Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins in Oakland,
California; May 14, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter and record
producer. Saadiq has been a standard bearer for "old school" R&B
since his early days as a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni!
Toné! He also produced songs of such artists as Joss Stone,
D'Angelo, TLC, Mary J. Blige, and John Legend. He and D'Angelo were
occasional members of The Ummah, a music production collective, composed
of members Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest,
and the late Jay Dee (also known as J Dilla) of the Detroit-based group
Saadiq's latest critically acclaimed album, The Way I See It, released
on September 16, 2008, featuring artists Stevie Wonder, Joss Stone
and Jay-Z, received three Grammy Award Nominations and voted Best
Album on iTunes of 2008.
Saadiq was born in Oakland, California, the second-youngest of 14
siblings and half-siblings. His early life was marked by tragedy;
he experienced the deaths of several of his siblings as a young child.
When Saadiq was seven years old, his brother was murdered. One of
his brothers overdosed on heroin and another committed suicide because
he was unable to deal with his addiction to the drug. His sister
died as a result of a car crash during a police chase in a residential
neighborhood. Saadiq states that he does not want his music to be
reflective of the tragedies he experienced, saying that "And
through all of that I was makin' records, but it wasn't comin' out
in the music. I did it to kinda show people you can have some real
tough things happen in your life, but you don't have to wear it on
He has been playing the bass guitar since the age of six, and first
began singing at age nine in a local gospel group. At the age
of 12, he joined a group called "The Gospel Humminbirds".
In 1984, shortly before his eighteenth birthday, Saadiq heard about
tryouts in San Francisco for Sheila E.'s backing band on Prince's
Parade Tour. At the audition, he chose the name "Raphael",
and had difficulty remembering to respond to the name when he heard
that he got the part to play bass in the band. He says of the
experience, "Next thing I was in Tokyo, in a stadium, singin'
Erotic City. We were in huge venues with the biggest sound systems
in the world; all these roadies throwin' me basses, and a bunch of
models hangin' round Prince to party. For almost two years. That
was my university."
 Tony! Toni! Toné!
After returning to Oakland from touring with Prince, Saadiq began
his professional career as the lead vocalist and bassist in the rhythm
and blues and dance trio Tony! Toni! Toné! He used the name
Raphael Wiggins while in Tony! Toni! Toné!, where he was joined
by his brother Dwayne Wiggins, and his cousin Timothy Christian.
In the mid-1990s, he adopted the last name Saadiq, which means "man
of his word" in Arabic. His change of surname led many to
speculate that he had converted to Islam at that point; in reality,
Saadiq is not a Muslim, but rather just liked the way "Saadiq" sounded
and changed his last name simply to distinguish himself from and
avoid potential confusion with his brother, Dwayne Wiggins. As
he confirmed by telling noted R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning
'Blues & Soul' in May 2009, "I just wanted to have my own
Tony! Toni! Toné would become major R&B superstars throughout
the late-1980s and 1990s. However, after the 1996 album entitled
House of Music, which did produce several hits, nonetheless failed
to duplicate previous success, Tony! Toni! Toné! went their
 Lucy Pearl
In 1999, Saadiq's next big project became the R&B supergroup
Lucy Pearl. He recorded the self-titled album with Dawn Robinson
(En Vogue) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest). The group
only lasted for one album.
 Solo work
 "Ask of You"
In 1995, Saadiq had his biggest solo hit to date, when "Ask
of You", featured on the Higher Learning Soundtrack peaked at
#19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart. In 1997,
Saadiq hooked up with EPMD for the tune "Da Joint". Two
years later, he teamed up with Q-Tip for another minor hit, "Get
Involved", which was featured on the animated TV series The
PJs and on its soundtrack.
 Instant Vintage
He released his first solo album Instant Vintage in 2002 and earned
5 Grammy nominations.
 Ray Ray
Released the album Ray Ray in 2004 on his own record label Pookie
 All the Hits at the House of Blues
Released a 2 disc live album All The Hits AT The House of Blues
in 2003 on his own record label Pookie Entertainment.
 The Way I See It
Saadiq performing in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2008.
Saadiq's latest release, his third solo album, The Way I See It,
released on Columbia Records on September 16, 2008, available in
a collector's edition box set of 7" 45 rpm singles as well as
on traditional CD, was critically well-received, made several critics'
2008 best albums lists, and garnered three Grammy nominations including
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals (for "Never
Give You Up", featuring Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton); Best
Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (for "Love That Girl")
and Best R&B Album for The Way I See It.
The Way I See It was released in September 2008, and Saadiq is currently
touring and promoting the project. Touring with a nine piece band,
Saadiq hit the 2009 summer music festival circuit with performances
at Bonnaroo, Hollywood Bowl, Outside Lands, Pori Jazz Festival, Stockholm
Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz, Essence Music Festival, Summer Spirit
Festival, and Nice Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot Music Festival and
Austin City Limits. Saadiq has been touring Europe extensively, and
held a five-night residency at the House of Blues in Tokyo, Japan
in June 2009.
Music from The Way I See It is featured in the following motion
pictures: Madea Goes To Jail, Bride Wars, Cadillac Records, Secret
Life of Bees, In Fighting (Rogue), and It's Complicated.
 Music producer
In 1995, Saadiq produced and performed on Otis & Shug's debut
album, We Can Do Whatever.
His 2000 song collaboration "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" won
D'Angelo a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance;
it was also nominated for Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
The song was ranked #4 on Rolling Stone's "End of Year Critics & Readers
Poll" of the top singles of 2000. D'Angelo's album Voodoo
won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
In 2004, Saadiq produced a remix of the song "Crooked Nigga
Too" by the late Tupac Shakur which is featured on the album
Loyal To The Game.
In 2007, Saadiq produced Introducing Joss Stone, the third album
of British soul singer Joss Stone.
He produced songs for LeToya Luckett's forthcoming second album
Lady Love, released August 2009.
In 2009, Saadiq produced "Please Stay" and "Love
Never Changes" for Ledisi's August 2009 release "Turn Me
Loose". Saadiq also was the executive producer for an emerging
group called Tha Boogie. Tha Boogie's first EP was released on iTunes
and is titled "[[Love Tha Boogie, Vol. 1 (Steal This Sh*t).
Other artists he has collaborated with include Whitney Houston,
Mary J. Blige, The Isley Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Teedra Moses,
The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, Angie Stone, Snoop
Dogg, Devin the Dude, DJ Quik, Kelis, Q-Tip, Lil' Skeeter, Ludacris,
The Bee Gees, Musiq Soulchild, Jaguar Wright, Chanté Moore,
Lionel Richie, Marcus Miller, Noel Gourdin, Nappy Roots, Calvin Richardson,
T-Boz from TLC, Floetry, Leela James, Amp Fiddler, John Legend, Joss
Stone, Young Bellz, Anthony Hamilton, Babyface, Ledisi, Goapele,
Ghostface Killah, Ginuwine, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire,
Bilal, Chali 2na, as well as many others.
In 2002, Saadiq founded his own record label, Pookie Entertainment.
Among the artists on the label are Joi and Truth Hurts.
In 2008, Saadiq formed a new label called Velma Records, a place
where Raphael promises "people can express themselves like I
did with The Way I See It... where they can dream something up and
just go with it".
In 2009, Saadiq announced his video game development company called
IllFonic. The first video game in development by IllFonic is titled
Ghetto Golf, with an expected release late in 2010.
In 2009, Saadiq teamed up Bentley Kyle Evans, Jeff Franklin, Martin
Lawrence, and Trenten Gumbs to create a new sitcom called Love That
Girl! starring Tatyana Ali. Raphael is an executive producer and
composer for Love That Girl!. The show is currently in development.
In 2010, Saadiq sang as part of the chorus in the 2010 remake of "We
Are the World" for Haiti.
* BET Awards
o 2009, BET Centric Award (nominated)
* Grammy Awards
o 2009, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group "Never Give You Up" (nominated)
o 2009, Best R&B Album The Way I See It (nominated)
o 2009, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance "Love That Girl" (nominated)
o 2007, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance "I Found My Everything" (nominated)
o 2005, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group "Show Me the Way" (nominated)
o 2003, Best Urban/Alternative Performance "Be Here" (nominated)
o 2003, Best R&B Song "Love of My Life (Ode to Hip-Hop)" (winner)
o 2003, Best R&B Song "Be Here" (nominated)
o 2003, Best R&B Album Instant Vintage (nominated)
o 2003, Best Song Written for a Motion Picture of Television Special "Love
of My Life (Ode to Hip-Hop)" (nominated)
o 2002, Best R&B Song "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" (nominated)
o 1995, Best R&B Song "Anniversary" (nominated)
* Soul Train Awards
o 2009, Best R&B/Soul Male Artist (nominated)
* Instant Vintage (2002)
* All Hits at the House of Blues (2003)
* Ray Ray (2004)
* The Way I See It (2008)
* Stone Rollin’ (2011)
Year Song Chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Adult R&B U.K.
1995 "Ask of You" 19 2 — 76 Higher Learning OST
1999 "Get Involved" (feat. Q-Tip) 67 21 — 36 The
2002 "Be Here" (feat. D'Angelo) 99 68 — — Instant
Still Ray" — 79 — —
2004 "Rifle Love" (feat. Lucy Pearl & Tony! Toni! Toné!) — — — — Ray
Chic Like You" (feat. Allie Baba) — — — —
2005 "I Want You Back" (feat. Teedra Moses) — — — —
2008 "Love That Girl" — 45 13 — The Way I See
Big Easy" (feat. The Infamous Young Spodie & The Rebirth
Brass Band) — — — —
2009 "100 Yard Dash" — 125 — —
Never Give You Up" (feat. Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton) — 26
Let's Take a Walk" — — — —
Staying in Love" — 74 — —
2011 "Radio" — — — — Stone Rollin'