Calvin Richardson grew up with K-Ci and Jo-Jo, sang alongside fellow soul crooners Angie Stone and Raphael Saddiq and appeared on numerous soundtracks including "Bringing Down the House" starring Queen Latifah and Steve Martin. He demonstrates why he is one of the best singers to emerge in R&B in years on his new Shanachie Entertainment/NuMo Records CD, When Love Comes. Affectionately known as "The New Prince of Soul", Calvin Richardson demonstrates that he is a worthy heir to the tradition of Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack and Marvin Gaye.
Calvin Richardson came by his soulful style honestly. Born in Monroe, North Carolina, the first of nine children, Calvin had a strong musical upbringing. His mother sang in the local gospel group, The Willing Wonders, and he sang with them as a youth. But he was able to listen to secular soul music and funk and was particularly inspired by Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Donny Hathaway. Singing on the gospel circuit he met and became friends with Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey and Joel "Jo Jo" Hailey, who went on to form the hit-making group Jodeci in the early Nineties and later as K-Ci and JoJo scored numerous hits. Calvin was encouraged by their success to form the urban contemporary vocal group, Undacova, whose song "Love Slave" was included in the New Jersey Drive soundtrack in 1995. When Undacova folded, Calvin launched a solo career that resulted in his debut solo album Country Boy on Uptown/Universal Records in 1999. Despite strong material, including a great cover of Bobby Womack's "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much," the album failed to sell, despite notable guests such as Chico DeBarge, Monifah and K-Ci, possibly due to confusion occasioned by the album title. While Calvin was working on his follow-up, Angie Stone heard a demo of his song "More Than A Woman" and invited him to duet with her on a version of the song for her album Mahogany Soul. A second album for Universal was shelved before release but Calvin's second album release 2:35, named after the time one of his children was born, was released by Hollywood Records in 2003. The album went on to sell more than 250,000 copies and generated significant adult urban radio play. Though lumped in with the rising crop of new-soul singers, 2:35PM revealed Calvin as an authentic soul singer bringing a classic vocal style to a contemporary production sound. With When Love Comes, Calvin Richardson delivers at last an unfettered musical vision, a compelling statement of his true artistic identity.