*In the late 1980s, Raphael Saadiq was the lead vocalist of the R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone!
He eventually branched out as a solo artist, and in recent years has drawn in a new audience in Netflix’s series, “Luke Cage (watch it above). He also served as executive producer of singer Solange’s hit album, “Seat at the Table.”
While it appeared Saadiq was sitting on top of the world, unbeknownst to many people was that he was dealing with the aftermath of losing four of his fourteen siblings at various junctures of in his life.
“My brother was murdered when I was seven,” Saadiq told The Guardian in an interview. “Then another brother OD’d on heroin. My other brother committed suicide because he couldn’t get off drugs. My sister was a singer who sang blues. A cop was chasing some kid through a residential neighborhood, and the kid killed her when he ran into her car.”
Saadiq adds that through it all, he had to eventually sing and make records. Once he started, he didn’t want to stop or slow down, meaning that he was writing, singing, and recording such songs as “Little Walter,” “Feels Good,” “ Just Me and You,” “It Never Rains in Southern California” and other Tony! Toni! Tone! hits.
“I did it to kinda show people that you can have some real tough things happen in your life,” he said. “but you don’t have to wear it on your sleeve.”