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Taio Cruz (born Jacob Taio Cruz on April 23, 1983) is a British singer-songwriter, record producer, occasional rapper, and entrepreneur. In 2008, he released his debut album Departure, which Cruz wrote, arranged and produced himself. It achieved initial success in the UK and earned him a MOBO Award nomination. In June 2010, Cruz released his follow-up album Rokstarr, which includes the number one singles “Break Your Heart” and “Dynamite“. In November 2010, Cruz collaborated with Kylie Minogue and Travie McCoy on his single “Higher“. Additionally, Cruz penned and recorded the song “Telling the World” as the lead single from the soundtrack to the 2011 animated film Rio.
Cruz began writing songs when he was 12. His songwriting career began at age 19 as part ofTricky Stewart‘s writing collective, RedZone Entertainment. Cruz achieved notability in 2005 when he was awarded a BRIT Award for co-writing Will Young‘s 2004 single, “Your Game“.
Cruz is the founder and chief executive of Rokstarr Music London, which in 2006 released his debut single “I Just Wanna Know“. The single attracted significant attention from radio, and also from music industry insiders, who were already well aware of the artist’s potential; manager Jamie Binns, who began representing Cruz at this time, later told HitQuarters: “He was a guy that everyone had earmarked to do damage in the future.” Although the single received a reasonable amount of radio airplay, it did not perform as well as expected in either territory. However, rather than lose faith in Cruz, the labels were eager to negotiate an album deal, as by this time they had listened to his other songs and were ever more convinced by his capability.
Cruz’s admirers included Island Records‘s Darcus Beese and Universal Republic‘s Monte Lipman, whom, according to Binns: “Both believed ‘I Just Wanna Know’ fitted the format on both sides of the Atlantic.” In 2006, Cruz signed a split single deal with Universal Music Groupcompanies, Republic Records and the UK branch of Island Records.
Taio Cruz released his second single “Moving On” in September 2007 which made the top 30 in the UK. In March 2008 his next single, “Come On Girl,” featuring Luciana, peaked at No. 5 on the UK charts. The related album Departure appeared on 17 March and peaked at No. 17. This was followed by the single “I Can Be,” which reached No. 18 in May. On 18 August, “She’s Like a Star” was released, which was a remix of the previous single and featured American rapper Busta Rhymes and girl-group Sugababes. The remix later appeared on the Sugababes studio album Catfights & Spotlights, which peaked at No. 20. It was later revealed that Cruz narrowly missed out on the chance to record the song “Umbrella” which was eventually recorded by Rihanna and ended up topping charts around the world. thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taio_CruZ
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