Singer, songwriter, and producer Miguel (born Miguel Jontel Pimentel) spent a handful of years behind the scenes and flirted with the mainstream before he released his first hit single and became one of pop-R&B's most significant artists. When he was 16, the San Pedro, California native was involved with Drop Squad, a production company. Three years later, he was offered a slot in Fatty Koo, and even appeared in the R&B group's BET reality show, but he turned the position down and eventually signed with the Black Ice label. In 2006, "Getcha Hands Up!" was issued as a single, and its video aired on BET. An album, Young & Free, was planned for release with distribution from Universal, but it was never issued. By that point, he was becoming increasingly known in the underground through his collaborative work with Blu, Exile, and Daz-I-Kue.
Miguel signed a solo deal with Jive in 2007 and continued to work with an array of underground and major-label artists, including Johnson&Johnson and Asher Roth. He co-wrote Jaheim's "Finding My Way Back" and was nominated for the Best R&B Song Grammy award. In 2010, Usher's Raymond v. Raymond, featuring two songs he co-wrote, was issued just prior to his own "All I Want Is You," a Top Ten hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album of the same title followed that November and reached the Top Ten of the R&B Albums chart, as well as the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. "Sure Thing" (number one R&B, number 36 Billboard 200) and "Quickie" (number three R&B) sustained its success. After a trilogy of three-song EPs dubbed Art Dealer Chic (Vols. 1, 2 & 3), as well as a pair of "preview" EPs, Miguel released his second album, Kaleidoscope Dream, in October 2012 -- just after its lead single, "Adorn," became his second number one R&B single. Kaleidoscope Dream was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album, while "Adorn" was nominated for three awards, including a win for Best R&B Song. The following year, the album's "How Many Drinks?" was nominated as well. "#Beautiful," a collaboration with Mariah Carey, was released in May 2013 and went platinum. Appearances on albums by J. Cole, Big Sean, Jessie Ware, Santana, Ludacris, A$AP Rocky, and Hudson Mohawke preceded Miguel's third album, Wildheart, released in June 2015. Like his previous album, it debuted within the Top Five of the Billboard 200. ~ David Jeffries & Andy Kellman