Before Anthony Hamilton laid down the gospel as an R&B singer, the Charlotte, North Carolina native found his calling as a member of the church choir. “It’s like that feeling you get hearing somebody else lead that made me start to really pay attention to music, not just sonically but what it did to people,” says Hamilton, who began singing at six or seven years old. An introvert raised with his brother and sister by a single mother (his father left when he was nine years old), Hamilton found comfort in a foam-covered speaker while dreaming of stardom. “I was a child who had a very wide imagination and I would become the song. I used to listen to “Ben” by Michael Jackson a lot and I would dream like one day I’m gonna become a famous singer. I said that over and over again for years and I always believed it.”
Over two decades worth of label changes later (past deals included Uptown, MCA, Atlantic Records, Soulife Records, Andre Harrell’s Harrell Entertainment and Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings), Hamilton has found his happy place on RCA Records. Following up 2011’s Grammy-nominated effort Back To Love and his 2014 Christmas offering Home For The Holidays, the R&B cantor maintains his Southern sensibility and poignant songwriting on his fifth studio effort What I’m Feelin.’ Its lead single “Amen” — a melodic love note produced by Salaam Remi and James Poyser, praises a special lady’s efforts. “’Amen’ is just celebrating the beauty that a woman makes you feel, not just physical attributes, but the fact that she works, she goes to church, prays for you, cooks, cleans, just all those things that a woman brings to the table,” Hamilton explains.
Hamilton is known for flipping heartbreak into a blessing as heard on his biggest ballad “Charlene.” After a significant relationship had ended, he left his one-bedroom brownstone apartment in Harlem on 146th Street and Convent Avenue and took the train to 33rd Street to meet with producer Batson at a Manhattan recording studio. “My record deal [at the time], I was pretty much trying to get off. I remember I didn’t have a lot of money. At that time, I was heartbroken,” he reflects. “I just poured my heart out and [“Charlene”] was one of the songs that came out of it.” He notes that his soulful formula stays consistent with What I’m Feelin’, even on a personal level. “I’m fully capable of taking from a broken place and truly turning it into something amazing,” says Hamilton confidently. “I’m truly capable of loving in spite of my situation. I think I still have a fear of letting go to a degree and I think there’s preparations I need to do to get there. I’m not done yet.”
Hamilton’s decorated catalog includes his 2003 debut, Comin’ From Where I’m From (which carried the hit title track), 2005’s Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ among other efforts. He has earned several Grammy nominations, like “Po’ Folks,” the 2002 Nappy Roots collaboration that earned a nod for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and won his first Trophy in 2009 for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for his duet with Al Green on “You’ve Got The Love I Need.” He has also lent his vocals to a variety of talent including Nas, Rick Ross, Carlos Santana, Jill Scott, Tupac, and Al Green to name a few.