Craig Ashley David (born 5 May 1981) is a British singer, songwriter, rapper, DJ and record producer who rose to fame in 1999, featuring on the single " Re-Rewind" by
Artful Dodger Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger, is a character in Charles Dickens' 1838 novel ''Oliver Twist''. The Dodger is a pickpocket, so called for his skill and cunning in that occupation. He is the leader of the gang of child criminals, t ...
. David's debut studio album, ''
Born to Do It ''Born to Do It'' is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with Briti ...
'', was released in 2000, after which he has released a further five studio albums and worked with a variety of artists such as Sting (musician), Sting, Tinchy Stryder, Big Narstie, Kano (rapper), Kano and Jay Sean. David has 20 UK Top 40 singles, and seven UK Top 40 albums, selling over 15,000,000 records worldwide as a solo artist. David has been nominated for fourteen Brit Awards: five times for Best British Male, and twice receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Early life

David was born in Southampton, Hampshire, the son of Tina (née Loftus), a retail assistant at Superdrug, and George David, a carpenter, and grew up in the Holyrood estate. David's father is Afro-Grenadian and David's mother is British Jews, Anglo-Jewish and related to the founders of the Accurist watch-making company; David's maternal grandfather was an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jew and his maternal grandmother a conversion to Judaism, convert to Judaism. David's parents separated when he was eight and he was brought up by his mother. He attended Upper Shirley High School, Bellemoor School and Southampton City College. David was bullied by other students at school. He wrote and released the song "Johnny" in 2005 about his sad memories of being bullied. David's father played bass in a reggae band called Ebony Rockers. As a teen, David began accompanying his father to local dance clubs, where DJs let him take the microphone.


Early career

David's earliest exposure came when he worked on a B-side to British group Damage (British band), Damage's cover of "Wonderful Tonight#Damage version, Wonderful Tonight", on the track "I'm Ready". He then started doing vocals for the English UK garage, garage duo Artful Dodger (duo), Artful Dodger, on tracks such as "Something" and "What Ya Gonna Do". Telstar Records, Wildstar Records first became aware of David when the artist's then manager Paul Widger met the label's co-owner Colin Lester and played some of his music. Lester later told HitQuarters that he was particularly impressed by the first song he heard, "Walking Away (Craig David song), Walking Away", saying "That was an absolute stand out ... It struck me that any seventeen year-old that could write a song like this had huge potential." The Wildstar boss was further won over when, on later visiting the artist's home in Southampton, he found David's tiny bedroom stacked from floor to ceiling with 12" vinyl records, commenting: "That convinced me he was the real deal and not just some kid acting out the part." At that point Lester offered him a development deal with his label. When Lester later heard the song "7 Days (Craig David song), 7 Days", he said he immediately heard a number-one record and promoted the contract to an album deal the same day.

2000–2003: ''Born to Do It'' and ''Slicker Than Your Average''

The song "Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)", from the Artful Dodger album ''It's All About the Stragglers'', hit number two on the UK charts in 1999; thus, paving the way for a solo career. David's first single, "Fill Me In", released on Colin Lester's and Ian McAndrew's Telstar Records, Wildstar Records, topped the UK chart and was the first of a string of four top 10 singles from his debut album ''
Born to Do It ''Born to Do It'' is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with Briti ...
'', which eventually sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, earning multi-platinum status in more than 20 countries.Craig David Biography
The song "Key to My Heart", taken from the US version of the album, was also featured on the award-winning Warner Bros. animated film ''Osmosis Jones''. The success of David's debut, which was written almost entirely by David and Mark Hill (musician), Mark Hill of
Artful Dodger Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger, is a character in Charles Dickens' 1838 novel ''Oliver Twist''. The Dodger is a pickpocket, so called for his skill and cunning in that occupation. He is the leader of the gang of child criminals, t ...
, led to the United States release of "Fill Me In" in May 2001. It reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, ''Billboard'' Hot 100 chart. ''
Born to Do It ''Born to Do It'' is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with Briti ...
'' was released in the United States on 17 July 2001, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200, ''Billboard'' 200 chart and sold over 1 million copies. The single "7 Days" hit the top 10 in the U.S.; although "Walking Away", which had reached number 3 in the UK and number 5 in Australia, missed the top 40 in the U.S. and was the last of his singles to chart there. In April 2009, MTV viewers voted ''Born to Do It'' as number 2 on their "Greatest Album of All-Time" poll, behind Michael Jackson's ''Thriller (Michael Jackson album), Thriller''. The follow-up album, ''Slicker Than Your Average'', was released in 2002. The album's first four singles continued David's streak of top 10 hits in the UK, bringing a total of nine consecutive top 10 hits until "World Filled with Love" peaked at number 15 in 2003. None of the six singles released from the album charted in the U.S.. Although "What's Your Flava?" and "Rise & Fall (Craig David song), Rise & Fall" (duet with Sting (musician), Sting) received airplay on the urban contemporary and Adult contemporary music#Soft adult contemporary, soft adult contemporary formats, they did not make the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart or the Adult Contemporary (chart), Adult Contemporary chart. However, "What's Your Flava?" made the Rhythmic (chart), Rhythmic Top 40 chart (number 32), Mainstream Top 40 chart (number 24) and the Top 40 Tracks chart (number 37). According to the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA, ''Slicker Than Your Average'' was certified Gold in the U.S.. David also commented that the album title could be looked at in two different ways: "On the one hand, it's coming across like I'm arrogant. On the other hand, it's saying I have a lot more composure on the album."" The album was leaked onto the internet prior to its official release but David was not too bothered as he feels it "spreads the word".

2005–08: ''The Story Goes...'' and ''Trust Me''

David later signed on with Warner Music Group, Warner Music and put together his third album, ''The Story Goes...'', which was released worldwide in August 2005 (excluding the U.S. where it was never released). The first single, "All the Way", returned him to the top 3. The second single, "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)", tied with "7 Days" as his longest-running single in the charts since "Re-Rewind", spending 15 weeks inside the UK top 75. The album's third single, "Unbelievable", debuted at number 18 in March 2006. In 2007, David collaborated with British rapper Kano (rapper), Kano on his album ''London Town (Kano album), London Town'', for the single "This Is the Girl". The track was released on 27 August 2007 and debuted at number 18 on the UK charts. The first single from his album ''Trust Me (album), Trust Me'', "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)", was released on 5 November 2007. David successfully sought permission from David Bowie to sample his 1983 List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 1980s, number-one single "Let's Dance (David Bowie song), Let's Dance". The single was a top ten hit, whilst the album charted at number 18 on the UK Albums Chart. "6 of 1 Thing", the second single to be taken from ''Trust Me (album), Trust Me'', charted at number 39 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming his third-lowest-charting single to date. "Officially Yours" was released on 23 June 2008 and peaked at number 158 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming his lowest-charting single to date and was the final single from ''Trust Me''. In July, a new track titled "Are You Up for This" started receiving airplay on various radio stations as part of a promo with Ice Cream Records, which also featured a remix with Wittyboy called "Nutter Butter". On 17 August 2008, David performed at a birthday tribute concert for songwriter Don Black (lyricist), Don Black at the London Palladium. He performed the song "Ben", originally a hit for Michael Jackson. David took part in ''Soccer Aid'' 2008 at Wembley Stadium on 7 September 2008. He picked up the "Man of The Match" award on the night and played in the same England side as ex-internationals such as Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham and David Seaman, and played against the likes of Romário, Paolo Di Canio, Jaap Stam, and Luís Figo. David received two 2008 UK Urban Music Awards, Urban Music Award nominations for Best Album with ''Trust Me (album), Trust Me'' and Best R&B Act. On 7 November 2008, David was recognised for his contribution to the music industry by receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Music, from Southampton Solent University at a graduation ceremony held at Southampton Guildhall.

2008–09: ''Greatest Hits''

David released his first ''Greatest Hits (Craig David album), Greatest Hits'' album on 24 November 2008. In support of the release, David released two singles to promote the album. "Where's Your Love" featuring Tinchy Stryder and Rita Ora, a homage to his UK garage days, was digitally released on 10 November 2008. The second single, "Insomnia (Craig David song), Insomnia", produced by Jim Beanz from Timbaland productions, a dance track with hard bassline beats, was released the following week on 17 November 2008. Toby Gad and Eimear Crombie provided back-up vocals and instrumental stylings. David also started working with guitarist and recording engineer Kwame Yeboah (musician), Kwame Yeboah, both live and in the studio. On 29 December 2008, a new mix of "Insomnia", titled "Up All Night Mix", was made available for digital download. As part of the ''Greatest Hits'' compilation, David re-recorded "Walking Away (Craig David song), Walking Away" with four different artists across Europe, Monrose from Germany, Nek from Italy, Lynnsha from France and Álex Ubago from Spain. The album debuted at number 48 on the UK Albums Chart. From February to April 2009, David toured Russia, the Far East and performed one show in Los Angeles as part of a ''Greatest Hits'' tour. He met fans at a meet and greet session at Singapore Changi Airport before his show. In April 2009, ''Born to Do It'' came second in a poll by MTV (UK and Ireland), MTV UK for the Greatest Album Ever, which received over 40,000 votes, beaten by Michael Jackson's album ''Thriller (Michael Jackson album), Thriller''. On 14 May 2009, David participated in the Hillsborough Disaster, Hillsborough Memorial football match at Anfield. On 26 July 2009, David participated in the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match at St James' Park, playing alongside boyhood hero Alan Shearer.

2009–2010: New label and ''Signed Sealed Delivered''

On 18 September 2009, fans got the first taste of the new album with an exclusive demo posted on his official website, a thirty-second snippet covering Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours". On 2 October 2009, David revealed to his fans via Twitter and his website that he had signed a new record deal with Universal Music Group, Universal Motown. The UK edition of Jay Sean's new album ''All or Nothing (Jay Sean album), All or Nothing'' which was released on 30 November 2009, features David on a track entitled "Stuck in the Middle". David performed a bold new cover of "I Wan'na Be like You (The Monkey Song), I Wan'na Be like You" from The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney's 1967 film ''The Jungle Book (1967 film), The Jungle Book'' on the ITV (TV network), ITV programme ''Ultimate Movie Toons'', broadcast 28 March 2010. The first single from David's fifth studio album ''Signed Sealed Delivered (album), Signed Sealed Delivered'' was "One More Lie (Standing in the Shadows)" and it was released in the UK on 22 March 2010 where it made number 76 with the album following one week later on 29 March 2010, which entered the UK chart at number 13. On 17 March 2010, David released a UK garage compilation album titled ''Rewind Old Skool Classics'' mixed with DJ Spoony featuring some of their favourite UK garage hits from the last ten years. Two weeks later on 31 May 2010, the second single to be taken from ''Signed Sealed Delivered (album), Signed Sealed Delivered'', titled "All Alone Tonight (Stop, Look, Listen)" was released. The chorus of the single samples The Stylistics' hit "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" but features completely new verses. In the weeks leading up to the release BBC Radio Two backed the single by naming it their 'Record of the Week' and adding it to their 'A-List'. On 20 May 2010, David appeared as a co-host on ''The Morning Show (TV program), The Morning Show'' in Australia alongside Kylie Gillies, whilst regular male presenter Larry Emdur was on holiday. On 27 August 2010, Swiss DJ Remady released an album titled ''No Superstar'' on which David features on the track "Do It on My Own". David was nominated for 'Best Video' at the 2010 Urban Music Awards for the song "One More Lie (Standing in the Shadows)". The 2010 ''Sunday Times'' Rich List indicated that Craig David is worth £8 million.

2011–13: Collaborations, new material and TS5 launch

David revealed on Twitter that he has worked with record producer Jim Beanz on material for his new album. He also tweeted about working with August Rigo and more recently Fraser T Smith. Whilst doing a show in Russia, David confirmed he had left Universal Music Group and hopes to release his new album in America as well as the UK. In February 2011, David agreed to do a desert trek for Comic Relief as part of Red Nose Day 2011. A host of celebrities including Dermot O'Leary, Olly Murs and Lorraine Kelly treked 100 kilometres across a Kenyan desert to raise money for preventable blindness across Africa. In May 2011, David made a guest appearance on NRJ12's French reality TV show ''Les Anges 2'' where he offered advice to contestants trying to make a life in Miami. Released on 1 August 2011, David features on Erick Morillo's new mix CD ''Subliminal Invasion'' on a track titled "Fly Away". David performed at the Michael Forever – The Tribute Concert, Michael Jackson tribute concert, held in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium on 8 October 2011. Further to their earlier collaboration, David and Erick Morillo also canvassed a promotional track to DJs and radio stations titled "Get Drunk Up" and also featured it on YouTube. Morillo revealed David would appear on a project with Harry Romero and Jose Nuñez (DJ), José Nunez, featuring a remix of the track. In December, he featured on the Blackout Mode dance track "Freak on the Dancefloor" that appeared on the compilation album ''R&B Collection 2012''. In 2012, David featured on a number of tracks whilst recording his own album, including releases with Stereo Palma titled "Our Love" and a collaboration with Mohombi and DJ Asaad titled "Addicted". In July 2012, it was revealed David was writing with Backstreet Boys on their 20th-anniversary album, the follow-up to their 2009 album "This Is Us" and the first they released since the return of Kevin Richardson who departed from the band in 2005. In January 2013, David announced on Twitter that he had signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). The deal saw David's publishing company, formally known as Bootyman Music Publishing merge to become JEM Music. Starting in March 2013, David embarked on a world tour starting with three shows across Australia, followed by four in Europe (France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands) and finally finishing in May with four shows in England (Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton and London). In September 2013, Capital (radio network), Capital FM announced that David's DJ show 'TS5' would move to Capital Xtra every Friday evening from 10:00 pm.

2014–17: ''Following My Intuition'' and return to fame

On 2 July 2014, David previewed a teaser track titled "Cold" on his official SoundCloud page. Premiering it on his TS5 radio show the week before, he wanted to preview some of the new music he has been working on in anticipation of his long-awaited sixth studio album. A further teaser track titled "Seduction" was uploaded to the same SoundCloud page in September 2014. On 5 September 2015, David featured on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge with Sigala where they covered Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again (Wiz Khalifa song), See You Again" mixed with the Little Mix track "Black Magic (song), Black Magic". The following week, on 10 September 2015, David appeared on People Just Do Nothing, Kurupt FM's 'Sixty Minute Takeover' on BBC Radio 1Xtra with MistaJam. He performed "Fill Me In" over the track "Where Are Ü Now" and it became a viral internet hit. Two snippets of potential new album tracks were also played on the night and this 1Xtra appearance led to David making surprise performances of the "Fill Me In" / "Where Are Ü Now" remix at Fabric with Kurupt FM and Alexandra Palace with Major Lazer and Diplo. It was later revealed that the Radio 1Xtra appearance led to a collaboration between David and Big Narstie who also featured on the show and the track they recorded titled "When the Bassline Drops" was played on MistaJam's BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra show on 7 November 2015, it was later revealed the track is to be released under SpeakerBox/JEM on 27 November 2015. David made a surprise appearance on ''The X Factor (UK series 12), The X Factor'' on 13 December 2015, where he performed his breakthrough single "Re-Rewind" during a medley with Reggie 'n' Bollie and Fuse ODG. "When the Bassline Drops" debuted at number 50 in the UK and peaked at number 10 on 5 February 2016, becoming David's highest-charting single since 2007. On 25 January 2016, it was announced that Craig David had signed a recording contract with Insanity Records (a joint venture between Sony Music UK and Insanity Management) and independent company Speakerbox Media. On 19 March 2016, at the second day of the Ultra Music Festival 2016, during the set of the Dutch DJ and record producer Hardwell, he appeared for present their new track "No Holding Back (song), No Holding Back", which was released on 19 August 2016. In 2016, David appeared on Kaytranada's album ''99.9%'', on the track "Got It Good", which he also co-wrote. This song also appeared on his sixth studio album. On 19 August 2016, Craig announced on social networks that his sixth studio album, ''Following My Intuition'', would finally be released on 30 September 2016. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, giving David his first number-one album since his debut, ''
Born to Do It ''Born to Do It'' is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with Briti ...
'', reached the top spot in 2000.

2017–present: ''The Time Is Now''

On 15 September 2017, David announced the release of the seventh studio album, ''The Time Is Now (album), The Time Is Now'', which was released in January 2018, along with the single "Heartline". On 23 November, David released his second single from ''The Time Is Now'', "I Know You (Craig David song), I Know You" featuring Bastille (band), Bastille. David and Dan Smith (singer), Dan Smith from Bastille performed the song live a day later on ''Sounds Like Friday Night''. The single peaked at number 5 in 2018, making it David's highest charting single since "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)" in 2005. ''The Time Is Now'' debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart, kept off the top spot by ''The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack''. On 31 May 2019, David released a new single "When You Know What Love Is" from his upcoming eighth album. In July, David made a cameo appearance in Love Island (2015 TV series, series 5), Love Island, performing the single as a DJ at a Ministry of Sound pool party. His next UK garage single "Do You Miss Me Much" was released on 23 August 2019. On 31 December 2019 and 1 January 2020, David performed on BBC One's New Year Live concert at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Westminster Central Hall with his full band and TS5 Disc jockey, DJ Set.

Publishing deals

On 9 September 2020, David signed a global publishing deal with New York-based Round Hill Music. The agreement includes all of David's music catalogue to date, and also includes a futures agreement that will see all of his new music administered by the company.

Personal life and activism

David is Jewish. He is also an avid supporter of Southampton F.C., his hometown football team. On 24 March 2010 (World Tuberculosis Day), the World Health Organization appointed Craig David as a Goodwill Ambassador against tuberculosis. His first activity in this role was to travel to South Africa to learn more about tuberculosis, where he met people suffering from the disease and those who have recovered, and scientists who have dedicated their lives to fighting tuberculosis. David stated that his mission is to help overcome the social stigma of TB in order to combat the disease.


On 30th December 2020, David was announced on the Queen’s New Year Honours List to receive an MBE in recognition of his services to music. His manager Colin Lester was also awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to the music industry and to charity.

Caricaturisation on ''Bo' Selecta!''

David was frequently caricatured by comedian Leigh Francis on the British TV comedy show ''Bo' Selecta!''; the show's title itself being a reference to his song "Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)". Although many other celebrities lampooned in the series appreciated the jokes and even appeared in the series themselves, David—the series' most prominently mocked target—did not enjoy the attention, remarking that the public were no longer taking him seriously. Speaking to ''The Sunday Times'' in 2007, David confessed that "The whole ''Bo' Selecta!'' thing was killing me for a while because this idiot had a cult following and I was the main caricature. ... Inside it was absolutely pissing me off and hurtful beyond belief. There were times when I thought I just want to knock this guy out".Iley, Chrissy (2007-11-04).
Craig David: no laughing matter
. ''The Sunday Times''. Times Newspapers Ltd, Times Newspapers. Archived fro
the original
on 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
Although he made an appearance himself on the programme (as the pseudo-fictional tribute act "Craig Davis"), he regretted it. However, he has also denied that his career had been ruined as a result of the show, and has said that he was satisfied with his musical output over the years. In a 2015 interview with the ''Daily Mirror'', David stated that he had no hard feelings towards Francis, explaining how he had seen him at a wedding and given him a hug, assuring him they were "cool". He further explained in the interview that it was his public relations, PR team who suggested that he "play hurt" by the caricature. He reiterated this stance on ''The Jonathan Ross Show'' in 2016 and explained that, contrary to popular belief, he had not fled the UK to escape negative attention brought about from the show. In June 2020, Francis apologised for his portrayal of David (among other black celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Mel B, and Trisha Goddard) in the show as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd protests, stating that "I want to say sorry for any upset I caused whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David or Trisha Goddard... all people who I am a big fan of." ''Bo' Selecta!'' was removed from the video on demand service All 4 later that same month for similar reasons.Anderton, Joe (2020-06-10)
"Bo' Selecta! removed from All4 following backlash over blackface characters
''Digital Spy''. Hearst Corporation, Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2020-10-17.


* ''
Born to Do It ''Born to Do It'' is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with Briti ...
'' (2000) * ''Slicker Than Your Average'' (2002) * ''The Story Goes...'' (2005) * ''Trust Me (album), Trust Me'' (2007) * ''Signed Sealed Delivered (album), Signed Sealed Delivered'' (2010) * ''Following My Intuition'' (2016) * ''The Time Is Now (album), The Time Is Now'' (2018)

Awards and nominations

Concert tours

Headlining * The Time Is Now Tour (2018)


External links

* – official site * *
I Love Music Festival at Tenerife (23 April 2011)
{{DEFAULTSORT:David, Craig 1981 births Living people Atlantic Records artists Black British male singers Black British male rappers English Jews English male singer-songwriters English male singers English male rappers English people of Grenadian descent British contemporary R&B singers Ivor Novello Award winners Jewish singers Jewish rappers Members of the Order of the British Empire Musicians from Hampshire People from Southampton UK garage musicians MTV Europe Music Award winners Black Jewish people