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Alexander O'Neal
Birth name Alexander O'Neal
Born November 15, 1953 (1953-11-15) (age 56)
Origin Flag of the United States.svg Natchez, Mississippi, United States
Genres R&B/Soul
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1984-
Labels Tabu Records (1984-1993)
One World Records (1996-2001)
Eagle Records (2001-2003)
Eminence Records (2005-2008)
Associated acts Prince
The Time
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
The SOS Band

Alexander O'Neal (born November 15, 1953 in Natchez, Mississippi) is an American R&B singer. Some of his best-known songs are "Fake", Criticize "Saturday Love" and "Never Knew Love Like This".



O'Neal was born in Natchez, Mississippi, but moved to Minneapolis when he was 20. He is an alma mater of Alcorn State University. He joined a group called "The Mystics" and played the local coverband circuit. O'Neal spent a short time in a group "Enterprise" before being recruited into Flyte Tyme, a band that included Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Monte Moir. Later signed by Prince to the Warner Bros. label with their name changed to The Time, a disagreement with Prince led to O'Neal leaving the band and being replaced as lead singer by Morris Day. Allmusic profiler John Floyd asserts that O'Neal was ousted for "looking 'too black'".[1]

O'Neal immediately formed a rock and roll band called Alexander and recorded a 12" single, "Playroom", for a Chicago-based independent label, followed by the release of "Attitude" on the Rich Records Label. Three years later, in 1984, O'Neal signed a deal with Clarence Avant's Tabu Records. He did some backing vocals for other artists on the same label, including The SOS Band and Cherrelle.

O'Neal released his self-titled debut album in 1985. It included three singles that reached the top twenty of the R&B Singles Chart. He also scored his first R&B top ten single with "Saturday Love", a duet with Cherrelle. The song peaked at #2. It also reached the top ten of the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #6. In 1987, he released the album titled Hearsay. It yielded the #25 pop and #1 R&B single "Fake". The song also peaked at #7 on the dance chart. The follow up, "Criticize", peaked at #4 R&B and #70 pop. It also peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart. The third single, "Never Knew Love Like This", another duet with Cherrelle, peaked at #2 R&B and #28 pop.

In 1991, he released his third album, All True Man. The album's title single reached #5 on the R&B chart and #45 on the pop chart. In 1992, his first greatest hits album, This Thing Called Love: The Greatest Hits of Alexander O'Neal, was a top ten album in the UK. In 1993, his final album with the Tabu label, Love Makes No Sense, was released. It was the first album made without production from Jam and Lewis. In 1995, another greatest hits compilation, The Best of Alexander O'Neal, was released.

In 1996, his first album with One World Records, Lovers Again, was released. In 2001, he released an album with Eagle Records, Saga of a Married Man. The album was produced by former Prince drummer, Bobby Z. In 2005, he recorded his first live album, Alexander O'Neal Live at Hammersmith Apollo. It is a collection of many of his songs from throughout his career.

O'Neal participated on the reality British reality singing contest show Just the Two of Us in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, he released Alex Loves, his first studio album in six years. In 2008, O'Neal took part in a Wife Swap UK special, swapping his wife Cynthia with broadcaster and TV personality Jilly Goolden. The programme included O'Neal being interviewed in-depth by noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul. The interview was featured in full in the August 2008 issue of the magazine.[2]



Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions
Record label
1985 Alexander O'Neal 92 21 19 Tabu
1987 Hearsay 29 2 4 Gold
1991 All True Man 49 3 2 Gold
1993 Love Makes No Sense 89 18 14
1997 Lovers Again One World
2002 Saga of a Married Man Eagle
2008 Alex Loves 49 Stateside
"—" denotes the album failed to chart, was not released, or was not certified

Compilation, holiday and live albums

Year Album Chart positions
Record label
1988 My Gift to You 149 54 53 Tabu
1989 All Mixed Up 185 67
1992 This Thing Called Love: The Greatest Hits of Alexander O'Neal 89 4
1995 The Best of Alexander O'Neal 76
2004 Greatest Hits 59 12
2005 Live at the Hammersmith Apollo - London Eminence
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not released


Year Single Chart positions
1985 "Innocent" 11 Alexander O'Neal
"If You Were Here Tonight" 17 13
"A Broken Heart Can Mend" 62 53
"Saturday Love" (Cherrelle with Alexander O'Neal) 26 2 13 6 High Priority
1986 "What's Missing" 8 40 90 Alexander O'Neal
"You Were Meant to Be My Lady" 98
1987 "Fake" 25 1 7 33 Hearsay
"Criticize" 70 4 21 4
1988 "Never Knew Love Like This" (with Cherrelle) 28 2 26
"The Lovers" 41 28
"Fake '88" 16 All Mixed Up
"Christmas Song/Thank You for a Good Year" 30 My Gift to You
1989 "(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me" 68 32 27 Hearsay
"Hearsay '89" 56 All Mixed Up
"Sunshine" 72 Hearsay
"Hit Mix (The Official Bootleg Megamix)" 19 Non-album single
1990 "Saturday Love" (with Cherrelle) (re-release) 55
1991 "All True Man" 43 5 18 All True Man
"What Is This Thing Called Love?" 21 10 53
"Shame on Me" 71
"The Yoke (G.U.O.T.R.)" 73
1992 "Sentimental" 53
1993 "Love Makes No Sense" 13 45 26 Love Makes No Sense
"In the Middle" 26 32
"Aphrodisia" 48
"All That Matters to Me" 67
1996 "Let's Get Together" 38 Lovers Again
1997 "Baby, Come to Me" (with Cherrelle) 56
1998 "Lovers Again" 54
"Criticize '98" 51 Non-album single
"—" denotes the single failed to chart


External links


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