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Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc

Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III (born January 7, 1979), better known as Aloe Blacc, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and musician. He is best known for his singles "I Need a Dollar", "The Man," and for writing and performing vocals on Avicii's "Wake Me Up," which charted at #1 in 22 countries.Early careerIn 1995, Blacc teamed with hip hop producer Exile and formed Emanon -- 'no name' backwards—which was inspired by the title of a Dizzy Gillespie song. With break-beat loops and jazz samples, Emanon became a mainstay of the indie rap underground, and released their first mixtape in 1996, followed by the EP Acid 9 in 1999. They subsequently released three albums, Steps Through Time (2001), Imaginary Friends (2002), and The Waiting Room (2005). A fourth album, Bird's Eye View, was recorded but never released. While Emanon was Blacc's primary project during this time period, he additionally toured and recorded with the members of the collective Lootpack and worked with the French jazz group Jazz Liberatorz.

2003-09: Shine Through

Blacc launched his career as a solo artist in 2003, releasing two EPs, and signing to Stone's Throw Records in 2006, after label head Chris Mank (known as Peanut Butter Wolf) heard Blacc and immediately offered him a contract for the 2006 full-length Shine Through. Blacc had by then become more focused on songwriting, a change inspired in part by his social consciousness. "I was uncomfortable with the state of Hip Hop being largely about the expression of ego. I wondered how I could be more crafty at writing songs in the form of a rap that actually expressed more than ego, style and finesse," he stated. "I figured I would educate myself to learn more about songwriting and apply that later to hip hop."Shine Through was Blacc's first full-length album and was released in 2006. It received significant media attention in the U.S. and abroad. Pitchfork wrote that Shine Through had "flashes of keen musical interpolation" and signaled "some sort of greatness,", NPR named the track "Nascimento" as song of the day, and Absolute Punk noted that Shine Through flows beautifully from one track to the next, infusing old-school funk and soul with a modern essence that makes it incredibly unique Also in 2009, while working on his second album, Blacc toured Europe and the United States with Emanon, and collaborated with the Japanese hip hop producer Cradle on a project called Bee.

2010–11: Good Things

In 2010, Blacc released Good Things on Stones Throw Records. A commercial success, Good Things was certified gold in the UK, France, Germany and Australia, among other countries, and ultimately hit double platinum sales. The single "I Need A Dollar", which was used as the theme song to the HBO series How To Make It in America, reached 1 million in sales in 2013; two additional singles, "Loving You Is Killing Me" and "Green Lights" became European hits as well. Good Things was praised by the media, receiving positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Spin, NME and Entertainment Weekly, among others. Shortly after the release of the record, Blacc signed with Simon Fuller's XIX Management.In 2011, Blacc contributed a track to the album Red Hot + Rio 2, a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot + Rio, with all proceeds donated to raise money and awareness to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues. That summer, Blacc performed on the main stages at major festivals such as Glastonbury and The Falls Festival in Australia with his primary touring band The Grand Scheme. In 2012 he appeared at the renowned North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Osheaga in Montreal.


In 2012, Blacc joined a music project, Roseaux established by Emile Omar. Other musicians include Alex Finkin and Clement Petit. The band released its debut self-titled album Roseaux, with all eleven tracks featuring the vocals of Aloe Blacc. The album reached #92 in French Albums Chart. The debut single, "More Than Material,' peaked at #80 on the French singles chart.In 2013, Blacc co-wrote the song "Wake Me Up" with Swedish DJ Avicii. With Blacc on vocals, the song reached #1 in 103 countries and became the fastest selling single in the UK, selling 267,000 copies in its first week. In September of that year, Blacc signed with Interscope Records and released an EP, titled Wake Me Up EP. The five-track EP included the songs "Love is the Answer," "Can You Do This," and "Ticking Bomb," as well as an acoustic version of "Wake Me Up." As of November 2013, "Ticking Bomb" is the background music for the new Battlefield 4 game TV advert, and "The Man" is background music for the Beats by Dr. Dre commercials featuring Kevin Garnett, Colin Kaepernick, Richard Sherman and Cesc Fàbregas.In October 2013, Blacc released a video for the track, Blacc collaborating with the immigrant rights group, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the abc* Foundation's Healing Power of Music Initiative, director Alex Rivera, and a cast of actors including Hareth Andrade, a leader in the immigrant youth movement working to stop her own father's deportation, Agustin Chiprez Alvarez, a Los Angeles day laborer, and Margarita Reyes who was deported with her mother as a child despite being born in the US.Blacc's Interscope/XIX debut, Lift Your Spirit, was released in Nov 2013, and featured production by Pharrell, DJ Khalil, and songwriter Harold Lilly, among others.It was announced that Blacc would be the guest advisor for Adam Levine's team on Season 6 of NBC's The Voice.


Blacc is actively involved in Malaria No More. The charity's mission is to end malaria deaths, through "engaging leaders, rallying the public, and delivering life-saving tools and education to families across Africa."

Personal life

Aloe Blacc is married to Australian rapper Maya Jupiter. In September 2013, they had their first child, a girl named Mandela.


  • 2012 Brit Award - Best International Male Soul Artist (nomination)
  • 2012 Brit Award - Best International Breakthrough Act (nomination)
  • 2011 Soul Train Awards - Centric Award (nomination)
  • 2011 Worker's Voice Award

Notable appearances

  • Glastonbury Festival
  • Lollapalooza Festival
  • iTunes Music Festival
  • Montreal Jazz Festival
  • Zermatt Unplugged Festival
  • The Falls Music & Arts Festival
  • Super Rock Festival
  • North Coast Music Festival
  • United Islands Prague 2013
  • National Anthem for the 2014 Daytona 500
  • Electric Forest Festival 2014

Television appearances

  • The Voice (2014)
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2014)
  • The Voice (2013)
  • Dancing with the Stars (2013)
  • Frost Over the World (2012)
  • Hootenanny with The Grand Scheme (2011, 2012)
  • Conan (2011)
  • The Graham Norton Show (2011)
  • Lorraine (2011)
  • Strictly Come Dancing (2011)
  • Andrew Marr (2011)
  • Later... with Jools Holland (2010)
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2010)


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Hot tracks

Aloe Blacc - The Man

The Man


Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar

I Need A Dollar


Aloe Blacc - Kid Ink - The Man

The Man


Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up

Wake Me Up


Aloe Blacc - Hello World

Hello World


Aloe Blacc - David Correy - The World Is Ours

The World Is Ours


Aloe Blacc - Loving You Is Killing Me

Loving You Is Killing Me


Aloe Blacc - The Kenneth Bager Experience - The Sound Of Swing

The Sound Of Swing


Aloe Blacc - Hey Brother

Hey Brother


Aloe Blacc - Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune


Aloe Blacc - Femme Fatale

Femme Fatale


Beth - Wake Me Up

Wake Me Up


Aloe Blacc - Green Lights

Green Lights