Marc Anthony Thompson Biography

Marc Anthony Thompson is a popular singer and songwriter from Panama. Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Chocolate Genius

Nationality: American, Panamanian

Famous: Lyricists & Songwriters Rhythm & Blues Singers

Born Country: Panama

Born in: Panama

Famous as: Singer


Spouse/Ex-: Kate Sterlin

children: Tessa Thompson, Zsela Thompson

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Marc Anthony Thompson is a popular singer and songwriter from Panama who went on to create the musical collective Chocolate Genius Inc. His style is generally classified to be contemporary R&B, rock, and jazz; he is credited for bringing about a change in avant-garde music. He began his career with the albums ‘Marc Anthony Thompson’ in 1984 and ‘Watts & Paris’ in 1989. However, he didn’t produce anything for a long time in the 1990s. It was then he conceived Chocolate Genius, a musical recording project. Under this, he released two albums: Black Music and Godmusic, both of which received critical acclaim. He then went on to work with several artists for Chocolate Genius Inc. and has since produced many albums that are critically acclaimed. Apart from working alongside his collective, Thompson has written commercial jingles, composed original scores for films, and designed the sound for a live theatrical production. His talents have been recognized by fellow artists and he is the recipient of several awards.

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  • Originally from Panama, Marc moved to Los Angeles as kid. During his time in L.A., he grew up around a variety of musicians and songwriters who influenced him deeply. He listened to Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and Bob Dylan while growing up and realized that it was the stories in their songs that made him want to become a musician. He began by learning to play the flute but decided to switch to the saxophone as he wanted something louder. He started out by wanting to become a jazz artist but realized that he could never match the intensity of the likes of Charlie Parker. At this point, he decided to write his own music. His initial solo albums ‘Marc Anthony Thompson’ (1984) and ‘Watts & Paris’ (1989) were distributed by Warner Music Group. The albums were well received.
  • He moved to New York in 1992 and decided to shift here permanently as there were more avenues for his kind of music in New York. He started by holding recording sessions and it was here that he met Marc Ribot, a guitarist, with whom he would collaborate in the future. He began collaborating with Ribot to produce two records for him and they eventually played together for the band ‘Crackers’. It was after this that his biggest project, Chocolate Genius, was conceived. The group released two albums: Black Music (1998) and Godmusic (2001). At this point, Chocolate Genius comprised a consortium of artists who assisted Thompson, and they included the likes of Jane Scarpantoni, Van Dyke Parks, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid, John Medeski, Christ Whitley, Chris Wood, and many others. Chocolate Genius was then rechristened as Chocolate Genius Inc. for their upcoming albums. They released the next album ‘Black Yankee Rock’ in 2005; ‘Swansongs’ in 2010; and ‘Truth vs. Beauty’ in 2016. The band made it a point to work with smaller, more local labels.
  • Apart from his work with Chocolate Genius Inc., Marc has been involved in several other projects. He toured as a member of Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions band and was involved with Lizz Wright’s studio releases. He has penned many commercial jingles and has composed music for films such as ‘Urbania’ and ‘Everyday People’. He also co-wrote ‘Don’t Grow’, a song for the film ‘Twin Fall Idaho’ (1999) along with musician and producer Stuart Matthewman. For the hit film ‘I Am Sam’, Thompson’s cover of ‘Julia’ was used. In an interesting departure from his usual work, Thomposon worked on the music of ‘A Huey P. Newton Story’, a theatrical production that was adapted into a movie by Spike Lee. For the production, Thompson toured around the world from New York to London and performed the music live. He was involved in composing the movie score for the play as well. He won an Obie award and a Drama Desk nomination for his contribution to the play. Owing to his varied achievements in both film and music, he was asked to host the series ‘Sonic Cinema’ (2000) by Sundance Channel. In 2005, he composed the score of the TV documentary ‘Riker’s High.’
  • Currently, he tours around the world along with his collective and they often play songs from their old albums. He has played at some of the most coveted locations in Europe and is often compared to successful musicians such as Tom Waits and Jeff Buckley.
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Personal Life
  • Marc Anthony Thompson is extremely reserved about his personal life. Not a lot about his early life is known to the public. Born in Panama and raised in Los Angeles, Thompson became famous after moving to New York. He is currently in a relationship with the photographer, Kate Sterlin, and the couple has two daughters: Tessa Thompson and Zsela Thompson. Tessa Thompson is an acclaimed actress, while Zsela is a songwriter and artist.
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- Marc Anthony Thompson Biography
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Last Updated
- February 15, 2019
Marc Anthony Thompson

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