Blu Cantrell
Birth Date:
October 1, 1976
Birth Place:
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
5' 7''
Actress, Musician
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Blu Cantrell_040412
Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)


R&B and soul singer and songwriter Blu Cantrell rose to prominence in the early 2000s thanks to her debut single “Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!),” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received two Grammy nominations. Her first studio album, “So Blu” (2001), made it to the Top 10 in both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The second album “Bittersweet” (2003) was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album and spawned an international hit single with “Breathe” (#1 UK and Ireland). The Providence, Rhode Island native beauty was featured in the 2002 film “Drumline,” where she sing the American National Anthem.  

Tiffany Cobb

Childhood and Family:

Tiffany Cobb, who would later be popular as Blu Cantrell (her mother used to call her Blu; Cantrell is her grandmother's surname), was born on October 1, 1976, in Providence, Rhode Island, to an African-American father and an Italian-American mother. Her parents divorced when she was a child, and Blu and her five siblings (Adam, Tino, Nick, Kelli, and Summer) went on to live with their mother. She and her mother later moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother was a former Miss Rhode Island, actress and jazz vocalist. After attending her mother's jazz shows, young Blu knew that she wanted to follow in her footsteps.

At age 19, Blu posed nude for “Black Tail” magazine.



 Blu Cantrell made demos of her music in Atlanta and later sang backing vocals for artists Faith Evans, Sean Combs, Gerald Levert and Aaron Hall. She also collaborated with Usher, Babyface, Lil Kim, Dionne Warwick,, Fat Joe,  Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and jazz legend Herbie Hancock. She was finally spotted by Red Zone Entertainment heads Tricky, Tab and Laney Stewart in the early 2000s, and after a bidding war with five different labels, she was signed to Antonio “L.A.” Reid's label, Arista Records.

Cantrell worked with producers Chris “Tricky” Stewart, Dallas Austin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jason Rome, Don Vito, Olliewood & Scrilla for her debut album, “So Blu,” which was launched on July 31, 2001 in the United States. The album debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It also charted at No. 87 in Australia. Written and produced by Dallas Austin, the lead single “Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)” spent two weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her most successful single in the U.S. to date as well as her only single to enter the top forty of the chart, and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song also charted at No. 12 in the UK, No. 3 in Australia, where the song went gold status, No. 7 in Canada, No. 8 in the Netherlands and No. 3 in New Zealand.“Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)” was nominated for two Grammy Awards in the categories of Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Other singles from the album, “I'll Find a Way” and “Till I'm Gone,” failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 but managed to chart at No. 104 and No. 115 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, respectively. In 2002, Cantrell received an American Music nomination for Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist.

Around this period, Cantrell helped compose and write, along with several other writers, the song “It's Killing Me (In My Mind),” which she also performed, for the soundtrack of the 2002 film “Bad Company.” Also in 2002, she had a small cameo role in the film “Drumline,” in which she could be seen performing the American National Anthem. The film was directed by Charles Stone III and starred Nick Cannon and Orlando Jones.

Cantrell returned with her sophomore effort, “Bittersweet,” on June 24, 2003 in the United States. The album debuted at No. 37 on the Billboard 200, reached No. 8 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and sold 29,000 copies in its opening week. It earned the singer a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. Although the album did not share the domestic success of its predecessor, “Bittersweet” enjoyed much greater success worldwide, thanks largely to the international hit single “Breathe.” The song topped the UK Singles Chart, Irish Singles Chart  and the European Hot 100 Singles as well as made it to the Top 10 in such countries as Australia, where the song also received gold certification from the ARIA, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Norway and Switzerland. The album charted in the UK at No. 20. The second single from the album, “Make Me Wanna Scream,” featuring reggae artist Ian Lewis from the group Inner Circle, charted moderately in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, and Australia.  

On July 26, 2007, Cantrell released a compilation/remix album, “Hit 'Em Up Style: Chart and Club Hits of Blu Cantrell,” with little to no promotion by the label.  

In 2007, Cantrell landed a role on the musical stage play “Gossip, Lies and Secrets,” opposite  LisaRaye and Kenya Moore. The show ran from  September 27, 2007 until November 25, 2007.   

In 2008, Cantrell participated as a contestant in the NBC reality television show “Celebrity Circus.” She was eliminated on the week two, on June 18, 2008, making her the first celebrity to be kicked out of the show. She later returned for the final episode to perform her single “Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!).”

The same year, Cantrell also appeared in “Worth the Weight,” the sixth studio album by the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, in two songs “They Must Not Know” and “Feeling Good.”  


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