Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Music & Film Industry Mogul, Eric ‘Jamie Foxx’ Bishop

Jamie Foxx is often described as a triple threat for his versatility as an actor, musician and comedian. Born Eric Bishop, Foxx was raised by his grandparents in Terrell, Texas.  He had a special connection with his grandmother Esther Tally, who he affectionately called, “Granny.”  It was his “Granny” who recognized his gift to perform and introduced him to the piano. By fifteen, he was serving as musical director and choir leader at Terrell’s New Hope Baptist Church. Not only was he a gifted musician, but also a star athlete at Terrell High school setting records in football and track. It was music that took this well-rounded young man to California when he received a classical piano scholarship to U.S. International University in San Diego.

Jamie Foxx first came to fame as a comedian. Still going by the name, Eric Bishop, he got his foot in the door of showbiz in 1989 when he tried his hand at standup on a dare at an open mic night. However, being chosen to do open mic night was not as easy as he thought.  After realizing that the women who signed up for open mic nights were always selected, he used different unisex names with hopes of getting stage time. 

After bringing down the house as “Foxx”, the name Eric Bishop was a thing of the past. After spending time on the comedy circuit, he joined Damon Wayans, Tommy Davidson, Jim Carrey, and Keenan Ivory Wayans in the comedy series “In Living Color.” Jamie created some of the show’s funniest and most memorable moments and the show still reruns on BET’s Centric to this day.

What is more, in 1996, Jamie launched his own comedy sitcom series, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” which was one of the top-rated programs on the WB Network during its five-year run.  Foxx not only starred on the series alongside co-stars, Garcelle Beauvais, Ellia English, Christopher B. Duncan, and Garrett Morris, he was also the co-creator, executive producer, and director of several episodes. 
Additionally, Jamie received critical acclaim for his fascinating work in Any Given Sunday and as Bundini Brown in Ali.  If that was not enough, these dramatic roles led to 2004, when Jamie Foxx delivered a triple threat of powerful performances in Ray, Collateral and Redemption.

Jamie’s performances did not go unrecognized, as he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles as well as the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), BAFTA and NAACP Image Awards.  Foxx simultaneously acquired Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and Image Award nominations in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Collateral.  Additionally, he scored Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations and won an Image Award for his portrayal of condemned gang member-turned-Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stan “Tookie” Williams in the television movie Redemption.  
This commendable journey manifested the first time that a single actor has received three Golden Globe nominations and four SAG Award nominations in the same year.  Some of his other films include: Dreamgirls, Miami Vice, Jarhead, The Kingdom, The Soloist, Law Abiding Citizen, Valentine’s Day, and more recently, the animated movie, Rio.

Besides his outstanding work in front of the camera, in January 2006, Foxx launched his own radio channel called The Foxxhole with SIRUS Satellite Radio. The station is a combination of uncensored comedy and music.  In 2007, Jamie took on an additional role as executive producer of the HBO film, Life Support, an inspirational true-life story of a mother who overcame an addiction to crack and became a positive role model and an AIDS activist in the black community.  
Subsequently, Jamie jumped on board with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch the I Know Campaign, which is a social media effort to increase awareness and knowledge about HIV prevention and HIV testing.

Not only is Jamie Foxx a huge mogul in the film industry, he has also returned to his love of music and hit it with a bang.  His J Records debut, Unpredictable, which was released in December 2005 was nominated for three Grammy Awards, eight Billboard Music Awards, one Soul Train Music Award and two American Music Awards, for which he won Favorite Male Artist.  Jamie also received three Grammy nominations and Best R&B Album for his Platinum-selling hit, Intuition, which debuted at No.3 on the Billboard 200 chart in December 2008.  
Bringing in the new year on top, on January 31, 2010, he won a Grammy in the category of Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals for his record breaking hit Blame It, which featured T-Pain at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.  What is more, Blame It broke records including holding the No. 1 position for twelve consecutive weeks on the Urban Mainstream Chart.

Personal Perspective
I am a Jamie Foxx fanatic and would love to meet him one day! I often refer to myself as “Chelle B #1 Jamie-NIAC!”  I absolutely love his style, vocal gift (especially with ballads), and comedic talent! He is a great role model for someone trying to break into the film and music industries.  Jamie also lends a helping hand to new and already existing artists.  He has a top-of-the-line studio inside of his house where he offers artists two weeks of free studio time, and the only thing he asks for in return is the credit.  It is quite evident how successful Jamie Foxx has been and it is even more obvious that he is nowhere near finished!

If you too, are a fan of Eric ‘Jamie Foxx’ Bishop’s work, why don’t you Share In The BlogLedge and post your sentiments about this topic!


  1. I would not say that I too am a Foxx fanatic, but I would say that he is a multi-talented individual. He played really nice roles in Ray and Collateral; and was nothing short of a clown in The Jamie Foxx Show and In Living Color. As for his music - he should just stick to singing behind the piano. That's his strength. Jamie - do like John Legend, stay behind the piano!

  2. Hi Justin Rice!

    Of course I am a Jamie Foxx Fanatic, but I do agree with the piano tip. As aforementioned, I love his voice when he sings ballads. His live performances of him singing and playing the piano are epic! As far as the Jamie Foxx Show and In Living Color, "nothing short of a clown," pretty much sums it up, I concur, and I love every minute of it!

    Thanks Justin Rice, for Sharing In The BlogLedge! :)