About Ray J
As an entrepreneur, actor, and singer, Ray J has parlayed his daring and often controversial profile into a successful career and positioned himself as a contemporary renaissance man.
In 1993, while older sister Brandy was making her mark in the music arena, at age 12, Ray J nabbed the role of LJ on comedian Sinbad’s hit sitcom Sinbad. Always ahead of the curve, in 1997, Ray J released his first album, Everything You Want (Elektra) and followed up with 2002’s This Ain’t a Game (Atlantic), which showcased Ray J’s trendsetting instincts, considering he was among the first to collaborate with legendary production duo The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams). Ray J’s second album also featured the catchy and dynamic single “Wait A Minute,” an international club favorite and collaboration with superstar rapper Lil’ Kim.
A few years later, Ray J continued to build his acting chops, making appearances on various television sitcoms, including co-starring on Moesha with sister Brandy. Independent film roles followed but soon Ray J hit a career dry spell, which caused him to recalibrate his career efforts toward his first true love – music – and offer the world a string of soul-stirring chart-topping hits.
In 2005 with help from his family, Ray J founded and developed his independent record label, Knockout Entertainment, released his third album entitled Raydiation, and his career began to take off. Reemerging as an independent artist helped Ray J score his biggest hit single, “One Wish.” The galvanizing ballad, produced by mega-producer Rodney Jerkins, earned Ray J a BMI award and his first #1 single on the Billboard R&B charts for 25 weeks, pushing Raydiation over the 400,000 sales mark – a phenomenal achievement for an independent release. Not one to rest on his laurels Ray J parlayed the success of his re-born music career into a multi-format presenter slot on a number of BET programs including top rated 106&Park. He simultaneously took on the starring role of Darrell ‘D-Mack’ McGinty in the newly re-vamped One On One TV series with co-star Kyla Pratt. This also meant Ray J had to become bi-coastal, flying from New York to Los Angeles every week to fulfill his commitments to both BET and One On One. All the shows he hosted at BET including BET Countdown.Com, which he co-created, and One On One enjoyed a substantial ratings boost with the addition of Ray J.
In the spring of 2008, Ray J released his most successful album to date, All I Feel, a collection of ballads and up-tempo songs that showcase Ray J’s versatility, including the chart-topping “Sexy Can I” with newcomer Yung Berg. The single stayed on the charts for 26 weeks, went triple platinum, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and became the fastest growing record in Koch Entertainment’s distribution history. # 1 on Billboard R&B chart and #1 on Billboard Independent Chart and All I Feel debuted # 7 on Billboard Hot 200 list.
With a solid music career under his belt, In February 2009, proved that he could carry the television audience with his new smash #1 hit TV show – For The Love Of Ray J. In it’s debut season on VH1, his new show For The Love Of Ray J rose quickly to #1 on the channel having broken records for original VH1 programming and often out rated shows on major networks. In fact, the show is such a big hit VH1 took the unprecedented step of migrating it to their sister station, MTV for simultaneous airings. In 2010 the success of For The Love Of Ray J spawned another hit Vh-1 series starring the entire Norwood clan, Brandy And Ray J: A Family Business that Ray J served as the Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Star. In 2010 Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business debuted to stellar ratings for VH1 anchoring the network’s Sunday night programming block. The family reality show in which he starred with his parents Willie and Sonja Norwood and his superstar sister Brandy, chronicles their business and personal lives as a modern family striving to maximize their professional success while strengthening their family bond in the dynamic world of show business. The show was renewed for season 2. Music stayed a part of Ray J’s focus. In 2010 Ray J teamed up with New Boyz for the platinum single “Tie Me Down.”
In 2013, Ray J joined the cast co-starring with Rickey Smiley on the hit TV show The Rickey Smiley Show. In 2103, he hosted one of Oxygen’s highest rated TV Reality show, “Bad Girls All-Star Battle,” which pits 14 of the biggest names in “Bad Girls Club” history under one roof to compete for $100,000 and the title of “Baddest Bad Girl of All Time.” Ray J, in 2014, continued his meteoric success stories in the history of the reality television genre in the VH1 smash #1 hit TV series “Love & Hip Hop – Hollywood”- Season 4. His entrepreneurial drive and business acumen landed him in the role of Executive Producer on the 2016 WE network, reality TV “Driven to Dating,” and BET TV reality Series “Music Moguls” for 2016. Testing the genre of TV reality games in 2016 and 2017, Ray J and his sister, Brandy, were premiere guests on the first season of Fox’s new TV series, “My Kitchen Rules.”
As a marketing-focused entrepreneur, Ray J has founded several successful brands in the technology, hair, and music industry. Finding particular success at combining celebrity relationships with his marketing acumen, Ray J’s companies have achieved exponential growth through his ability to secure product placements through well-known figures such as Sean Combs, Brandy, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Stephen Curry, Carl Delevingne, and professional athletic teams, including the L.A. Clippers and Los Angeles Rams. In 2017, Ray J closed a multi-million dollar partnership with Cowboy Wholesale, a leading distributor of consumer electronics, to form Raycon, where he currently oversees marketing and global branding strategy.
Ray J’s love for humanity shows in his on-going support for breast cancer, education and sports. He currently sponsors the “Knockout Elite” Basketball team ages 9 to 10 years old in its second year, and his family charity Norwood Kids Foundation. Ray J also strives to act as a model to inspire young entrepreneurs. Seeking to better the careers of young teenagers, Ray J spends time in classrooms and workshops with students to pass along his lessons as an entrepreneur.