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Omar Birth name Omar Lye-Fook Born 14 October 1968 (1968-10-14) (age 42) London, England Genres Neo soul, soul Occupations Singer, songwriter, musician Instruments Vocals Years active Late 1980s–present Labels Kongo, Talkin' Loud, RCA, Naïve, Blunt Music[1] Omar Lye-Fook (born 14 October 1968, London),[1] and known as Omar, is an internationally acclaimed British soul singer, songwriter and musician. Omar grew up in Canterbury, Kent. He learned his craft classically, playing the trumpet, piano and percussion. Omar also spent two years at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, and the Guildhall School of Music in London. His most well-known song was his debut single "There's Nothing Like This".[1] It reached #14 in the UK Singles Chart on re-release in 1991.[2] Allmusic noted that he is described by some as the father of British neo soul.[1] Contents 1 Career 2 Personal life 3 Discography 3.1 Albums 3.2 Chart singles 4 Collaborations 5 References 6 External links Career Following his first two single releases, "Mr Postman" and "You and Me" featuring backing vocals from Caron Wheeler, Omar released his first album, entitled There's Nothing Like This in 1990. Initially released on his father's record label, Kongo Records, it entered the UK Albums Chart, peaking at #54.[1][2] Signing to his first major record label, Talkin' Loud, saw the re-release of his debut album, which climbed to #19 in the British chart. This was followed in 1992 by his second album, Music, which proved less successful (UK #37) than the first.[2] A new signing to RCA Records led to Omar undertaking collaborations with other musicians, including Lamont Dozier, David Frank (The System), the former Heatwave bassist Derrick Bramble, Leon Ware and Stevie Wonder.[1] In 1996, Omar contributed "Water to Drink" to the AIDS benefit album, Red Hot + Rio, produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 2003, after one of his songs ("There's Nothing Like This") was used in the intro round on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, presenter Mark Lamarr questioned Omar's supposed instant recognizability, quipping that he would require a Blockbuster card to confirm Omar's identity. Omar's agent, e-mailed the show and a few episodes later, Omar appeared in the show's 'identity parade' round, Blockbuster card in hand. Lamarr was force to concede that Omar was recognizable, and a rather more significant artist than he had earlier given him credit for.[3] In 2006, the Urban Music Awards presented Omar with the Best Neo Soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards.[1] After studying at the Identity Drama School, on 11 June 2009, Omar made his acting debut in Ché Walker's musical, Been So Long.[4] Personal life Omar is sometimes credited as Omar Hammer. His birth father's surname is Lye-Fook, while his stepfather's surname is Hammer.[1] He and his siblings, two brothers and a sister are all musicians. Samia Lye-Fook (Omar's sister, and youngest of the four) is a BRIT School alumna, who has provided background vocals for some of Omar's recordings. Omar became the father of twins in early 2008. Discography Albums There's Nothing Like This (1990) - UK #19 (re-issue) Music (1992) - UK #17 For Pleasure (1994) - UK #50 This Is Not a Love Song (1997) - UK #50 Best By Far (2001) Sing (If You Want It) (2006)[2] Chart singles Year Title UK Singles Chart[2] Label 1991 "There's Nothing Like This" #14 Kongo Records 1992 "Your Loss My Gain" #47 Talkin' Loud 1992 "Music" #53 Talkin' Loud 1994 "Outside" / "Saturday" #43 RCA 1994 "Keep Steppin'" #57 RCA 1997 "Say Nothin'" #29 RCA 1997 "Golden Brown" #37 RCA Collaborations Some of the musicians Omar has performed with include (but are not limited to):   Angie Stone Caron Wheeler   Carleen Anderson Galliano   Erykah Badu Guru   Kele Le Roc Stevie Wonder   Syreeta Wright   Common - on the 2004 Electric Circus track, "The Hustle"[1] Ol' Dirty Bastard References ^ a b c d e f g h i Cordor, Cyril. "Biography: Omar". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2010.  ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 406. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  ^ "Episode 11". Never Mind the Buzzcocks. 17 March 2003. No. 11, season 12. ^ External links Official website Soul Jones Presents Omar Biography, discography, and interview at Soulwalking biography Omar interview at Persondata Name Lye-Fook, Omar Alternative names Hammer, Omar Short description Date of birth 14 October 1968 Place of birth London, England Date of death Place of death