Raphael Saadiq – American singer, songwriter, producer, and composer
Raphael Saadiq’s real name is Charles Ray Wiggins. He was born on 14 May 1966 in Oakland, California. He had 14 siblings. Unfortunately, it’s hard to call the artist’s family a stable one. One of his brothers was killed. Another overdosed on drugs. One more brother committed suicide. One of Charles’ sisters died in a car accident when trying to escape the police. Charles had a tough time dealing with the death of his family members. However, he often said that the music shouldn’t reflect his pain. Saadiq believes that his task is to show people that regardless of the number of difficulties, it’s possible to overcome them.
Charles discovered music very early. At six, he already learned how to play the guitar. When Wiggins was nine years old, he played in a school band. At 12, Charles worked as a bass guitarist in the local group, The Gospel Humminbirds. In 1984, Charles tried out to become a back vocalist for the singer’s Sheila E. on Prince's Parade Tour in San Francisco. The 18-year-old singer was accepted.
After the tour was over, Charles came back to Oakland and together with his brother, Dwayne Wiggins, and cousin Timothy Christian created a trio, Tony! Toni! Toné! The band chose rhythm and blues as its style. Back then, the artist performed under the pseudonym, Raphael Wiggins. However, in the 1990’s he decided to adopt another last name, Saadiq. At the time, his fans believed that Charles converted to Islam. However, the change of name didn’t have anything to do with religion. The singer liked the great-sounding Arabic word, which means “man of his word.” With time, the band changed the music style to rap.