Who is Will Downing, and what has he contributed to music?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Will (Wilfred) Downing is an African-American singer and songer writer, known for his silky baritone voice that sings songs in R&B and contemporary jazz genres. Before he became a soloist, Downing sang back-up in the 1980s with such names as Kool & the Gang, Billy Ocean, Greg Albright, and Anita Baker. Then, in 1988, Downing released his first solo album. However, it was not until he went to Mercury records that Downing experienced real success.

In 1993, Downing recorded Love's the Place to Be; Moods followed in 1995; then, Invitation Only in 1997. These albums sold over 200,000 each. After these successes, Downing received the International Association of African-American Music Diamond Award for a song, "When You Need Me" taken from the album. In 2000, Downing received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Album that contains the duet single with Chante Moore. Famous for singing "unapologetic romantic " songs, Will Downing received in 2000 a nomination for a Grammy with the song, "All the Man You Need." Then, in 2002, Downing received the International Association of African-American Music Diamond Award.