When R&B singer Tank sang the mournful song “Maybe I Deserve,” a repentant cheater’s ode to his wronged woman, betrayed lovers everywhere felt that finally somebody understood.
But the man behind the song is more than just a balladeer. He’s also a songwriter and producer behind some of the other great artists of the era, including Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Dave Hollister, Keyshia Cole and Jamie Foxx.
Despite all the time he spends working with other artists, Tank hasn’t lost the creative fire himself. His third CD, “Now or Never” with its debut single “Sex Music” (a favorite of Chris Brown, who directed folks to watch the video via Twitter) hits the streets and stores on Nov. 2.
BORN: Durrell Babbs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
BIG BREAK: He hooked up with Ginuwine to sing background vocals, and then went out on tour with him.
RESUME: Tank has truly made his money and reputation as a songwriter. Think of him as the Kanye West of R&B – at first best known for his behind-the-scenes skills, then for stepping out front. Tank wrote or co-wrote the hits “Do What It Do” for Jamie Foxx, “One Minute Man” for Missy Elliott, “Under” for Pleasure P and several other songs for artists like Aaliyah, Dave Hollister and more.
BACKSTORY: After his family moved to Maryland, Tank became interested in music and took advantage of the fact that his cousin was a choir director at a nearby church.
FUN FACT: Tank wrote “Maybe I Deserve” in his mother’s basement on “an MPC with two keyboards,” he says.
NUMBERS: Tank’s first CD, “Force of Nature,” went gold. His next two albums sold over 300,000 copies each.
LATEST WORK: “Now or Never,” out Nov. 2.
OFFICIAL SITE: www.therealtank.com
“I think that I attack the heart and the mind of the person, as opposed to just trying to make them dance or say a cool cliché’. You know, just something temporary. I’m more of an artist that tries to get in your business a little bit. Help you with your relationship or tell you what your man might be thinking. I think that is why the record is having the success its having because people can relate to it on an intimate level. It’s personal to them. They have been through this.” – Singersroom.com (2010)