Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (born October 15, 1970), better known by his stage name Ginuwine, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. Signed to Epic Records since the mid-1990s, Ginuwine had released a number of multi-platinum and platinum-selling albums and singles, becoming one of R&B's top artists during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Ginuwine was born on October 15, 1970 in Washington, D.C. He is named after NBA legend Elgin Baylor, who is also a Washington native. In 1989, he graduated from Forestville High School (now known as Forestville Military Academy) in Forestville, Maryland and later graduated from Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland with a paralegal associate's degree.
Ginuwine began his career as a member of Swing Mob, a Rochester, New York-based record label and music compound founded by Donald "DeVante Swing" DeGrate, the leader of popular 90's R&B group Jodeci. There, he met rapper Melissa "Missy" Elliott, singer-songwriter Stephen "Static Major" Garrett and producer Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, who became his main collaborators through the 1990s. After Swing Mob folded, they continued working together on different projects, one of which was Ginuwine's 1996 debut album, titled Ginuwine...The Bachelor. The first single, "Pony", written by Static Major, showcased his smooth vocals and Timbaland's innovative production style, and the two became a hit-making duo. "Pony" peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was used in a karaoke scene from the film Wild Hogs in 2007. It was used again in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008. In 2012, "Pony" was featured in a strip tease dance performed by Channing Tatum in the film Magic Mike. Mike Patton and Rahzel together perform a cover of "Pony" during their concerts. Ginuwine covered Prince's "When Doves Cry" single from the movie soundtrack Purple Rain.
After his second album, 100% Ginuwine, was released in 1999, Ginuwine and Timbaland grew apart. Producers such as R. Kelly have crafted hits for him since then. In 2001, Ginuwine had a number-four hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Differences", which also peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Within a year, Ginuwine lost both of his parents. He later wrote and recorded a song which is featured on his third album The Life entitled "Two Reasons I Cry". In 2002, Ginuwine was a feature artist on P. Diddy's number-one hit "I Need a Girl (Part II)". Later that year, Ginuwine started his own label, Bag Entertainment. The label would feature artists such as Jose Cenquentez (who appeared on The Senior) and Knight.
Ginuwine's fifth album, Back II Da Basics, was released on November 15, 2005. The album debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling close to 100,000 copies. Ginuwine stated on BET's Top 100 countdown that the album went Gold with sales of 500,000 copies.
In May 2007, an album entitled I Apologize was released in stores. Although attributed to Ginuwine, the release was an unauthorized album and included only three Ginuwine songs – apparently from stolen masters – and ten songs by other artists. Ginuwine spoke against the unofficial release on both his MySpace page and through YouTube. In 2007, Ginuwine collaborated with Canadian hip-hop artist Belly in the latter's debut solo song "Pressure", which was featured in Belly's debut album the Revolution, released in June 2007.
Ginuwine's sixth album entitled A Man's Thoughts, was released on June 23, 2009. The album was produced by The Underdogs, B Cox, Timbaland, The Runners, Johnta Austin, Oak and Polow Da Don. The album includes guests appearances from Brandy, Missy Elliott, Bun B and Timbaland. Ginuwine formed a group with Tank and Tyrese named TGT. Their first single was a remix of Tank's "Please Don't Go". They were supposed to tour but plans fell apart due to conflicting schedules.
Ginuwine announced on his Myspace Blog on August 21, 2008 that due to label and legal issues, they will not be able to release an official TGT album. Ginuwine is the founder and CEO of LoveSong Incorporated, after completing his contract with 550 Music/Epic. Ginuwine announced on his Myspace blog on August 21, 2008 that he signed a major label deal with Notifi Records/Warner Brothers.
Ginuwine introduced producer MELROG and rapper Young Knight a.k.a. Knightron on the Back 2 Da Basics album. Currently Knightron is working on his own album under Ginuwine's label BAG ENT. Ginuwine's seventh studio album Elgin was released on Valentine's Day in 2011.
Ginuwine is currently working on his eighth studio album, tentatively titled "Same Ol' G...the Bachelor", and recently confirmed that Timbaland and Missy Elliott would be producing the project.
In 2007, Ginuwine teamed up with Tyrese, and Tank and formed an R&B group among themselves called TGT and have signed to Atlantic Records in 2012. Their Grammy nominated debut album Three Kings was released in 2013. The first single of the album "Sex Never Felt Better" was released on iTunes on February 14, 2013 for Valentine's Day.
Ginuwine was originally cast in the 2004 film You Got Served. Ultimately R&B artist Marques Houston was cast in his place. The writer of the movie kept Ginuwine's real name "Elgin" as the name for one of the lead characters. He also was cast as R&B singer "Romeo" in the film Juwanna Mann. He also appeared in three episodes of Moesha as Khalib, called "All This and Turkey, Too", "You Say He's Just A Friend", and "On the Rebound"
In February 2011, Ginuwine co-starred in the Gospel Music Channel's debut of John Ruffin's stage play The Ideal Husband which also stars Darrin Dewitt Henson, Jackée Harry, Clifton Powell, Shirley Murdock, Shanti Lowry and Erica Hubbard.
Ginuwine is a spokesman for the beverage Adult Chocolate Milk, a 40-proof vodka-based version of chocolate milk.
Ginuwine appeared in the CBS show Martial Law (TV series) starring Sammo Hung and Arsenio Hall. In the episode "How Sammo Got His Groove Back" airing November 21, 1998, he plays Hall's nephew, Zeke Meadows, a singer who is a target for murder by a ruthless CD bootlegger.
In the NBC series Parks and Recreation, character Donna Meagle is said to be Ginuwine's cousin. He appeared on the show as himself twice: the season six finale "Moving Up," and the seventh season episode "Donna & Joe."
Ginuwine lost both his parents; his father committed suicide and his mother died of cancer less than a year later. Ginuwine struggled with grief and depression; he also thought of committing suicide. He received counseling from his pastor, which turned him to a more positive path. He recorded the song "Two Reasons I Cry" about the death of his parents on his 2001 album The Life.
Ginuwine was married to the American rapper Tonya M. Johnston better known by her stage name, Solé. Solé has daughters De'jan (born March 9, 1992) and Cypress (born January 9, 1995) from a previous relationship. Ginuwine met Solé in June 1999 and they began dating in October 1999. They were married on September 8, 2003 in Cayman Islands. They live in Maryland. They have two daughters together: Story (born March 29, 2001) and Dream Sarae Lumpkin (born November 1, 2002). He has a son Elgin, Jr. (born January 30, 1992) from a previous relationship, as well as three other children by three different women. In February 2009, Ginuwine announced he has eight children.
In November 2014 he announced he and Solé had separated. Their divorce was finalized July 22, 2015.
- Studio albums
- Ginuwine...the Bachelor (1996)
- 100% Ginuwine (1999)
- The Life (2001)
- The Senior (2003)
- Back II Da Basics (2005)
- A Man's Thoughts (2009)
- Elgin (2011)
- A Ginuwine Christmas (2011)
- Three Kings (2013) (with TGT)
- Same Ol' G...the Bachelor (2017)
- Men in Black: The Album – "I'm Feelin' You" (1997)
- Dr. Dolittle – "Same Ol' G" (1998)
- "Romeo Must Die" – "Simply Irresistible" (2000)
- Barbershop – "Stingy" (2002)
- Juwanna Mann – "Star Spangled Banner" (2002)
- Juwanna Mann (2002)
- Honey (2003)
- Never Ever Let You Go
- Parks and Recreation (2014)
- Chocolate City (2014)
- Chocolate City : Vegas (soon)
Awards and nominations
- Grammy Awards
- 2013 Grammy Award Nominated
- 2013 with TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine & Tank) Three Kings Album
- 2013 Nominated Best R&B Group Album of 2013
- 2013 Best New Comers (2013)
- BET Awards
- 2003: Best Male R&B Artist, Nominated
- American Music Awards
- 2003: Favorite Male R&B Artist, Nominated
- 2002: Favorite Male R&B Artist, Nominated
- 2000: Favorite Male R&B Artist, Nominated
- Soul Train Music Awards
- 2000: Best R&B/Soul Male Single ("So Anxious"), Nominated
- 2000: Best R&B/Soul Male Album (100% Ginuwine), Winner