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Kamaljit Singh Jhooti ( ; born 26 March 1981), better known by his stage name Jay Sean, is a Britishmarker singer-songwriter, rapper, beatboxer and record producer. He was initially signed to Virgin Records and later founded his own independent label, Jayded Records. His early hits in Europe included "Dance with You", "Eyes On You", "Stolen", "Ride It" and "Tonight". In Asia, he is best known for the hits "One Night" and "Maybe". He has released two albums, Me Against Myself (2004), which sold more than two million copies in India, and My Own Way (2008), which topped the UK R&B Chart.

He is currently signed to Cash Money Records for his North American releases. His American debut single "Down" topped the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first solo artist of Asian origin and first UK urban act to top the Hot 100. The single sold two million copies in the United States, making him the most successful male UK urban artist in US chart history, as well as the most successful British male artist in the US since Elton John in 1997. His next single, "Do You Remember", has debuted at #27 in the Hot 100. Both songs are featured in his third album, All or Nothing (2009), his debut album in North America.

Life and career

1981–2002: Early life and career beginnings

Sean was born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti in Hounslowmarker, West London, England, to Sharan and Bindi Jhooti, Punjabi Sikh immigrants from India. He was raised in Southallmarker and displayed musical talent at an early age. At age 11, he and his cousin formed a hip hop duo named "Compulsive Disorder". He later enrolled in Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistrymarker at Queen Mary, University of Londonmarker, to study medicine before he dropped out in 2003 to pursue a singing career. For his music career, he chose the stage name Jay Sean; "Jay" is a common Indian name that he was known by when he began hip hop, while "Sean" is derived from a nickname he was called at home, "Shaan", which means "shining star" in Punjabi.

2003–06: Me Against Myself

In 2003, Sean signed a £1m deal with Virgin Records after his track "One Minute" fell into the hands of producer Rishi Rich. His first taste of UK chart success was his collaboration with Rishi Rich and Juggy D for the song, "Dance with You ", which became a Top 20 hit, peaking at #12. His second single, "Eyes on You," became a Top 10 hit, peaking at #6. His third single, "Stolen," peaked at #4 with Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu making an appearance in the video. His debut album, Me Against Myself, was released and received much critical praise and acclaim. In India it became a substantial hit, selling more than two million copies. He made a brief appearance in the 2005 Bollywood film Kyaa Kool Hai Hum providing the song "Dil Mera (My Heart)" to the soundtrack.

He recorded a 16 track album which was scrapped because Virgin felt the market had changed to where it was all about Pop music. In February 2006, after several delays of his second album, he left Virgin Records.

2007–08: My Own Way with Jayded Records

After parting ways with Virgin Records, Jay Sean began working on his second album, which was initially named after the title track "Deal With It," but the song ended up being given to Corbin Bleu. However, Sean's background vocals remain on Bleu's version of the track. The song "Deal With It" earned Sean a BMI Songwriter Award and later inspired the 2009 single "Juliette" by South Korean band Shinee.

Jay Sean returned in late 2007 with the new single "Ride It", which was the first single from his second album My Own Way. It was to be the first album released as a joint-venture between his own label Jayded and 2Point9 Records. The video for "Ride It" featured Jay Sean with a new style after being out of the limelight for nearly three and a half years. My Own Way debuted at number 6 in the official UK Albums Chart and generated two more UK top 20 singles, "Ride It" and "Maybe". On the back of this Jay received two MOBO Award nominations, for Best UK Male (alongside Dizzee Rascal, Taio Cruz, Wiley and Sway) and Best R'n'B/Soul (alongside Usher, Estelle, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown). "Ride It" was successful in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia, Turkey and Romania, where it became one of the three best-selling singles of the year. "Maybe" was also successful in Japan, where it reached #7 on the Japan Hot 100 Singles.

In August 2008, Jay Sean co-hosted London radio station Choice FM's Breakfast show a week in which he only performed previously unheard tracks, including a song whose title was left to the listeners to decide. The unknown track was later confirmed to be called "Tonight" and is included in My Own Way: Deluxe Edition.

2009–present: All or Nothing with Cash Money Records

On 15 October 2008 during the MOBO Awards, Jay Sean announced that he had signed with the American hip-hop oriented record label Cash Money Records distributed via Universal Republic Records making him the first British Asian singer to sign with an American label. His American-debut single was "Down" featuring American rapper and label mate Lil Wayne. It topped the Billboard Hot 100, replacing Black Eyed Peas.

At the 2009 UK Asian Music Awards (AMA), Jay Sean won three awards, including "Best Male", "Best Urban Act" and "Best Album" for My Own Way. He met with Rishi Rich, Juggy D and H-Dhami during the ceremony.

On his first interview in America with MTV IGGY, Jay announced that he was recording five new songs for his then upcoming release of My Own Way , one of which was his American-debut single with Lil Wayne, later titled "Down". Jay discussed a collaboration with Akon at the 2009 Grammy Awards, in addition to recording a song with Nadine Coyle and believes the album will be released in third quarter of 2009. However, the album title has now been confirmed to be All or Nothing and will feature brand new songs.

Jay Sean has also featured on a song called "Written on Her" alongside Birdman for the CEO’s next project, released on 23 June 2009 on iTunes. This song was played during an interview on Westwood Radio 1 with Birdman and Jay Sean. Jay Sean has featured on Skepta's single "Lush" released on 10 June 2009 on iTunes. He will also feature on Kevin Rudolf's single "Cash Money Heroes" with Birdman and Lil Wayne.

Jay Sean was in early September 2009 nominated for the 30 Under 30 award.

Community work

Jay Sean does various bits of work with the community. He has worked with BBC Blast doing Q&A's on tour events in an effort to "give something back".He has also supported the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in the charity event Partnership Walk and Run by performing in Regent's Parkmarker in 2004 and 2009.

Awards and nominations

UK Asian Music Awards (AMAs)
  • 2005: Best Album (Me Against Myself)
  • 2005: Best Urban Act
  • 2005: Best Video ("Stolen")
  • 2007: DesiHits Artist of the Year Award
  • 2009: Best Male
  • 2009: Best Album (My Own Way)
  • 2009: Best Urban Act
Channel U Best of British Awards
  • 2008: Best Video ("Ride It")

UK BMI Awards

MTV Russia Music Awards
  • 2008: Best International Artist

MOBO Awards
  • 2008: Best UK Male
  • 2008: Best R'n'B/Soul

Rogers Filmi South Asian Film Festival
  • 2009: Music Video Award ("Down")

UK Urban Music Awards
  • 2009: Best Collaboration ("Down", featuring Lil Wayne)

30 Under 30
  • 2009: Nominated




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