Tramar Lacel Dillard (born September 16, 1979), better known by his stage name Flo Rida (pronounced /ˌfloʊ ˈraɪdə/), is an American singer, songwriter and rapper from Carol City, Florida. His 2008 breakout single "Low" was number one for 10 weeks in the United States and broke the record for digital download sales at the time of its release.
Flo Rida's debut studio album, 2008's Mail on Sunday, reached number four in the US. The album was succeeded by R.O.O.T.S., the next year. His subsequent albums, 2010's Only One Flo (Part 1) and 2012's Wild Ones, also charted on the US Billboard 200 chart. Flo Rida has sold over 80 million digital downloads, making him one of the best-selling music artists. His catalog includes the international singles "Right Round", "Club Can't Handle Me", "Good Feeling", "Wild Ones", "Whistle", "I Cry", "G.D.F.R.", and "My House".
Life and career
1979–2006: Early life and career beginnings
Flo Rida was born as Tramar Lacel Dillard in Carol City, Florida, on September 16, 1979. His parents raised him and his seven sisters together, some of whom sang in a local gospel group. His brother-in-law was a hype man for local rap group 2 Live Crew, and while in ninth grade, Flo Rida joined an amateur rap group called the GroundHoggz. The GroundHoggz had been a three-man group, with members who lived in the same apartment complex as Flo Rida. They started recording at underground studios in Carver Ranches. The GroundHoggz, in this four-man incarnation, remained together for eight years.
Flo Rida's work with 2 Live Crew member Fresh Kid Ice, attracted the attention of DeVante Swing, a member of the band Jodeci. However, he was rejected by several of the major labels, so he sought many other jobs outside of music. After graduating from high school in 1998, he studied international business management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for two months and attended Barry University for two months. He returned to Florida to continue pursuing his music career after receiving a phone call from a representative of the independent label Poe Boy Entertainment.
Flo Rida signed with Hot Boyz, in 2000 and with Poe Boy, in 2004 and began affiliating himself for Cash Money with other Southern hip hop artists, such as Rick Ross, Trina, T-Pain, and Trick Daddy. A promotional single entitled "Birthday", featuring Rick Ross, was his first significant release. He made his debut guest appearance with the song "Bitch I'm From Dade County" on DJ Khaled's album We the Best (2007), which also features Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Brisco, C-Ride, and Dre.
2007–2008: Mail on Sunday
Flo Rida's debut album, Mail on Sunday, was released in March 2008. The first single was "Low", featuring T-Pain, which was also included in the soundtrack to the movie Step Up 2: The Streets. "Low" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Elevator", featuring Timbaland, "In the Ayer" featuring will.i.am, and "Roll" featuring Sean Kingston followed, and both charted on the Hot 100 and other charts.
Other than T-Pain, there were many featured guests throughout Mail on Sunday. Timbaland, who produced the second single "Elevator", is also featured on the track. Rick Ross, and Trey Songz made appearances as well. Lil Wayne appeared on the track "American Superstar", while Sean Kingston appeared on the J. R. Rotem-produced "Roll", which was co-written by Compton rapper Spitfiya. Various other guests include Birdman, Brisco, and Yung Joc.
"Money Right", featuring Brisco and Rick Ross, was scheduled to be the fourth single, but this was canceled due to the upcoming release of Flo Rida's second studio album, R.O.O.T.S. His second collaboration with T-Pain, "I Bet", as well as his collaboration with Trina, named "Bout It", both did not make the final track list, but were recorded.
After the success of Mail on Sunday, Flo Rida made guest performances on other R&B, rap, and pop singles, including "Move Shake Drop" by DJ Laz, "We Break the Dawn" by Michelle Williams, the remix of "4 Minutes" by Madonna, "Running Back" by Australian R&B singer Jessica Mauboy, "Feel It" by DJ Felli Fel, and the remix of "Speedin'" by Rick Ross. During the summer of 2008, he did live performances on the Fox dance competition program So You Think You Can Dance in the US and 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada. He appeared on the albums We Global by DJ Khaled, Gutta by Ace Hood, and The Fame by Lady Gaga, among others.
Flo Rida began recording his second album, R.O.O.T.S., 9 months after Mail On Sunday. The album was released on March 31, 2009. The first single, "Right Round" featuring Ke$ha, was released for airplay in January 2009. "Right Round" jumped from number 58 to the top spot in one week in late February. The song broke a record for the most digital one week sales in the US, with 636,000, beating the previous record he had set himself with "Low". "Right Round" sampled "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", a 1985 hit by Dead or Alive. The second official single was "Sugar", which featured R&B singer Wynter Gordon. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Jump", featuring singer Nelly Furtado, was the third official single and was released on July 27, 2009 in the UK, and July 28, 2009 worldwide. "Be on You", featuring features singer Ne-Yo, was the album's fourth official single, released on October 6, 2009. Both songs charted in the top 100 in various countries. "Available", featuring Akon, was going to be released on iTunes but was cancelled. It charted at number 120 in Ireland. A music video was also shot in mid-2009. R.O.O.T.S. debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 55,000 copies in its first week. As of August, 2009, the album has sold 223,000 copies in the United States, and 536,000 worldwide. By the end of 2009, the album sold 247,000 copies in the US, becoming the eighth best selling rap album of 2009.
Flo Rida made guest performances on "Feel It" by DJ Felli Fel, "Starstruck" by Lady Gaga, and "Feel It" by Three 6 Mafia. "Bad Boys", the first single by winner of British reality show The X Factor Alexandra Burke that featured Flo Rida, debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in October.
2010–2011: Only One Flo (Part 1)
Flo Rida's third album Only One Flo (Part 1) was released on November 24, 2010. In March 2010, Flo Rida announced on Twitter that the album would be titled The Only One. Billboard reported that The Only One was to be a double album. A promo single, titled "Zoosk Girl", which features T-Pain, was released on the internet, though the song is not featured on the album, the single does have its own music video. On June 28, 2010, Flo Rida released the song "Club Can't Handle Me" featuring David Guetta, which was stated to be the official first single for the album. The song was also featured in the Step Up 3D soundtrack. On November 2, 2010, "Come with Me" was released as the first promo single for the album, along with "Puzzle", produced, and featuring by Electrixx, which is not featured on the album. On November 16, 2010, "Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was released as the second official promo single for the album via the iTunes Store. It debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number thirty-four on November 29, 2010. After the release of the album in the UK, "Who Dat Girl" started to receive a strong amount of downloads, thus causing it to debut at number 136 on the UK Singles Chart and chart at a current peak of number thirty-one on the UK R&B Chart. "Why You Up In Here" was released as the fourth single, and third promo single, on May 11, 2011. The song features Ludacris, Gucci Mane, and Git Fresh.
Flo Rida also made guest appearances on "iYiYi", a song by Australian teen singer Cody Simpson, and on the song "Out My Video" by Bulgarian singer LiLana. Flo Rida collaborated with UK girl group The Saturdays, recording a new version of their single, "Higher".
In December 2010, Flo Rida created his own label, International Music Group, inspired by Nicki Minaj's signing with Lil Wayne's. He has signed an 18-year-old rapper, Brianna and Git Fresh to International.
2011–2013: Wild Ones
Flo Rida's fourth album, Wild Ones (originally titled Only One Rida (Part 2)) was released in July 2012. Its debut single was "Good Feeling", released on August 29, 2011. The song samples "Levels" by Avicii, which in turn samples Etta James' 1962 song, "Something's Got a Hold on Me". Following the death of Etta James on January 20, 2012, Flo Rida dedicated the song in her memory. The song peaked at No. 3 in the United States, and topped the charts in Austria, Germany, Scotland, and the UK. It reached the top five in nine other countries.
The next two singles from the album were the title track, "Wild Ones", released in December 2011, and "Whistle", released April 2012. "Wild Ones" reached #1 in various countries, and hit #5 in the US, while "Whistle" reached #1 in 20 countries, including the United States.
On April 1, 2012, Flo Rida appeared at WWE's WrestleMania XXVIII in a segment with Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins, and Tyler Reks, in which Slater called Flo Rida "Florida" and the rapper shoved him into a wall. Later that night, he performed "Wild Ones" and "Good Feeling" before Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came out for his match against John Cena. An exclusive Australian EP entitled Good Feeling was released in Australia on April 6, which contains six of his biggest hits and two remixes. It debuted at No. 21 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart On May 22, 2012, Flo Rida performed and closed the show at the first Q102 Springle Ball Concert, and the following day he performed "Goin' In" with Jennifer Lopez on the America Idol finale.
On September 13, Flo Rida performed his new single "I Cry" on America's Got Talent. In an interview with New York Music News, Flo Rida said he is currently recording his next album and that he has finished shooting the music video for "Let It Roll". On December 9, he performed "Let it Roll" and "Wild Ones" at the 2012 edition of WWE's Tribute to the Troops. In November 2012, he collaborated with Olly Murs for his song "Troublemaker".
In June 2013, Flo Rida collaborated with Marc Mysterio on the song "Booty on the Floor" to benefit the families and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing via One Fund Boston.
2014–present: My House and The Perfect 10
On September 29, 2014 (October 21 in the U.S) Flo Rida released the lead single from his EP My House (2015) titled "G.D.F.R." featuring Sage the Gemini. The song became his tenth top 10 hit in the United States. The title track My House was later released as a single and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2016, his biggest hit since 2012's "Whistle".
On February 26, 2016, Flo Rida released "Hello Friday" featuring Jason Derulo, which serves as the lead single from his upcoming fifth studio album The Perfect 10. It has peaked at number 79 so far. On March 24, 2016, Flo Rida released the promotional single "Who's With Me". On May 20, 2016, Flo Rida released another promotional single "Who Did You Love" featuring Arianna.
- Mail on Sunday (2008)
- R.O.O.T.S. (2009)
- Only One Flo (Part 1) (2010)
- Wild Ones (2012)
- My House (EP) (2015)
Awards and nominations
|2008||American Music Awards||Breakthrough Performer||Nominated|
|Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|Best Collaboration ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|BET Hip Hop Awards||Ringtone of the Year ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|Rookie of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Hip-Hop Collabo ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|MuchMusic Video Awards||Best International Video ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|People's Choice Favorite International Video ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Hip-Hop Video ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|Best Male Video ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|Ozone Awards||Breakthrough Artist||Nominated|
|Club Banger of the Year ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout Artist||Nominated|
|Choice Rap Artist||Nominated|
|Choice Hook-Up ("Low" with T-Pain)||Won|
|2009||ARIA Music Awards||Breakthrough Artist Single ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Nominated|
|Highest Selling Single ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Won|
|APRA Awards||Urban Work of the Year ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|MTV Australia Awards||Best Video ("Low" with T-Pain)||Nominated|
|Best Collaboration ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Hip-Hop Video ("Right Round")||Nominated|
|NT Indigenous Music Awards||Single Release of the Year ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Won|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Hip-Hop Song ("Low" with T-Pain)||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Best Hip-Hop Rap Track ("Right Round")||Nominated|
|2010||APRA Awards||Urban Work of the Year ("Running Back" with Jessica Mauboy)||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Rap Album (R.O.O.T.S.)||Nominated|
|Album of the Year (The Fame as featured artist)||Nominated|
|Latin Billboard Music Awards||Crossover Artist Of The Year||Nominated|
|Crossover Artist of the Year, Solo||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2012||Premios 40 Principales||Mejor Artista Internacional en Lengua No Española||Nominated|
|Mejor Álbum Internacional en Lengua No Española||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Single by Male Artist ("Good Feeling")||Nominated|
|R&B/Hip-Hop Song ("Wild Ones" with Sia)||Nominated|
|Music Star Male||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Award||Top Rap Song ("Good Feeling")||Nominated|
|International Dance Music Award||Best R & B/Urban Dance Track ("Good Feeling")||Nominated|
|Best Rap/Hip Hop Dance Track ("Good Feeling")||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Male||Nominated|
|Best World Stage Performance||Nominated|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist||Nominated|
|2013||Peoples Choice Awards||Favorite Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Wild Ones with Sia")||Nominated|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Male Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|International Dance Music Awards||Best Rap/Hip-Hop Dance Track ("Wild Ones")||Won|
|Billboard Latin Music Awards||Crossover Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2013 Billboard Music Awards||Top 100 Artist||Nominated|
|Top Male Artist||Nominated|
|Top Digital Songs Artist||Nominated|
|Top Rap Artist||Nominated|
|Top Rap Song ("Wild Ones")||Nominated|
|Top Rap Song ("Whistle")||Nominated|