Songwriter, producer, vocalist, and instrumentalist Jon B. brought a distinctive focus on smooth melodies to contemporary R&B. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and raised in Pasadena, California, Jon B. (short for Jonathan Buck) was the son of a professor of music and a concert pianist. Influenced by music found in his grandparents' record store, he began combining the spirit of '70s soul with hip-
hop-inspired productions on his 1995 debut album, Bonafide. It peaked on Billboard's R&B Albums chart at number 24, led by the Top Ten R&B single 'Someone to Love,' a duet with prime influence Babyface, and went gold. His second album, 1997's Cool Relax, continued the emphasis on hip-hop soul and featured two of his biggest singles in 'They Don't Know' and the 2Pac-assisted 'Are U Still Down.' As a result, the set sold over a million copies, thus earning it platinum certification. During the following decade, Jon B. released three more albums -- Pleasures U Like (2001), Stronger Everyday (2004), and Helpless Romantic (2008). In 2012, the singer returned with Comfortable Swagg.