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Don't hate him because he's beautiful. Or talented, or successful, or multifaceted, for that matter. Tyrese, at the tender age of 19, has already established himself in four separate career areas: singer, songwriter, actor, and model.

The striking face and physique may first be familiar to some from Tyrese's widespread modeling exposure in ads for Tommy Hilfiger and a TV spot for Coca-Cola. He's also made guest appearances on sitcoms Martin and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. However, the talented teenager is now shooting to become recognized primarily for his singing and songwriting talents--music is his first and foremost love.

Tyrese, who grew up in the rough South Central Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, used music as a peaceful escape and refuge early on in his life. By age 14, he was singing in local talent shows and events. Keeping a steady focus on his future, the teen managed to overcome an obstacle-filled childhood by getting his big break, the aforementioned Coke commercial.

Scouts called Tyrese's high school looking for a 16-18-year-old male for the spot, and auditions were held in the auditorium that day. Tyrese almost missed his chance--he was two hours late, due to transportation problems--but by a great stroke of luck, the casting director had shown up late as well. Feeling lucky, Tyrese belted out his best rendition of Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It," wowed the judges, and won his way into the beginning of a successful modeling and acting career.

While grateful for the exposure, Tyrese still had the ultimate dream of becoming a recording artist, and in 1998 decided to give it his best shot. The result was his self-titled debut, a smooth disc of R&B tunes (many co-written by the artist, including his silky first single, "Lately").

However successful he may be or become, however, Tyrese hasn't forgotten where he comes from. The model/ singer is also a community activist dedicated to assisting inner-city youth by making appearances at schools, playing charity basketball games, and making benefit appearances. With a great belief that a positive, persevering attitude can go a long way, Tyrese is living proof that a little dreaming plus a lot of hard work and focus can get anyone where he or she wants to ultimately go.

This Biography was written by Wendy Hermanson


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