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In 2002, he released his first solo album Instant Vintage, which earned him three Grammy Award nominations in addition to another two Grammy nominations for his writing work on “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” the following year.He released a two-disc live album All the Hits at the House of Blues in 2003, and his second studio album Ray Ray in 2004, both on Pookie Entertainment.For the album, Saadiq worked with steel guitarist Robert Randolph; former Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; Swedish-Japanese indie rock singer Yukimi Nagano (of Little Dragon fame); funk artist Larry Graham (on the bonus cut "Perfect Storm") His early life was marked by tragedy; he experienced the deaths of several of his siblings as a young child.When Saadiq was seven years old, one brother was murdered.
Among the artists on the label are Joi and Truth Hurts.Saadiq has been touring Europe extensively, and held a five-night residency at the House of Blues in Tokyo, Japan, in June 2009.In 2008, Saadiq formed a new label called Velma Records, a place where he promises "people can express themselves like I did with The Way I See It...In 1984, shortly before his 18th birthday, Saadiq heard about tryouts in San Francisco for Sheila E.'s backing band on Prince's Parade Tour. In the mid-1990s, he adopted the last name Saadiq, which means "man of his word" in Arabic. In 1999, Saadiq's next big project became the R&B supergroup Lucy Pearl.At the audition, he chose the name "Raphael", and had difficulty remembering to respond to the name when he heard that he got the part to play bass in the band. His change of surname led many to speculate that he had converted to Islam at that point; in reality, Saadiq is not a Muslim, but rather just liked the way "Saadiq" sounded and changed his last name simply to distinguish himself from and avoid potential confusion with his brother, Dwayne Wiggins. would become major R&B superstars throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. He recorded the self-titled album with Dawn Robinson (En Vogue) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest). Also in 1999, he collaborated with rapper Q-Tip on the single "Get Involved", from the animated television series The PJs.
"He's always had a boyish enthusiasm for performing, and a flexible, naturally joyous voice that suggests a young Stevie Wonder," wrote Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, "but with his latest album, Saadiq finds a new gear.