Childhood & Early Life
Born on December 30, 1978, Tyrese Gibson grew up in Watts, a high density youthful neighbourhood in Los Angeles. He was raised by his mother Priscilla Murray-Gibson in the absence of his father, Tyrone Gibson, who left the family in 1983. Youngest of the four children, he has a brother, Tyrone, and two sisters, Salendra and Shonta.
He had a difficult childhood; he once said that he went to school most days so that he could eat. The school, Locke High in Watts, also provided him with a solid musical and acting education that served as a foundation for his career. After graduation, he enrolled at the ‘Florida A&M University’.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
At 14, Tyrese Gibson appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial after being chosen at a talent competition. He sang ‘Always Coca-Cola’ in the commercial which led to more opportunities. He was also involved in ‘Guess’ and ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ ad campaigns.
Tyrese’s first singing contract was with ‘RCA Records’, with whom he signed in early 1998. He released ‘Nobody Else’, his first single from his self-titled studio album on August 4, 1998. The song was produced by Jack Job and it reached the #36 spot on the ‘US Billboard Hot 100’ chart.
The album itself, released on September 29, 1998, was certified Platinum on March 30, 1999, by RIAA. ‘Sweet Lady’, another single from the album, brought him his first Grammy nomination.
He also began his TV acting career around this time. After appearing on ‘Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’, Tyrese got multiple guest roles on TV shows like ‘Martin’, ‘The Parent Hood’, and ‘Moesha’. He played the supporting role of Mad Rage /Skip in the TV movie ‘Love Song’, before making the transition to the big screen.
In 2001, he starred in the coming-of-age film ‘Baby Boy’. A critical and commercial hit, the film marked the cinematic debut of Gibson and Taraji P. Henson.
He released his second studio album titled ‘2000 Watts’ on May 22, 2001. With 59 minutes of length and 15 tracks, the album has sold over 500,000 copies.
After ‘Sony BMG’, which is the parent company of ‘RCA Records’, fully acquired ‘J Records’, Tyrese released his third album, ‘I Wanna Go There’, through ‘J’ in 2002. ‘How You Gonna Act Like That’, a single from the album, reached the #3 spot on the ‘US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks’ chart.
From 2004 to 2006, Gibson did four films, ‘Flight of the Phoenix’, ‘Four Brothers’, ‘Annapolis’, and ‘Waist Deep’, playing the male lead in the last one.
Gibson released his first double album ‘Alter Ego’ on December 12, 2006. He used a new pseudonym ‘Black-Ty’ to record the hip-hop songs which were solely featured on the disc two of the album, while his R&B songs were put on the disc one.
Continue Reading Below
He has made three mixtapes till date. They are ‘Best of Both Hoodz, Vol. 1’ (2006), ‘Ghetto Royalty’ (2006), and ‘Invisible Bully: The Last Tapes’ (2012); all self-released exclusively through digital download.
He put out his fifth album ‘Open Invitation’ under his own label ‘Voltron Recordz’ on November 1, 2011. He received his third Grammy nomination for the album.
In 2007, Tyrese Gibson had formed the supergroup ‘TGT’ along with Ginuwine and Tank. It wasn’t until 2013 that they released their first album through ‘Atlantic Records’, titled ‘Three Kings’.
Beside starring in blockbusters from the ‘Transformers’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ movie franchises, he also worked in stand-alone features like Paul Bettany-starrer ‘Legion’, Kasi Lemmons’ directorial venture ‘Black Nativity’, and the Chinese-American-Hong Kong action comedy ‘Hollywood Adventures’. He portrays the recurring character of Pastor Bobby Harris in Fox’s musical drama ‘Star’.
On July 10, 2015, he released his latest album ‘Black Rose’, distributed by ‘Caroline Records’. It topped both ‘US Billboard Hot 200’ and the ‘Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums’ charts. The second single from the album, ‘Shame’, received two Grammy nominations for ‘Best Traditional R&B Performance’ and ‘Best R&B Song’.
He wrote the screenplay for the upcoming film ‘Desert Eagle.’
As Vin Diesel was busy filming ‘XXX’ (2002), the makers of ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ decided to introduce a new character, the abrasive and street-wise Roman Pearce, and cast Tyrese Gibson for the role. Made on a $76 million budget, the film earned $236.3 million at the box office.
He Portrayed Sgt. Robert Epps in the Michael Bay’s 2007 sci-fi extravaganza ‘Transformers’. Starring alongside Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel, this was Gibson’s first collaboration with the flamboyant filmmaker Michael Bay. He reprised his role in the first two sequels of ‘Transformers’, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ (2009) and ‘The Dark of the Moon’ (2011). With proceeds of $4.2 billion at the box office, the franchise is the 10th highest-grossing film series of all time.
Personal Life & Legacy
Tyrese Gibson met Norma Mitchell, a college student from London, in 2003. They were married four years later. They split in 2009 after highly publicised divorce proceedings. They have a daughter together, Shayla Somer Gibson. In 2017, Gibson married social worker Samantha Lee.
He is associated with several non-profit charitable organisations. He hosted the ‘Benefit Concert for Our Girls of Nigeria’ event by UNICEF in 2014. He has also worked with ‘WE Charity’.
He published his memoir, ‘How to Get Out of Your Own Way’, on April 7, 2011, through ‘Grand Central Publishing’. His second book, ‘Manology: Secrets of Your Man's Mind Revealed’, was co-authored with Rev. Run, and was published February 5, 2013. He is currently working on his third book, ‘Black Rose’.