Born in Richmond, Virginia, to a preacher family, D'Angelo showed musical talent as a small child; he began playing piano aged just five. By the time he was 18 D'Angelo was winning competitions, and was a member of rap act I.D.U. It was through a demo tape of them that D'Angelo was spotted by a record company executive. He signed to EMI Records in 1991. In 1994, D'Angelo co-wrote and co-produced the anthem "U Will Know" which was the first track from the Jason's "Lyric" soundtrack. The following year, D'Angelo's debut, "Brown Sugar" was released to rave reviews. The much anticipated follow-up, "Voodoo", was released in 2000 and hit the No 1 spot on the American Billboard charts, as did the first single release, "Untitled".