Singer, songwriter, producer and instrumentalist Lyfe Jennings wasn’t always on the path to success. At age 14 Jennings went to jail for 10 years. While in prison, he turned his life around, focused on his music and came out on top.
His first album, “Lyfe 268-192” sold over a million copies.
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Lyfe Jennings continued to shine and in August 2006, he released his second album “The Phoenix” which went to #1 on the R&B chart.
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“I think I’m a great writer — conceptually and lyrically,” Lyfe says. “I believe I can take anything and write about it and make it funny, sexy, cool or hip — I can do it all.”
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For his third album “Lyfe Change,” Jennings opened up his musical experience a little, working with different producers.
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“Jesus Swings — that’s the name of my label,” Lyfe says. “For me, He’s on a swing, which represents the back and forth movement of a pendulum, which is sort of how we deal with life’s situations trying to decide what our next move is.”
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Something For the Kids
Along with being an artist and running his record label, Lyfe also enjoys writing children’s books and designing furniture and jewelry.
“Children have so many ideas of what they want to be when they grow up and they struggle to pick one idea that they can stick to,” he says. “But no one ever takes the time to tell kids that you can try one thing and that they have a lot of times to try something new.”
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Lyfe also plants trees at correctional facilities across the country through his Tree for Lyfe Foundation.
“The reason it’s important is because the trees symbolize life outside of what’s going on in the inside for these dudes,” he says. “If they can see and talk to someone like myself who has been in their same situation, it gives them hope.”
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And Another One
Jennings continues to bring positive messages to his growing fan base. His fourth album “I Still Believe” is set to drop in 2010.
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Inspired by Steve Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” Jennings’ latest single “Statistics” is all about instructing ladies on what to do to get a standup guy.
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“This is a song that you would want your little girl to hear,” Jennings says of his real-talk for women song “Statistics.”
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Jennings is set to debut the official music video for “Statistics” on ESSENCE.com on Tuesday July 13. To watch a video of him performing the acoustic version, click here.
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“Honestly, I really don’t care if anyone remembers me because I think a great song will outlive the artist.” Lyfe says. “In the end, the mission is always greater than the man. For me, the greatest form of flattery would be for someone wanting to remake one of my songs.”
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