Listen to and purchase Omar Cunningham music at CD Baby

Omar Cunningham

Born in Gadsden, Alabama Omar Cunningham developed a love for music early in his childhood as he spent much of his time surrounded by music and great musicians. His grandmother ran a boarding house that played host to the likes of Fats Domino in his touring days. Others such as blues great Jerry “Boogie” McCain, would even record in the basement of the boarding house. While it is clear Omar Cunningham was exposed to world of music, his first opportunity to sing came in 1978 at the age of 9 in church, a performance he still cherish to this day.

As a young kid, Omar spent much of his youth surrounded by music. His mother dated a bass player for a band in Tuskegee, Alabama, a band that went on to become The Commodores. Omar’s desires to take his talents to the world started taking shape shortly after, he lived across the street from a club that featured many local bands. Although he was too young to get in the club, he would sit outside and listen to each night’s performance. One night he approached a popular local band named Daybreak after a show and showed them a small sample of his vocal abilities. The band was impressed but already had a singer; still, they kept him in mind. Not long after, the band lost its singer and it was Omar’s time to take the microphone. While touring with the band every weekend, he quickly honed his entertainer skills.

Following his years of performing with the band, Omar moved on to the recording studio. There, he collaborated with former band mates on projects such as the triple-platinum song “Dazzey Duks” by Duice in 1992 and Cameo’s 1994 album, “In The Face of Funk”. It was while working the latter project that he joined the singing group Small Town Boys opening up for several Cameo shows and later played trumpet in Cameo’s horn section. After this gig ended, he continued solo and opened for such national acts as B. Angie B. and Silk in the late 90’s.

After a brief hiatus, Omar has focused on his roots and the blues legends that influenced him. Returning to the studio, he has worked to bring a fresh sound to the blues world, a sound that blends soul and gospel with honest situations and playful lyrics. Omar stated in an interview with JSU: “Everybody has, at one point in time, had the blues, so if you make if through the blues you’ve got to be thankful to God that He brought you from one point to another. So, I sing blues but I’ve got to say that my first love is gospel music and everything that I’m able to do comes from God. In my songs, I’m just telling some of the hardships that I’ve been through and some hardships that my friends have been through, and I’m thankful to God that I made it.”

Now a member of the Soul1st Music Entertainment family Omar has blended these two sounds and worlds beautifully. When asked about how he feels joining the “Soul1st Music family he has this to say: “I feel like I’m free to be the artist I am and grow because I am home with Soul1st. These guys are some of the people who helped give me my start in this business and now I can help them with a new label that I can help grow into a major force in the music industry. I strongly believe we will grow into one of the most respected labels anywhere.”

Omar Cunningham is definitely a gifted brother. Not only is he one of the hottest soul blues singers of his time; he is also a talented songwriter. He wrote or co-wrote every song on his CD and he is also a former member of Jacksonville State University’s Gospel Choir as well as an accomplished author of You Be The Judge (Trafford, 2002), which are about his experiences as a police officer.

Omar has enjoyed the success of three albums, “Hell At The House” which was released on the On Top imprint in 2003 and featured artistic input from Sir Charles Jones amongst others, and his self-entitled CD Omar Cunningham and Worth The Wait released on the EndZone Entertainment record label in 2004 and 2005, respectfully. All CDs, Hell At The House, Omar Cunningham, and Worth The Wait have yielded number 1 and number 2 singles, on the soul and blues chart, and Omar Cunningham has been nominated for several Jackson Music Awards in his short but exciting career.

Billboard Magazine also listed Omar Cunningham’s first album released on the On Top imprint in 2003 titled Hell At The House, at about number 80. Billboard also stated that Omar Cunningham is the first black artist whose first blues CD has made its national chart. They also listed his CD in its Top 20 Blues category.

Source: Soul 1st Records website


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