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Biography of Jaheim


Hip-hop balladeer Jaheim Hoagland hails from New Brunswick, NJ, where he grew up in the 176 Memorial Parkway Homes public-housing project. Misfortune hit early: his father died in 1981, when he was only two years old. Coming from a musical family helped him overcome the tragedy and the many pitfalls of his environment. His grandfather, Victor Hoagland, sung with many top groups, including the Drifters, and their family reunions were big songfests. Singing at family reunions and local talent shows preceded a successful tryout at the Apollo Theater's notoriously tough talent show. The smooth crooner who sounded like a hybrid of Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross won the contest three times when he was 15.

Two years later, he experienced more tragedy when his Mom died. But Hoagland kept the faith and became a sensation in New Jersey at talent shows. He made a tape which led to a deal with Divine Mill Records (a division of Warner Brothers) four years later. Hoagland received good reactions from two singles: "Could It Be" and "Lil Nigga Ain't Mine," on BET and other video shows. Appearing with Hoagland on his first album was an all-star crew of RL (from Next), Blackstreet, and Darren and Cliff Lightly. The multi-talented singer also raps, models, and acts and has appeared in Source and other hip hop publications. Prior to getting his own deal, he worked with Mag supplying backing vocals on the rappers' Hustlaz Heaven CD. His second album, Still Ghetto, was released at the tail end of 2002.

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