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Actor & Musician

Tyrese Gibson: Biography at a Glance

  • Starred in two multibillion dollar franchises, “The Fast and the Furious” and “Transformers”
  • Appeared in “Furious 7,” the fifth highest-grossing film of all time
  • Appears in the Fox series “Star”
  • Won a Grammy for best R&B male vocal performance for “Sweet Lady," a single off his debut album “Tyrese”
  • Other film credits include “Baby Boy,” “Southpaw” and “Ride Along 2”
  • His initial break came when a casting call went out to his high school for a teenager to sing in a Coke commercial.
Actor & Musician

In the world of blockbuster movies, he’s Tyrese Gibson. His music fans, meanwhile, have known him for 18 years simply as Tyrese. But by those or any other names, he’s a Black Rose — which also just happens to be the title appended to his new double-album and book, which were released in July as part of a tsunami of activity from the multi-hyphenate star. The bloom is still very much on for the Watts native who rose from among the cracks to become a celebrated singer, rapper, actor, author, designer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and raconteur.

The world already got a significant dose of Tyrese Gibson in 2015 in the form of Furious 7. The April release was his fourth entry in the indomitable Fast and the Furious series — one of two multi-billion-dollar movie franchises with which he’s associated, the other being the Transformers films.

If that’s not enough, throw in a sure-to-be-buzzed-about short film: “Shame,” a 22-minute Paul Hunter-directed mini-movie built around the intensely emotional ballad of the same name. Playing a troubled R&B bandleader from a bygone era, Tyrese co-stars with Jennifer Hudson, who portrays his long-suffering wife and backup singer.

Tyrese was discovered in the early ‘90s. His initial break came when a casting call went out to his high school in 1994 for a 15- or 16-year-old to sing in a Coke commercial. As a result, his debut album Tyrese went platinum and produced a single, “Sweet Lady,” that ultimately won him a Grammy for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance. His breakout success also helped earn him a job as the host of MTV Jams.

In 2001, as Gibson stepped into John Singleton’s Baby Boy in a role that had originally been written for the late Tupac Shakur. He found favor with critics; TV Guide called him “a star in the making.” Entertainment Weekly praised his “broodingly responsive performance as a young man who refuses to grow up because it would mean he’d have to stop fighting himself,” while the New York Times gushed over the role being “acted with such a winning combination of playfulness, vulnerability and sexual dynamism by Mr. Gibson.” For Tyrese and the world’s moviegoers, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

When Singleton was drafted to direct 2 Fast 2 Furious two years later, he brought Gibson along in his ensemble cast, and suddenly Tyrese became known as a different kind of movie star. Tyrese also starred in three films from the Transformers franchise, including 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, currently the eleventh highest-grossing film of all time.

Gibson’s other movie credits include Ride Along 2 and Southpaw. Recently the Hollywood trades broke the news that Universal had optioned a screenplay called Desert Eagle that Tyrese conceived and co-wrote himself. The film will have Tyrese starring as one of two border patrol agents who infiltrate an international drug cartel that’s taken cover in a Native American reservation to avoid detection.

On top of that, his Voltron Entertainment company has interests in a massive film studio complex that’s being built in one of Tyrese’s favorite spots, Dubai. He’s also involved in developing a clothing line for men. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

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