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ChingyAKA Howard Bailey, Jr.

Born: 9-Mar-1980
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Right Thurr

Raised in the Walnut Park neighborhood of St. Louis, Howard Bailey Jr. spent his childhood in the home of his grandmother, squeezed in amongst a crowd of siblings and other relatives. Surrounded by poverty, drugs and gang activity, Bailey had to endure the added hardships of a broken home and constantly-changing residences after reaching the age of 10. Around this time Bailey got together with a friend and formed the rap duo L.S.D. ("Lethal Substance of Dope") and began trying his luck in local talent competitions. Later adopting the name "Chingy" (after passing on the more intellectual-sounding moniker "Thugsy") and striking out on his own, he gradually built up enough of a following to land an opening slot on the 2002 tour of fellow rapper and St. Louis native Nelly. This in turn led to an association with Ludacris, who signed the young performer to his newly-founded Disturbing Tha Peace label.

With the release of the single Right Thurr in 2003, Chingy immediately found himself with an international audience. The popularity of the song pushed his debut album Jackpot up to the #2 slot on the charts the week of its release, quickly earning it triple-platinum sales figures. His sudden popularity was subsequently reinforced by the follow-up singles Holidae Inn and One Call Away, both of which made a similar impact on the charts. The simplistic nature of Chingy's music attracted some crticism, however, and some sources in the press made considerable hay out of unfavorable comparisons to both Nelly and his current mentor Ludacris. No doubt he shed bitter tears on his way to the bank. The popularity of Right Thurr was given a second push a year later by its inclusion in the video game NBA Live 2004.

Chingy's sophomore effort Powerballin' appeared in November of 2004, the album's release preceded once again by a popular single (this time the lower-top 40 entry Balla Baby). In addition to contributions on several songs from the rap group G.I.B., the vocal stylings of prominent R&B performers R. Kelly (on Leave Wit Me) and Janet Jackson (on Don't Worry) were also called upon. After the completion of Powerballin', the rapper severed his association with Disturbing Tha Peace on the grounds of questionable management practices; he has since set up his own label, Slot-O-Lot Records.

Father: Howard Bailey

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