Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Jamie Foxx: I could have been cruise crooner

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx claims he would be singing on a cruise ship now if he had only focused on his music career.

The star has always had a passion for performing, and played the piano and sang with his local Baptist church when he was growing up. The star also won a scholarship to study classical music, but first found fame as a stand-up comedian. Jamie then went on to land a series of high-profile movie roles, including his Oscar-winning performance as musician Ray Charles. His impersonation of the celebrated soul singer won a new army of fans and in 2005 he collaborated with Kanye West for Gold Digger.

Jamie insists he has no regrets about putting his music career on the back burner as he pursued other avenues.

"Yeah well, it wasn't part of the plan," the star explained about his acting career during an interview with British newspaper The Guardian. "I was just doing my music and my stand-up and then In Living Color came about and all these other interesting acting jobs followed off the back of that. And I had to learn to respect it. At first I thought, 'OK, this is cool.' But then with Ray I had to take it seriously, I had to realise its significance. And I'm thankful that I did. Because if I had got on doing music back in 1990 or whenever, I'd probably be singing on a cruise ship now. 'Hey everybody! Remember this from 1989?'"

The 45-year-old star was born Eric Marlon Bishop and had a strict Baptist upbringing in a racially segregated community in Texas. He changed his name to Jamie Foxx as a tribute to the influential comedian Redd Foxx, and although he has gone on to carve out a successful Hollywood career - his family never fail to keep him grounded.

"My sister never calls me Jamie Foxx. My sister detests Jamie Foxx," he explained. "She says to me, 'You are Eric Bishop. Don't you come here with your Jamie Foxx sh*t.' And even with Django [Unchained], she'll be happy when it all calms down, 'then you can go back to being just you'. That's refreshing, you know. She's never been swayed by the success or the lack of success."

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