Omari Ishmael Grandberry (born November 12, 1984), better known as Omarion (as of May 2, 2012 he signed with Maybach Music Group and took on the nickname Maybach O), is an American R&B singer, actor, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and former lead singer of the R&B group, B2K. Omarion was spotted at a young age by a manager, Christopher B. Stokes, who took a liking to his vocal abilities. This led to forming the group B2K, which disbanded after being successful for a few years. His third album Ollusion was released January 12, 2010 with the lead single I Get It In.
Born in Watts, California, to Leslie Burrell and Trent Grandberry, Omarion is the oldest of seven children. At school he captained his football team and was also known for his slick dance moves. Although he dropped out of school midway, Omarion began to perform at age five. He was part of ‘UAC’ but soon disbanded as he wanted to focus on his talent, hip-hop. Before he made it into the music business, he was in commercials for Kelloggs Corn Pops and McDonald’s. He also made cameos in the R&B girl group Before Dark’s music videos. He embarked on a career in music. The smooth harmony singing that formed an integral part of the band B2K, helped him establish a solo career. His younger brother O’Ryan is also a singer.
On December 26, 2006 Omarion released his second album 21. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The first single from the album was “Entourage”. The second single “Ice Box”, produced by Timbaland, peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is Omarion’s most successful solo single to date, reaching gold certification by the RIAA. 21 has sold over 390,000 copies in the United States.
In late 2007 Omarion and Bow Wow recorded a collaboration album entitled Face Off. The album sold over 100,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell over 500,000 copies, reaching gold certification by the RIAA. The first single from the album was “Girlfriend”, followed up by “Hey Baby” as the second single.
During this time, Omarion toured with numerous artists, including Bow Wow, Ciara, Yung Joc, Ne-Yo, Usher, Lloyd, Mario, Pretty Ricky, and Jibbs.
On March 30, 2009 Lil Wayne confirmed that Omarion was officially signed to Young Money Entertainment but only after two months he parted ways with the label, with both Lil Wayne and Omarion confirming he was out for business reasons. In early 2010, Omarion signed with EMI and created his own label, StarrWorld Entertainment. Omarion later re-released the single “I Get It In” with Lil Wayne replaced by Gucci Mane. Then he released his second single “Speedin'”. He released his third studio album Ollusion, which sold 19,400 copies in its first week.
The Awakening and signing to Maybach Music Group (2011–2012)
In early 2011 Omarion worked on his first mixtape presented by DJ Drama, titled ‘The Awakening’. Originally to be released on April 27, 2011, the mixtape was instead released on May 11, 2011. On May 2, 2012, Omarion signed with Maybach Music Group.
In early 2004, Omarion appeared in several films, most notably You Got Served in which he starred alongside Marques Houston, as well as his former B2K band mates. The movie centered around a group of friends in a hip hop dance crew who take part in underground dance competitions. Later that year, he played the role of the school bully “Reggie” in the comedy Fat Albert, based on the animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Towards the end of 2007, he displayed his acting skills in the thriller Somebody Help Me. This movie was released exclusively on DVD and aired on BET in celebration of Halloween. Omarion has also made several appearances in a number of TV shows, including One on One. Omarion also played the voice of Fifteen Cent in The Proud Family Movie. His portrayal of a rapper, who gets involved with thugs, in the movie Feel the Noise, received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. Omarion also co-produced Feel the Noise.