Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer, songwriter, and stand-up comedian. As an actor, his work in the 2004 film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a musical or comedy. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral.
He is also a Grammy Award winning musician, producing three albums which have charted highly on the Billboard 200: Unpredictable, which topped the chart, Best Night of My Life, and Intuition. Foxx starred in his own television show, The Jamie Foxx Show, as Jamie King. In 2012, Foxx starred in the film Django Unchained, and in 2014, he played the villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Foxx was born in Terrell, Texas. He is the son of Louise Annette Talley Dixon and Darrell Bishop; his father sometimes worked as a stockbroker, and changed his name to Shahid Abdula after converting to Islam. Shortly after his birth, Foxx was adopted and raised by his mother's adoptive parents, Esther Marie (Nelson), a domestic worker and nursery operator, and Mark Talley, a yard worker. He has had little contact with his birth parents, who were not part of his upbringing. Foxx was raised in the black quarter of Terrell, at the time a racially segregated community. As a teenager, he was a part-time pianist and choir leader in Terrell's New Hope Baptist Church, and had a strict Baptist upbringing.
Foxx began playing the piano when he was five years old. As a second grader, he was so talented in telling jokes that his teacher used him as a reward. If the class behaved, Foxx would tell them jokes. Foxx attended Terrell High School, where he received top grades, played basketball and football as quarterback, and had an ambition to play for the Dallas Cowboys. He was the first player in the school's history to pass for more than 1,000 yards. He also sang in a band called Leather and Lace. After completing high school, Foxx received a scholarship to United States International University, where he studied classical music and composition. He has often acknowledged his grandmother's influence in his life as one of the greatest reasons for his success.
1989-2004: Beginnings and acting debut:
After accepting a girlfriend's dare, Foxx told jokes at a comedy club's open mic night in 1989. When he found that female comedians were often called first to perform, he changed his name to Jamie Foxx, feeling that it was a name ambiguous enough to disallow any biases. He chose his surname as a tribute to comedian Redd Foxx. In addition, his recurrent In Living Color character LaWanda shared names with Redd's friend and co-worker, LaWanda Page. Foxx joined the cast of In Living Color in 1991 and subsequently played a recurring role in the comedy-drama sitcom Roc. From 1996 to 2001, Foxx starred in his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show.
He made his film debut in the 1992 comedy Toys. His first dramatic role came in Oliver Stone's 1999 film Any Given Sunday, wherein he portrayed a hard-partying American football player. He was cast in the role, in part, because of his background as a football player. Following Any Given Sunday, Foxx was featured as taxi driver Max Durocher in the film Collateral alongside Tom Cruise, for which he received outstanding reviews and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1994, Foxx released an album (on the Fox record label) entitled Peep This. In 2003, Foxx made a cameo in Benzino's music video for "Would You", which features LisaRaye McCoy and Mario Winans.
2004-2006: Ray, Unpredictable, and Dreamgirls:
In 2004, he was featured on rapper Twista's song, "Slow Jamz", which also featured Kanye West. The song reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, as well as #3 on the UK Singles chart. Foxx's second collaboration with Kanye West, "Gold Digger," in which he sang the "I Got A Woman" Ray Charles-influenced hook, went straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained there for 10 weeks. In 2005, Foxx was featured on the single "Georgia" by Atlanta rappers Ludacris and Field Mob. The song sampled Ray Charles' hit "Georgia on My Mind."
Foxx portrayed Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray (2004), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Foxx is the second male in history to receive two acting Oscar nominations in the same year for two different movies, Collateral and Ray. The only other male actor to achieve this was Al Pacino. In 2005, Foxx was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Foxx released his second studio album, Unpredictable, in December 2005. It debuted at #2, selling 598,000 copies in its first week. The following week, the album rose to #1, selling an additional 200,000 copies. To date, the album has sold 1.98 million copies in the United States, and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. The album also charted on the UK Albums Chart, where it peaked at #9. Foxx became the fourth artist to have won an Academy Award for an acting role and to have achieved a #1 album in the U.S. (The other three to accomplish this feat were Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Barbra Streisand.) Foxx's first single from the album, the title track "Unpredictable" (featuring Ludacris), samples "Wildflower" by New Birth. The song peaked in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles and also made the UK Top 20 singles chart. The second U.S. single from the album was "DJ Play a Love Song," which reunited Foxx with Twista. In the UK, the second single was "Extravaganza," which saw Foxx once again collaborate with Kanye West. Foxx was not featured in the song's music video.
At the 2006 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards, Foxx won Best Duet/Collaboration with Kanye West for "Gold Digger" and tied with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" for Video of the Year. On December 8, 2006, Foxx received four Grammy Award nominations, which included Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for Love Changes featuring Mary J. Blige, Best R&B Album for Unpredictable, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for Georgia by Ludacris & Field Mob featuring Jamie Foxx, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for Unpredictable featuring Ludacris.
Following these successes, Foxx appeared in Jarhead, Miami Vice, and Dreamgirls, which were box-office hits, and lifted his profile even higher as a bankable star in Hollywood.
2007 brought him the lead role in the film The Kingdom opposite Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Ashraf Barhom. In September 2007, Foxx was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He said, upon receiving the honor, "it was one of the most amazing days of my life." In April 2009, Foxx played the lead role in the dramatic film The Soloist. A few months later in October 2009, he played a starring role alongside Gerard Butler in the thriller Law Abiding Citizen.
On January 22, 2007, Foxx launched The Foxxhole, a channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. The channel features talk-radio programs, stand-up comedy albums, and music primarily by African-American performers, and features much of Foxx's own material as well. The Jamie Foxx Show, Foxx's own talk-radio variety program, airs Friday evenings on The Foxxhole; co-hosts have included Johnny Mack, Speedy, Claudia Jordan, The Poetess, Lewis Dix, Yvette Wilson, T.D.P, and Tyrin Turner. Guests include popular musicians, actors, and fellow comedians. On the April 17, 2009 episode of The Jamie Foxx Show, Foxx and his co-hosts made several sexually suggestive and disparaging jokes regarding teenaged singer Miley Cyrus. Foxx issued a public apology on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno several days later in response to growing public outcry as well as televised criticism by Cyrus's father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
Foxx continued his musical career with a number of collaborations. In 2007, he recorded a song with country superstars Rascal Flatts entitled "She Goes All the Way" for their album, Still Feels Good. Foxx also performed background vocals for artist/songwriter Tank. He and The-Dream are featured on Plies' "Please Excuse My Hands." He also appeared on the remix of Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent" entitled "She Got Her Own." The track also features Fabolous. Foxx then collaborated with rapper The Game on the track "Around The World." Foxx released his third album titled Intuition in 2008, featuring such artists as Kanye West, T.I., Ne-Yo, and T-Pain. The album's first single, "Just Like Me" featuring T.I., was promoted by a video directed by Brett Ratner and featuring an appearance by Taraji P. Henson. The second single "Blame It" featured T-Pain and became a top 5 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and a number-one single on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The "Blame It" music video, directed by Hype Williams, features cameo appearances by Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Howard, Quincy Jones, and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others. Foxx was also featured on T.I.'s single "Live in the Sky" from the album King. On April 6, 2009 Foxx performed the George Strait song "You Look So Good in Love" at the George Strait Artist of the Decade All-Star Concert. Foxx has been a fan of country music for many years. Jamie Foxx hosted the 2009 BET Awards ceremony on June 28, 2009, which featured several tributes to pop star Michael Jackson, who had died three days prior to the show. Aside from performing "Blame It" with T-Pain and "She Got Her Own" with Ne-Yo and Fabolous, Foxx opened the show with a rendition of Jackson's "Beat It" dance routine and closed the show with a cover of The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with Ne-Yo. Foxx stated during the ceremony, "We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everybody else."
2010-11: Django Unchained and Best Night of My Life:
In 2011, Foxx was cast in the title role of Django Unchained. It was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, and Foxx starred alongside his Ray co-star Kerry Washington, as well as Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson. As a producer, Foxx played a role in In the Flow with Affion Crockett on Fox in summer 2011. In April 2011, Foxx voiced Nico, a canary in the movie Rio.
Foxx released his fourth album, Best Night of My Life, on December 21, 2010. The first single is "Winner", featuring Justin Timberlake and T.I.. The second single is "Living Better Now" featuring rapper Rick Ross and the third single is "Fall for Your Type" featuring rapper Drake. On October 7, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Foxx (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release his future material on the RCA Records brand. In 2011, Jamie Foxx was featured in the rapper Pitbull's album "Planet Pit" in the song "Where Do We Go".
In an interview about Django Unchained, Foxx told Vibe magazine: "As a black person it's always racial. ... when I get home my other homies are like how was your day? Well, I only had to be white for at least eight hours today, or I only had to be white for four hours."
2012-present: Focus on acting:
On November 25, 2012 at BET's Soul Train Awards, Foxx joked "It's like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama." The joke led to condemnation from some Christians, to which Foxx responded by saying "I'm a comic and sometimes I think people get a little too tight." While hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live on December 9, 2012 and promoting Django Unchained, Foxx joked about being excited "to kill all the white people in the movie". Appearing at the 2013 NAACP Image Awards, Foxx praised the achievements of black people, saying that "black people are the most talented people in the world".
In 2014, Foxx appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as the villain Electro, and co-starred with Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie, Sony's update of the comic strip-turned-musical, produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z. Foxx was also confirmed by director Oliver Stone to be cast as Martin Luther King Jr. in his upcoming biopic produced by Steven Spielberg.
Foxx has two daughters, Corinne Bishop, born in 1994, and Annalise, born in August 2009.
In 2008, Foxx filmed a public service announcement for Do Something to promote food drives in local communities.
In April 2003, Foxx was involved in an incident with two police officers who were attempting to escort him and his sister out of Harrah's casino in New Orleans. Employees claimed the Foxx party had failed to show identification upon entry. Originally charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, battery on police officers and resisting arrest, Foxx pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace in exchange for the other charges being dropped, and was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term with two years probation and a $1,500 fine.
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