Gregory Porter is an American Jazz singer and songwriter. To most people, he is simply known as a two time Grammy award winning singer with a penchant for wearing funny distinctive hats. Despite coming from the lowliest of backgrounds, the 6 ft. 3 Sacramento native was able to overcome every hurdle thrown at him by life thereby grooming himself into becoming the successful man he is today. Read on and you will be amazed.
Gregory Porter’s Bio
Gregory Porter was born on the 4th of November 1971 in Sacramento, California, the United States to parents Ruth Thompson and Rufus Porter. He is of American nationality and Black ethnicity. As a kid, he loved singing and humming childish lullabies. There is no information available about his early childhood education; nevertheless, it is known that he had his high school education at Highland High School in Bakersfield, California. Upon graduation from high school in 1989, he attended the San Diego State University where he studied City Planning and was in hope of one day working in the public administration.
At the age of 21, his mother was diagnosed of breast Cancer and died in his arms. According to him, her last words were strings of encouragement, telling him to focus on his music so he could one day perform at the London’s Royal Albert Hall. After the death of his mom, Porter refused to sing or even hum any song for close to two years until he felt he was ready to be seen by the public. Shortly after that, he signed up for a three times a week jazz jam session before he realized how good a singer he was and how he could one day croon like his idol Nat King Cole.
In 2004, he moved to Brooklyn where he got involved with a lot of musicians and started to sing at midnight clubs like Sista’s Place and Solomon’s Porch. It is, however, important to note that although he did sing at clubs here and there, he never did put out a single record of his own until he was 39 years of age. In 2010, he released his first album which he titled Water under the Mortema Label Imprint. Two years later he released yet another album which he titled Be Good. Both albums were instant hits, with his debut album getting nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards while his sophomore album was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B performance at the 55 annual Grammy Awards which led to him being signed by Blue Note Records on the 17th of May 2013.
Ever since the release of his debut album in 2010, Gregory Porter has been on the constant rise. On the 2nd of September 2015 and the 15th of September 2015, he released his third studio album, Liquid spirit in Europe and the USA respectively. The album received wide success, making it to the top 10 UK album chart. All these successes eventually led to him winning the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His fourth studio Album Take Me to the Alley which was released on the 6th of May 2016 and dedicated to his mom also won him an award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2017 at the Grammy’s.
His greatest achievement according to him was putting out his first live album which he titled One Night Only – Live At Royal Albert Hall (2018), as it made him feel fulfilled singing in the sold-out hall his mom told him he would on her death bed.
Why Does He Always Wear Hats
If you are an adherent follower of Gregory Porter then you will notice that over the years, you have never seen a picture of him without his hat on. In an interview in 2017, when asked why he always wear hats, he went on to reveal that he once had a surgery around his head and part of his face which left a huge scar, but one morning while cooking in the kitchen he saw a black Kangol wraparound and decided to try it alongside a cap and ever since then he has been rocking it. According to him, it has become part of his style and something he can’t do without.
Facts You Must Know About Him
Before getting into a conversation with someone about Gregory Porter here are facts you should know so as not to sound ignorant.
1. Gregory Porter is the seventh of the eight children of his mother. Born into a poor black family, he was a victim of several series of racial abuse in the predominantly white town of Bakersfield.
2. He is currently married to a beautiful blonde Russian Lady by the name of Victoria. They met at a club in Moscow in 2005 and started dating years after she moved to Manhattan. Their marriage is blessed with a boy.
3. Growing up, he wanted to become a professional football player. He had the talent, skill and a full fledged football athletic scholarship to the San Diego State University but his dream of becoming a professional footballer was cut short as a result of a terrible shoulder injury he received during his junior year.
4. Before venturing into music professionally, Gregory Porter first worked as a Chef in Brooklyn and was revered by locals there for his great-tasting turkey chili soup. He also revealed he has a secret desire of one day owning an eight-table restaurant in Brooklyn.
5. His Favorite restaurant is Café Moto in Brooklyn. It’s a restaurant with the touch of the thirties shaped like a slice of pizza which serves American and French delicacies, exotic wines and also has a small band playing live music on stage. It was at this restaurant Porter played his first gig after moving to New York City.