(born 4 April 1978 in Tottenham, London), simply known as
Lemar, is a British R&B singer who has had a run of
chart success in the UK since appearing on Fame Academy
Television. Along with Girls Aloud and
Will Young, he is one of the
most enduringly successful British acts to have launched a
career through reality TV.
Obika was born to Nigerian parents on 4 April 1978 in
London, and grew listening to soul and R&B and used to sing
at home with his brother pretending to be
The Jacksons. He was
eighteen when he had his first concert at the Junior Jam at
the Temple in Tottenham supporting Usher. He gave up an
opportunity to study pharmacy at the Cardiff University to
pursue a musical career. Lemar had some success in his
musical career supporting Destiny's Child and achieving a
record deal. Folowing this, he released his debut single
"Got Me Saying Ooh", which did not chart in the UK top 75.
When the record deal fell through due to restructuring at
the label he was signed to, he had to eventually take a job
working as an accounts manager at the NatWest Bank.
saw an advertisement for
in 2002, a combination of a talent quest and reality
television show and decided to put his name forward. He made
the finals of the show winning plaudits for his version of
"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green and singing a duet with
Lionel Richie on "Easy Like
Sunday Morning". While he ended up finishing third in the
show, he caught the eye of veteran English R&B singer
Beverley Knight who invited him to sing a duet with her
during her concert at the Hammersmith Apollo. Sony Music was
so impressed with his potential that they signed him to a
five record deal worth £1 million.
second single "Dance With U" reached number 2 on the UK
singles charts in early 2003. His first album Dedicated
was released late in 2003 with additional singles "50/50"
and "Another Day" also achieving chart success in the
Lemar won a Brit Award for Best Urban Act in the 2004 Brit
Awards. Following the success of the album, he commenced his
first headlining tour of the UK featuring an appearance at
Party in the Park in
He has also done work with Prince Charles's the Prince's
Trust and appeared on Band Aid 20's Do They Know It's
February 2006 he won a second Brit Award for Best Urban Act.
September 4th 2006
saw Lemar return with his eighth single titled "It's Not
That Easy", which became his sixth UK top 10 hit. On
September 11th 2006, he released his new album The Truth
About Love, which saw guest appearances from Styles P
from The L.O.X., Mica Paris and Joss Stone. The album became
Lemar's highest charting album to date, peaking at number
three in the UK albums chart, outpeaking Time To Grow
(number eight) and Dedicated (number sixteen).
Lemar Official Website
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