Strikes Gold". SOHH. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. </ref>

In August 2013, the new single "#Beautiful" with Mariah Carey became Miguel’s third million-seller in the USA, following “Sure Thing” and “Adorn”.<ref>Grein, Paul (2013-07-31). "Week Ending July 28, 2013. Songs: Radio Hesitates On One Direction | Chart Watch - Yahoo! Music". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> During an energetic performance of "Adorn" at the Billboard Music Awards on May 19, Miguel failed in an attempt to leap across the stage, injuring two audience members in the process. Barely missing the stage, Miguel landed on two women, hooking his right leg over one and knocking the other into the stage.<ref>"Miguel Lands on Fans in Dramatic Jump at Billboard Music Awards". Billboard. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> The incident, known as the "Miguel Leg Drop," became an immediate internet sensation and has been satirized in numerous internet memes and gifs.<ref>"14 Examples of the Miguel Leg Drop Meme from Memes!". Funnyordie.com. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> It has also been the subject of controversy, with the show's producers claiming that they had denied the singer permission to attempt the leap, while Miguel's representatives have countered that no objections were raised during earlier rehearsals.<ref>"Miguel Practiced His Billboard Music Awards Jump Twice, Says Rep". Huffingtonpost.com. June 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> Khyati Shah, one of the two women involved, has since claimed she suffered a traumatic head injury that was not sufficiently attended to by show organizers.<ref>"Miguel's Billboard Music Awards stage accident may have caused victim brain damage | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref>

2014–present: Wildheart and War & Leisure

Further information: Wildheart (album)

Miguel released his third studio album titled Wildheart on June 30, 2015.<ref name="New Album">"Miguel Announces ‘Wildheart’ Release Date". Rap-Up. Retrieved 6 May 2015. </ref><ref>"Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 19 December 2014. </ref> In December 2014, Miguel released a 3-track EP entitled NWA.HollywoodDreams.Coffee in promotion for the album.<ref>Murphy, Sarah (2014-12-19). "Miguel 'nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee' (EP stream)". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2015-06-26. </ref> The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Urban Contemporary Album, also "Coffee" was nominated for Best R&B Song. In 2016, Miguel released the single "Waves" that's been remixed by RAC and Tame Impala.

Miguel played a Cuban-American gangster in Ben Affleck's period crime drama Live by Night, which was released on December 25, 2016,<ref>Miguel talks acting in new movie w/ Ben Affleck!. 9 November 2015 – via YouTube. </ref><ref>"Instagram". Instagram. </ref> He will cover Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" for Fifty Shades Darker (2017).<ref>"'Fifty Shades Darker' Trailer Features Miguel Covering Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love'". </ref>

As of September 2016, he is an opening act for Sia's Nostalgic for the Present Tour.<ref>Josephs, Brian. "Sia Announces U.S. Tour With Miguel and AlunaGeorge". Spin.com. Retrieved 1 October 2016. </ref> The tour runs until November 6.


Right now R&B is filled with so many people singing songs that sound like other songs. But Miguel is letting his art rule his whole flow, and that's the best place for an artist to be. To me he kind of feels like Prince, where he's doing this eclectic blend but still coming back to focused songs.

Salaam Remi, LA Weekly<ref name="Wood"/>

Miguel identifies himself as part of the new wave of R&B artists that include Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Elle Varner.<ref name="Lipshutz"/> About.com editor Mark Edward Nero characterizes his music as "eclectic, artsy R&B-pop".<ref name="Nero">Nero, Mark Edward. "Album Review: Miguel - 'Kaleidoscope Dream'". About.com. Retrieved 2012-10-24. </ref> Miguel cites musicians Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, Phil Collins, Donny Hathaway, The Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, Saul Williams, Queen, Usher and Pharrell Williams as influences <ref>Janneti, Cola (November 9, 2010). "Miguel: Evolving into Greatness". Singersroom. Retrieved November 21, 2010. </ref><ref name="MTV">Reid, Shaheem. "Miguel Hopes to Get on 'All I Want Is You' Partner J. Cole's Album". MTV News. Retrieved August 27, 2010. </ref><ref>Muhammad, Latifah (October 28, 2010). "Miguel Inspired by Kanye West's Honesty". The Boombox. Retrieved October 30, 2010. </ref><ref name="LAT">Kennedy, Gerrick D. (November 16, 2010). "Newcomer Miguel ready for the spotlight with his 'eclec-tric' hybrid of R&B". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved November 16, 2010. </ref><ref>"My Way: 10 Artists Usher Has Influenced". The Bet Honours. Retrieved June 24, 2016. </ref><ref>"Artist Influences for Miguel". MTV. Retrieved June 24, 2016. </ref> in addition to expressing his admiration for Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and Diane Warren.<ref name="AHH"/> Miguel revealed his desire to have worked with James Brown, whom he considers the "last innovator for me when it comes to soul".<ref name="Paper"/> In addition to singing, Miguel also plays the guitar.<ref name="Paper"/>

Miguel incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, rock and electronic styles into his music.<ref name="XXL"/><ref name="RO"/><ref name="LAT"/> Miguel described his sound as "nostalgic in a sense that it's familiar ... it's shocking, edgy, energizing".<ref name="RO"/> In an interview with Paper magazine, he regarded his music as "fly, funkadelic, intergalactic-hip-hop-meets-sexy-orgasmic crazy, dope shit". Miguel is often compared to Babyface and Prince.<ref name="Paper"/> His vocals are influenced by classic rock bands such as The Beatles, Queen, The Police and Def Leppard.<ref>"Interviews | Miguel Jontel: Indescribable Music". Singersroom. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2013-08-07. </ref> Brian McManus of The Village Voice writes that "[Marvin] Gaye, Prince, and (his comparison) Van Morrison all linger in his voice."<ref>McManus, Brian (January 16, 2013). "Pazz & Jop: Miguel Is Living The Dream". The Village Voice. New York. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013. </ref>

Personal life

Miguel has said that Transcendental Meditation is the key to balancing his lifestyle: "It’s good to take a breath from everything and just center yourself. That is the best way of describing it."<ref name=hot93.7>"Miguel Talks Justin Bieber, Meditation & Liquid Courage for the GRAMMYs". Hot93.7. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 'I just started looking into Transcendental Meditation,' he said. 'A lot of people don’t understand that voice in your head that is consistently going, or thinking. There is a way to take a break from that, and just kind of be in the moment. That is what that whole meditation is about. It’s just brilliant.' </ref>

Miguel has been in a relationship with model Nazanin Mandi since 2005. In January 2016, it was announced that they are engaged.<ref>"Miguel’s Girlfriend Nazanin Mandi Is Hot, And I Would Not Recommend Instagram-Stalking Her". Pink is the New Blog. Retrieved 1 January 2015. ' The truth about Nazanin is that she seems really sweet, and I like that she’s been with Miguel since forever. How cute were they back in the day? This was their first date in 2005.' </ref>


Main article: Miguel discography
Studio albums


Awards and nominations

American Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 Miguel Sprint New Artist of the Year Nominated
2013 Miguel Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist Nominated

BET Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 Himself Best New Artist Nominated
2012 Best Male R&B Artist Nominated
"Lotus Flower Bomb" (with Wale) Best Collaboration Won
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Nominated
2013 Himself Best Male R&B Artist Won
Centric Award Nominated
"Adorn" Video of the Year Nominated
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Nominated

Billboard Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Himself Top R&B Artist Nominated
"Sure Thing" Top R&B Song Nominated
2013 "Adorn" Top R&B Song Nominated

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 "Finding My Way Back" Best R&B Song Nominated
2013 "Lotus Flower Bomb" (with Wale) Best Rap Song Nominated
"Adorn" Best R&B Song Won
Song of the Year Nominated
Best R&B Performance Nominated
Kaleidoscope Dream Best Urban Contemporary Album Nominated
2014 "Power Trip" (with J. Cole) Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
"How Many Drinks?" (with Kendrick Lamar) Best R&B Performance Nominated
2016 "Coffee" Best R&B Song Nominated
Wildheart Best Urban Contemporary Album Nominated

NAACP Image Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Miguel Outstanding Male Artist Nominated
"Adorn" Outstanding Music Video Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 "Candles in the Sun" Best Video with a Message Nominated

Soul Train Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Himself Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Won
"Lotus Flower Bomb" (with Wale) Song of the Year Nominated
2013 Kaleidoscope Dream Album of the Year Nominated
"How Many Drinks?" Best Collaboration Nominated
"Power Trip" (with J. Cole) Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year Nominated
Himself Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Won

Teen Choice Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Himself Choice Music: R&B Artist Nominated

World Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Himself Best Male Artist Nominated
Entertainer of the Year Nominated
"Adorn" Best Song Nominated


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External links


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