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Gregory Porter

Jazz

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter
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Jazz
Updated Dec 2020

Gregory Porter (born November 4, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2014 for Liquid Spirit and in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley.

Early…

Gregory Porter (born November 4, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2014 for Liquid Spirit and in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley.

Early life and education

Gregory Porter was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in Bakersfield, California, where his mother Ruth was a minister. Porter has seven siblings. His mother was a large influence on his life, having encouraged him to sing in church at an early age. His father, Rufus, was largely absent from his life. Says Porter, "Everybody had some issues with their father, even if he was in the house. He may have been emotionally absent. My father was just straight-up absent. I hung out with him just a few days in my life. And it wasn't a long time. He just didn’t seem to be completely interested in being there. Maybe he was, I don't know."

A 1989 graduate of Highland High School, he received a full athletic scholarship as a football lineman to San Diego State University (SDSU Aztecs), but a shoulder injury during his junior year cut short his football career.

Porter's mother died from cancer when he was 21 years old. From her death bed, she entreated him: "Sing, baby, sing."

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