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Contemporary R&B artist Sammie achieved commercial success in 1999 as a pre-teen, vanished from the industry almost as quickly as he'd arrived, returned several years later, and left again, only to resurface during the 2010s. Before he was even born, Sammie Leigh Bush, Jr. was exposed to music; his mother, a former professional singer, sang in the church choir while she was carrying him. That setting is where the native Floridian, at the age of four, received a standing ovation for his performance of "Troubles Don't Last Always." A few years later, Sammie formed a vocal group, Wonder 3, whose audition for Showtime at the Apollo led to a solo performance and subsequent triumphant finals appearance. Shortly thereafter, Joyce Irby became his manager. The former Klymaxx member matched her new client with longtime associate and producer Dallas Austin, who also signed the youngster to the Capitol subsidiary Freeworld Entertainment. "I Like It," a mix of throwback electro and modern pop-R&B produced by Austin, was released as Sammie's debut single. It entered Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart in December 1999, eventually reached number eight, and peaked at number 24 on the Hot 100. Its parent album, From the Bottom to the Top, followed in 2000 and featured another charting single, the ballad "Crazy Things I Do." A lengthy silence, including a period devoted to school, was broken in 2006 by Sammie's self-titled second album. Issued on Austin's reactivated Rowdy label, supported by Motown, the return sported a couple minor hits with "You Should Be My Girl" and "Come with Me." Sammie was featured on Soulja Boy Tell Em's Top Five R&B/hip-hop hit "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" but was otherwise inactive for several years. During the 2010s, he returned with mixtapes, EPs, and albums such as 2015's Indigo and 2017's Coming of Age, all released through his independent Star Camp label. During this sustained period of activity, Sammie also co-wrote "Next Breath" for Tank. In early 2019, he issued the single "Times 10" featuring Lil Baby.
© Andy Kellman & Heather Phares /TiVo
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