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Jeremih performing in concert, August 2009
Background information
Birth name Jeremih Felton
Born July 17, 1987 (1987-07-17) (age 22)[1]
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres R&B, Hip Hop
Occupations Singer–songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, Drums, piano, saxophone
Years active 2009–present
Labels Def Jam

Jeremih Felton (born July 17, 1987), who performs under the mononym Jeremih (pronounced /'dʒɛrɛmaɪ/), is an American recording artist and producer. Signed to Def Jam Recordings, Jeremih's debut single, "Birthday Sex", peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. His self-titled debut album, Jeremih, debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, selling 59,000 copies in its first week.


Life and career


Early life

Jeremih Felton was born in Chicago, Illinois.[2] Born into a musical family,[3] he began playing instruments at the age of three and taught himself how to play several, including drums, piano and the saxophone.[2][4][5] Jeremih attended Morgan Park High School, where he was part of the marching band as well as a Latin jazz band, where he learned to play percussion instruments like congas and timbales.[6] He graduated at the age of 16 and enrolled into the University of Illinois to pursue a career in engineering.[7] Having graduated from high school at an early age, he said in an interview that he found himself "getting in a lot of trouble" while attending the university and plans on returning to earn his degree.[1] After performing a tribute for Stevie Wonder at one of the campus's talent shows, he received positive feedback and realized his vocal ability, saying that the "music was just taking over".[7] In 2007, he enrolled in Columbia College Chicago to pursue a degree in music business.[8]

Career beginnings and debut album

While attending Columbia College Chicago, Jeremih collaborated with record producer Mick Schultz.[2] Together, they recorded a song entitled "My Ride".[4] Jeremih received guidance by his cousin Day26 group member, Willie Taylor.[9] In February 2009, Jeremih met with Island Def Jam chairman L. A. Reid and executive vice president of A&R Karen Kwak. After performing for the two, Jeremih was signed to Def Jam Recordings that same day.[4][5]

Jeremih released his debut single, "Birthday Sex", in early 2009 and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[10] His eponymous debut album, Jeremih, was released in June 2009 under Def Jam;[5] it debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and sold 59,000 copies in its first week.[11] In promotion of the album, Jeremih took part in America's Most Wanted Tour, alongside Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and Soulja Boy Tell 'Em.[12] The second single, "Imma Star (Everywhere We Are)", has peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.[13]

In August 2009, Jeremih was selected by Ron Huberman and Mayor Richard Daley of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to campaign children to return to school.[14][15] Community activists protested and demanded CPS to undo their decision, claiming that Jeremih's music was "not appropriate for students" and "promotes teen sex".[15][16] Huberman argued that "school officials would be naive to pretend students don't listen to Felton's music already".[17] Daley also argued that recording artists have the freedom of speech, noting that Jeremih was "a young man, [with a] back-to-school message, a young man who has had great success recording, producer, going to school, went to public school".[15] In September 2009, Jeremih performed on ABC Daytime's soap opera One Life to Live, alongside recording artist Lionel Richie. The two performed "Just Go", a song from Richie's album with the same title.[18]

Musical style

Jeremih cites Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and R. Kelly,as his biggest influences.[19] He described their music as "timeless", calling them "true musician-artists".[19] With the released of his debut album, Andy Kellman of Allmusic compared Jeremih's vocals to Slim of 112 and Raphael Saadiq, noting that his "charmingly sly hard to not like".[20] In contrast, Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe felt that Jeremih's voice was "thin", showing "little range".[21] Jody Rosen expressed that Jeremih "has a way with tunes and hooks".[22] He received comparisons to The-Dream, as well as Kelly and Wonder.[23]



Year Album details Peak chart

2009 Jeremih
  • Released: June 30, 2009
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Format: CD, digital download, LP
6 1 95


Year Single Peak chart
Certifications Album


2009 "Birthday Sex" 4 1 35 37 33 21 15 Jeremih
"Imma Star (Everywhere We Are)" 51 23
"Break Up to Make Up" 114

As featured performer

Year Single Peak chart
2009 "My Time" (Fabolous featuring Jeremih) 108 102 99 Loso's Way

Album appearances

Year Title Album
2009 "Love Somebody" (Ace Hood featuring Jeremih) Ruthless[31]
"My Time" (Fabolous featuring Jeremih) Loso's Way[32]

Music videos

Year Title Director
2009 "Birthday Sex" Paul Hunter[33]
"Imma Star (Everywhere We Are)" Marc Klasfield[34]
"Break Up to Make Up" Taj[35]
"Raindrops" TBD

Awards and nominations

MOBO Awards

The Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO Awards) is an awards ceremony established in 1995 by Kanya King.

Year Nominated work Award Result Source
2009 Jeremih Best R&B/Soul Act Nominated [36]
American Music Awards

The American Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony created by Dick Clark in 1973.

Year Nominated work Award Result Source
2009 Jeremih T-Mobile Soul/R&B Breakthrough Artist Nominated [37]


  1. ^ a b "Jeremih wants Diddy-style success". (Associated Press). 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Jeremih - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  3. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2009-07-08). "Jeremih Talks About 'Nervous' Def Jam Audition". MTV News. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ a b c Vaughn, Shamontiel L. (2009-05-22). "Triple threat: Chicago native Jeremih, the singer, rapper, musician". Chicago Defender. Real Times. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  5. ^ a b c Concepcion, Mariel (2009-04-15). "Jeremih". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  6. ^ Lewis, Pete. "Perfect Presence - Pete Lewis Interviews Jeremih". Blues & Soul.\jeremih_perfect_presence. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  7. ^ a b Houlihan, Mary (2009-06-30). "Engineering a career with a 'Birthday' hit". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group.,CST-FTR-jeremih30.article. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Bio". Def Jam Recordings. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  9. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2009-05-23). "Green Day, Black Eyed Peas and Jeremih soar to the top". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ Ben-Yehuda, Ayala (2009-06-04). "Lady GaGa Takes Two Top 10 Spots On Billboard's Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  11. ^ Grein, Paul (2009-07-08). "Week Ending July 5, 2009: All Michael, All The Time". Yahoo! Music.;_ylt=AttOAvqj6ju_QnFm58sPaNXzvSUv. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  12. ^ Carter, Lauren (2009-09-25). "'Birthday' suitor Jeremih's star rises". Boston Herald. Herald Media. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  13. ^ "Imma Star (Everywhere We Are) - Jeremih". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  14. ^ Ullrich, Kurt (2009-08-07). "Getting together through the generations". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company.,0,4621075.story. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  15. ^ a b c Harrison, Lauren R. (2009-08-06). "'Birthday Sex' choice spurs protest against CPS". Chicago Breaking News. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  16. ^ "Activists protest CPS choice of 'Birthday Sex' singer". ABC News. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  17. ^ Spak, Cara (2009-08-06). "School's 'Birthday Sex' role model draws protests". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group.,birthday-sex-school-protest-080609.article. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  18. ^ Spak, Cara (2009-09-29). "Singers Lionel Richie and Jeremih Set to Perform". Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  19. ^ a b Burkes, Dawn M. (2009-08-22). "Jeremih performs in Dallas riding the wave of his big hit, 'Birthday Sex'". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  20. ^ "Jeremih - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  21. ^ Capobianco, Ken (2009-06-29). "Jeremih, 'Jeremih'". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  22. ^ Rosen, Jody (2009-07-20). "Jeremih: Jeremih: Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  23. ^ Turenne, Martin (2009-08-13). "Songwriting puts Jeremih on the fast track". The Georgia Straight. Vancouver Free Press. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  24. ^ a b "Jeremih - Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  25. ^ "Chart Stats - Jeremih - Jeremih". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  26. ^ "Jeremih Album & Song Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  27. ^ "Jeremih Album & Song Chart History (R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "Jeremih - Birthday Sex - Music Charts". αCharts. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Music: Ruthless (CD) by Ace Hood (Artist)". Tower Records. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  32. ^ "Music: Loso's Way (CD) by Fabolous (Artist)". Tower Records. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  33. ^ "Jeremih - "Birthday Sex"". Def Jam. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  34. ^ "Jeremih - "Imma Star"". Def Jam. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  35. ^ "Jeremih - "Break Up to Make Up"". Def Jam. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  36. ^ Singh, Anita (2009-08-26). "Mobo Awards 2009 nominations unveiled". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  37. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2009-10-13). "Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Eminem Lead AMA Nominations". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 

External links


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