Despite a devastating illness diagnosed in what should have been the prime years of his stellar career, Will Downing has recovered and is still making great music. The crooner with the sultry baritone has never enjoyed the mainstream popularity of someone like Luther Vandross, who he’s been compared to, but he’s developed a very loyal following over the years.
Downing is proof positive that music for grown folks still exists and if you are one, you won’t want to miss his “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” musical trilogy. You can find “Yesterday” and “Today” in stores and on download sites. “Tomorrow” will be released later this year. Read on for more on our latest In-Studio Jam artist.
BORN: Wilfred Downing in Brooklyn, NY
BIG BREAK: His music teacher noticed his talent in class and volunteered him for the Brooklyn Boroughwide Chorus. Though initially reluctant, once he was a part of it, Downing gained and was appreciated for his talent. Gifted with a distinctive baritone, Downing became and in-demand session singer in his native New York City, before signing to 4th and Broadway Records and releasing his self-titled debut in 1988.
EDUCATION: Downing attended Virginia Union, an HBCU in Richmond, Va.
BACK STORY: In 2006, Downing was diagnosed with polymyositis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the muscles, usually diagnosed in African-American women. Since then, he’s worked with and become a spokesman for the American Stroke Association.
RESUME: Downing has worked with artists including his wife, singer Audrey Wheeler, Kool and the Gang, Mica Paris and Regina Belle, among others.
FUN FACTS: Downing and Kedar Entertainment head Kedar Massenburg, who was once president of Motown, signed Erykah Badu and managed D’Angelo, went to Erasmus Hall High in Brooklyn, N.Y. together and graduated the same year.
LATEST WORK: “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” available via stores and download – It’s in EP format which means each part of the 3-part project will be released throughout the year. Each part is four songs apiece. “Yesterday” and “Today,” with the wedding song “The Blessing” are out now.
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂