The smooth style of modern-day soul singer Donnie is comparable to similar-sounding artists Macy Gray, Jill Scott, Seal, and Maxwell. Born in Lexington, Kentucky during the mid-'70s, Donnie was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and came from a very religious family (both of his parents were ministers). Singing for a choir at an early age, Donnie soon expanded his musical horizons, as he became influenced equally by such gospel artists as Walter Hawkins and Mahalia Jackson, plus soul and R&B masters like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin. By the early 21st century, Donnie was signed to the Giant Step label, and issued such singles and EPs as "Holiday," "Masterplan," "Do You Know?" "Excerpts from the Colored Section," and "Our New National Anthem." The singer's full-length debut, The Colored Section, was released in November 2002 and eventually picked up for release by Motown. The Daily News, an even more ambitious album, followed for Soul Thought in 2007. ~ Greg Prato

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