Happy Birthday, Lyfe Jennings!
You didn't have to be sad when the comic stylings of Tracy Morgan and Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live ended at 1 a.m. Showtime at the Apollo was on, and many good things came from it. Lyfe Jennings was one of them. The singer, born Chester Jermaine Jennings, turns 42 years old today (June 3).
Jennings went through some big changes before he hit that Apollo Theater stage. At 19, he was sentenced to prison for arson charges and spent nearly 10 years there until 2002, when he was released. The time away reawakened his spiritually and gave him a new focus on music.
In 2004, Jennings released his debut album, Lyfe 268-192 -- the digits refer to his prison identification number. He had a unique, earthy voice that embodied the pain he experienced and the desire to change. That mix and acoustic sound helped him earn his solid fan base.
Lyfe was followed by four more albums. Each one debuted in the Billboard's Top 10; The Phoenix, Jennings's sophomore effort, was his highest at No. 2.
There's a new album from Jennings on the way, too. As intimate as his sound has been throughout his career, Jennings says that the upcoming Tree of Lyfe will be his most personal.
"My story is one of becoming," Jennings tells Vibe. "Most guys talk about the end of it, how they’ve made it or are already accomplished. My story is I would love to accomplish that but I’m still going through s**t in my life, but I’m still going in the right direction."
Tree of Lyfe is slated for a summer release.
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