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artist information

Frankie J

Frankie J (born Francisco Javier Bautista Jr. on December 14, 1980) is a Mexican R&B, Latin Pop, Contemporary R&B, and Adult Contemporary singer. He has had several hits in the US, including "Don't Wanna Try" in 2003 and "Obsession" in 2005. His album The One debuted at #3 on the Billboard album charts in April 2005 & later became platinum.

Early career

He was born Francisco Javier Bautista in Tijuana and raised in San Diego from the age of 2 (his uncle brought him and his siblings dressed up to trick or treat but instead of getting candy Frankie was driven across North of the border into California on the back of his uncle's pickup truck, they were never to return to Tijuana.) He comes from a musical background with his father being the lead singer of a traditional band and his grandfather Feliciano Bautista, who was a violinist. Frankie J grew up listening to both traditional Latin music as well as Hip hop and R&B(Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Jo-Jo, K-Ci, etc.) He attended Southwest High School (San Diego, CA) for his high school years.

Spanish was Frankie J's first language and first music that he was exposed to. The rhythmic sounds of Tijuana reflected in bands such as Cumbias Rancheras and Bandas. But he did not limit himself to only Latin music, he also loved listening to the music of big name artists like Michael Jackson, Run DMC, Curtis Blow, and The Fat Boys.

Frankie J began to develop more of a interest in singing with the encouragement of his family. He began participating in talent shows when he was in high school and performing at school functions. The experience motivated him to do better and take music seriously.

As a teenager, he started listening to freestyle music by Lisa Lisa, Brenda K. Starr and George Lamond. He started writing his own songs and singing in the same falsetto style as Lamond. At 15, he signed a contract with a small Canadian independent label (Ventura Records) working as "Frankie Boy" and recorded songs which failed to achieve any success but the oppurtunity gave him more exposure and followed bigger labels knocking at his doorstep. He had a couple of songs, like "She's Leaving" and "My Precious Love" but didn't achieve much success in his music career.

In 1997, Frankie J signed with the now defunct Hola Recordings, the brainchild of dance music legend and producer Jellybean Benitez. Unfortunately, Frankie's debut album in never made it to record stores, so in 1999 he left Hola.

In late 1999, he joined the platinum selling Latin group Kumbia Kings managed by Selena's brother Abraham Issac Quintanilla III or better known in the music world as A.B. Quintanilla, the group toured all throughout Latin America. As a member of Kumbia Kings (which was a Spanish-language mix of Cumbia, pop, rap, and R&B) Frankie was known as 'Cisko'. In 2000, they crossed over to an English language album and had the hit single "U Don't Love Me", the group played in front of 100,000 people in a concert in Monterrey, Mexico. The band toured and performed within three and a half years. They also appeared on television, Frankie sang at the Billboard Latin Music Awards and traveled the world. But this did not satisfy his craving of making it on his own with his own musical taste and direction.

Frankie's ambitions were always directed to the American pop-music markets. In 2002 He approached Los Kumbia Kings management in an attempt to secure record deal as a solo-artist. He proposed that they record, promote, and market him to the "MTV" market. A vastly different music culture then what Los Kumbia Kings made their name in, but they declined, citing the risky investment. Frankie then shopped demos to an array of record companies, and garnered a tremendous amount of interest, but his contract with The Kumbia Kings would prove to be a problem.

Frankie asked to be his released from his Kumbia Kings contract, but they declined. Frankie bolted from the group anyway, but soon found himself in court over the matter. Lawsuits were filed from both sides, and eventually settled out of court. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Solo career

Frankie J signed as a solo artist with Columbia Records and released his first album What's A Man To Do in 2003 which failed to chart.Though the album received good reviews. His self-titled first Spanish-language album was released later in the same year. The single "Don't Wanna Try"(which he says was the song that he owes his whole career to as 'Frankie J') peaked in the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart, while "Ya No Es Igual" was top 10 on the World Latin charts. This began to create a buzz around the music industry & soon Frankie was off to new & better things.

He collaborated with Baby Bash, a relative, on another pop hit called "Suga Suga" which reached #1 in New Zealand in 2004 and was a top 10 hit in the US and Australia in the same year. Frankie J worked with a number of well known producers on The One including Irv Gotti of Murder Inc. on the title track. Mario Winans on a track called "Just Can't Say It's Love". The first single "Obsession (No Es Amor)" featuring Baby Bash has been a big hit on the US pop charts reaching the top 5 in April 2005. The One was released in the US in April 2005 and debuted at #3 on both the Billboard 200 chart. The follow-up singles "How To Deal" and "More Than Words" (released in conjunction with a DualDisc re-release of The One) continued the album's route to platinum sales. However, the fourth and final single, the title track featuring 3LW garnered few spins at radio.

Frankie J's second Spanish-language album "Un Nuevo Dia" was released on June 13, 2006. It spawned the major hit "Pensado En Ti" but wasn't popular in the US.

Frankie's third English-language CD, Priceless, was released in stores and online on October 17, 2006. This is the first time that Frankie produced any songs on his album since the release of 2003's "What's A Man To Do." The video for "That Girl" was shot in Miami in July.

Columbia quickly released the second single "Daddy's Little Girl" to radio in early November 2006. The album's third single "If He Can't Be" was released in February 2007.

Priceless has't performed poorly on the charts but the album debuted at #30 and quickly dropped off the Billboard 200 Albums chart after only 3 weeks. It reaches the Billboard 200 every other week but vanishes just as fast as it gets there, most recently the album was at #54. Priceless is RIAA certified for gold and some critics believe that the album should at least win some awards but other than that Priceless will not make a lot of noise.

On February 2007 Frankie J together with Latino celebrities, including Don Omar, Paola Turbay, Edgar Lopez, Miguel Varoni, Leti Coo, and Mary GamarraTazón. He played in the National Football League (NFL) Latino I, or Latin Bowl I. This was the first nationally televised flag-football game between ex-NFL players,including Wayne Chrebet, and Latino celebrities. The game was filmed during Super Bowl week in Miami.

Frankie is currently in the studio recording more new songs. He has said in a recent interview that he is not sure if he wants to move to a new studio album or a Greatest Hits complilation. He said whatever is chosen to be done a new single will be out in July or August and the album will follow in September or October of 2007.

Frankie J is also currently thinking about making a TV show similar to P. Diddy's "Making the Band." Mun2, MTV, and VH1 offered him contracts but Frankie turned them down for now. He was to be one of the coaches mentoring a young group of new up & coming artists ranging from R&B, Soul, and Pop. In a recent TV interview, he said he thought about it but with him in the studio busy right now it would put his music career on a hold & he doesn't want to do that, "I just want to stick with my music right now." He told them he might consider the idea in late 2008 or early 2009.

There are also rumors saying that Frankie J is currently working with Alicia Keys, Ne-yo, Brian McKnight, Mary J. Blige, and Angel López (the former lead singer for the Puerto Rican vocal quartet band Son by Four.) on making tracks and producing them, but these tracks most likely wont be found on his new album that will be due out by late this year or early next year. When asked about these rumors in a recent interview Frankie just said "Im not at liberty to say anything right now but I can say that it's been a dream of mine to work with some of my music inspirations from the past...& present but you're just gonna have to wait along with my fantastic fans...the best in the world."

Most people dont know that Frankie J is a talented dancer & pianist as well, he's been dancing since he was 5 years old. One of his idols in dancing on stage was of course the legend himself Michael Jackson "I use to watch him when I was a kid and I always wanted to do that moonwalk of his...He was just incredible." Frankie in his free time goes to local dance studios and works up a sweat and teaches some of the students how to do the moonwalk. He also spends time to perfect his skills on the piano, he's been playing it since his early teen years. His very own grandfather use to give him lessons with same piano he used in the music video "Daddy's Little Girl", he states that he wants to show the world his piano skills and his honor to dedication for his late grandfather.

Criticism

Frankie has substained a lot of criticism throughout his career, most from his hispanic roots. Since he was of latino descent, R&B and Soul wasn't ideal for him to do. When leaving Los Kumbia Kings in order to purse his dream, he lost a lot of the hispanic audience. "People said I turned my back on my roots but I would never do that." He would gain most of latino fanbase back after releasing albums like "The One" and "Un Nuevo Dia."

Frankie was also once told he should keep to his own kind and sing with a mariachi. Though he loves his culture and mariachi music; keeping to his roots is important to him but he says he wasn't about to quit trying to put a lid on the soul he had in his heart.

Mun2 representives stated that Frankie J was a new breed of singer for the Latino Community. "He has done incredible things, he has paved the way for the future of others who want to follow in his footsteps. He didn't fall in line with the rest just because he was of Latin hertiage, he dared to do something different... even though he was critized over and over again, he stuck to his guns and he might of changed the way a lot of latinos view R&B and Soul. That's why we have the greatest respect for him."

Throughout his career, Frankie has never lost sight of his Latino background, even as he crossed over to the English-speaking market with smash hits like 2005's platinum-selling The One album. He remains committed to the integrity of his Latin heritage and his R&B musical roots. "You have to stick to your roots," Frankie offers. "You can't forget about them. If you forget about your people, they will definitely forget about you. You have to pay back those who were there when you started. If I lose that, I won't be able to do what I've always wanted to do."

Personal life

Frankie J is married to the mother of his two children, he has said numerous times that he's been married for years although he and his wife have separated off and on it never resulted in divorce, the two are still married.

Rumors were spread about him dating Vida Guerra in early 2006, resulting from the two having great chemistry (shooting the Obession video) but Frankie denied it and said "no we are not dating...shes my homegirl and I like her a lot but we are not dating." Later that same year there were rumors of him dating Dayanara Torres after she was in his video for "More Than Words", but he has denied numerous times that this was not true as well. The rumors were thought to have stopped but they picked up once more when he did the video "Pensando En Ti", rumors about Frankie and Mayra Veronica getting together but two months later the media revealed that Frankie was with his wife (Grace) and by far eliminating the rumors.

He has two children- Frankie J III (6 1/2) and a little girl named Emily Sade (2).

He has 3 siblings, an older brother, Louie, older sister Adriana, and a younger sister Ana.

Frankie J has made a personal commitment to support Hispanic higher education through the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources (RMHC/HACER) Scholarship Program.

Frankie is now residing in the musical hot bed of Houston, Texas. Frankie is enjoying his crossover fame. "I'm just having fun with it, having a great time," he says. "I go to a restaurant or a mall and people just want your autograph or to shake your hand. And that's the best feeling. I can't complain. It's a slow process, but we're getting there."

Awards/Certifications

2006

Got nomination for ALMA Award category Outstanding Male Performer

Got nomination for Billboard Latin Music Award category Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Duet for "Obsesión (No Es Amor)" shared with Baby Bash

Got nomination for Billboard Latin Music Award category Latin Pop Airplay Song of the Year, Duo or Group for "Obsesión (No Es Amor)" shared with Baby Bash

Got nomination for Billboard Music Award category Best R&B Song of the Year

Won a Soul Train Music Award

Nominated at the World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Latin Artist Award & World's Best-Selling R&B Artist Award

2005

Most Played Song on American Radio ("Obession" )

Won a American Music Award for Fan's Choice Award

Nominated for a Latin Grammy category Album of the Year 2005

Nominated for Best Latin Artist for American Music Awards of 2005

"The One" Album was nominated for Best Latin Album in Latin Grammy Awards 2005

"The One" Album was nominated for Album Of The Year in the Latin Billboard Awards 2005

Winner of a MTV Tr3s Viewer's Choice Award, in the MTV Video Music Awards for "Obsesión (No Es Amor)"

Winner of a Teen Choice Award: Choice Collaboration for "Obsesión (No Es Amor)" & nominated for Song of the Year

People en Español's 50 Most Beautiful People

Nominated for a ALMA Award category Single of the Year

2004

Got nomination for Groovevolt Music and Fashion Award category Best Song Performance - Male for "Don’t Wanna Try"

Winner of a New Hot Artist Award

Won a Channel V Award (India) for Best International Debut Single ("Don't Wanna Try") & nominated for a Best Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Discography

Albums

Album CoverAlbum Information
 What's A Man To Do
  • Released: May 27, 2003
  • Chart positions: n/a
  • RIAA certification: Uncertified
  • Singles: "Don't Wanna Try", We Still, "Won't Change" (Radio Promo)
 The One
  • Released: May 22, 2005
  • Chart positions: #3 US, #3 US R&B, #5 UK, #1 AUS, #2 CAN, #9 GER, #7 MEX, #1 NZE
  • US Sales: 1.3+ Million
  • WW Sales: 3.4+ Million
  • RIAA certification:3x Platinum
  • Singles: Obsession (No Es Amor), How to Deal, Suga Suga, "More Than Words", "The One" (Radio Only)
 Priceless
  • Released: October 17, 2006
  • Chart positions: #30 US, #16 US R&B
  • US Sales: 475,000+
  • WW Sales: 550,000+
  • RIAA certification: Gold
  • Singles: "That Girl", "Daddy's Little Girl", "If He Can't Be"

Spanish Albums

Album CoverAlbum Information
 Frankie J
  • Released: September 30, 2003
  • Chart positions: #57 Latin
  • RIAA certification: Uncertified
  • Singles: "Ya No Es Igual"
 Un Nuevo Dia
  • Released: June 13, 2006
  • Chart positions: #198 US, #9 US Latin, #65 UK, #31 AUS, #22 CAN, #49 GER, #5 MEX, #71 NZE
  • US Sales: 485,000+
  • WW Sales: 755,000+
  • RIAA certification: Gold
  • Singles: "Pensando En Ti"

Other Appearances

  • Dime/Tell Me (Pitbull feat. Frankie J)
  • Run Away (Bubba Sparxxx feat. Frankie J)
  • Los Infieles Remix (Aventura feat. Frankie J)
  • Suga Suga and Menage A Trois (Baby Bash feat. Frankie J)
  • Are You Still Alone Play N Skillz feat. Frankie J)
  • Be Gone (First Class Fiction feat. Frankie J)
  • I Love Her (Louis James feat. Frankie J)
  • Obession (Frankie J feat. Mr. Phillips)