For a man that grew up as a shy child that refused to sing, Trey Songz has been surprisingly in the forefront of the mainstream hip-hop scene with hugely popular tours. His latest album, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, has become a huge hit with fans, and the single "Bottoms Up" featuring Nicki Minaj has become a club staple since its release. After being on the music scene for a brief time, Trey is hitting his mainstream stride with memorable lyrics and elaborate tours. His new level of fame has launched Trey Songz from supporting artist to headliner; after finishing tours of Australia and the UK, Trey is headed back across the Atlantic to tour by popular demand before heading back for more US concert dates in 2011.
Trey Songz received his big break at the age of sixteen when his future producer and mentor Troy Taylor discovered him at a talent show. Two years later, Trey had a record deal with Atlantic Records, and moved to New Jersey shortly after graduating high school to begin recording. Trey Songz' debut album, I Gotta Make It, sold 40,000 copies in the first week and featured the title-track single featuring Twista. Trey's follow-up album, Trey Day, was released in 2007 and sold nearly twice as many copies in its first week than his previous album. The album contained the singles "Can't Help but Wait" and "Last Time", which became hugely popular on the following tour.
Songz finally broke into the big time in 2009 with the release of his third album, Ready. It sold 131,000 copies in its first week and was Trey Songz's first album to go gold, prompting one of his biggest tours yet. The album produced five singles including "I Need a Girl," "LOL Smiley Face," and "I Invented Sex." While it wasn't a headlining gig, Songz opened for Jay-Z on tour in 2009, further cementing his newfound stardom. Just a year later, Trey had another hit album on his hands with the release of Passion, Pain & Pleasure, which afforded Trey one of his first headlining tours.
The album features the smash single "Bottoms Up" which has been played in heavy rotation on the radio, in clubs, and on tour since its release. Whether or not the album goes platinum is yet to be seen, but the record had the highest selling first week of any of his albums, selling 240,000 copies. Since the its release, Trey Songz has been working hard on tour, recently finishing concert dates in Europe, Australia, and the US. With such a busy tour schedule, Trey Songz has only one scheduled 2011 concert date left, at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 3. With Trey Songz's extensive 2011 concert schedule and no other tours in the near future, fans near Louisiana can't afford to miss this opportunity to see this rising star on his current summer tour.
or some, living a dream is a privilege…a blessing, if you will. For others, it’s more of a calling. There’s no doubt that Elle Varner’s creative journey should be filed in the latter category, but even as her destiny unfolds before her, she can barely believe her eyes.
Hers was a childhood steeped in hooks and verses, melodies and choruses. Whether flipping through her mother’s Motown collection, singing along to Burt Bacharach classics or accompanying her songwriter parents to their recording sessions, music was an ever-present force. It’s the only life she knew. “Growing up in the studio was absolutely normal for me, but looking back, I realize that it’s not a very common environment for a kid,” Elle says. “At an early age, I absorbed so much about music and learned how to create a song, from beginning to end. My dad always asked for my opinion about what he was working on and I remember my mom would ask, ‘What word should I add here?’ They really empowered me.”
With the release of her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect (MBK Entertainment/RCA Records), which she wrote and co-produced, it’s evident that her early experiences have served her well. Crafting the album also proved to be a full-circle moment for the 22-year-old singer/songwriter as she enlisted the help of her parents – Jimmy Varner and Mikelyn Roderick – both of whom contributed their production and vocal arrangement talents and pushed Elle toward, and beyond, the bounds of her creativity.