Dante Thomas almost gave up on his dream of becoming a singer like Donny Hathaway or Stevie Wonder. On his first attempt, straight out of high school, he left his hometown of Salt Lake City, UT, and hopped a bus for the Big Apple, where he didn't know a soul. He spent his first night in New York on a bench at the Port Authority bus station. The singer made some headway but soon discovered that New York wasn't for him. He went home to Utah with thoughts of finding a regular job. His dream continued to pull at him, however, and he decided to give it a second chance. Fortune rewarded Thomas' persistence. He scored a big hit with his first single, "Miss California." The release went gold in France, Sweden, and Germany, and sold exceptionally well throughout all of Europe. When it hit the airwaves in the U.S., the record claimed a place on the charts in the Top 20. A tour that billed Thomas alongside 'N Sync further broadened the vocalist's fan base.
His success owes a big debt of thanks to a chance meeting with Pras. The New Jersey-born rapper, of Fugees fame, discovered the young singer at the Hit Factory while Thomas was making a demo. Pras told Thomas to call his assistant, and they would get together at a future date. Thomas, his persistence coming to the forefront, decided that there was no time like the present. He gave an impromptu audition on the spot, belting out something from Stevie Wonder. Pras immediately liked what he heard. The two men started working together that night. Thomas went on to record Fly, his debut CD, for the rapper's label, Rat Pack. Thomas penned the title track, a ballad, in collaboration with Sam Hyman. The album was produced by Vada Nobles, who has worked with Lauryn Hill, another New Jerseyite who came up through the ranks with the Fugees. ~ Linda Seida
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