Mark Morrison was one of the most successful British urban R&B singers of the mid-'90s. His breakthrough single, "Return of the Mack," became a Top Ten hit across Europe in 1996, and opened the U.S. market for him the following year. Although he became a commercial success nearly overnight, his career was plagued by run-ins with the law that prevented him from consolidating his position as a star.
Ironically, if it wasn't for jail, Morrison wouldn't have pursued a career in music at all. He decided to become a vocalist in 1995 while serving a three-month sentence for causing an incident at a club. Following his release, he entered the studio with a production team. In the fall of 1995, he released "Crazy," which became a club favorite and a Top 20 hit in Britain. It was followed in the spring of 1996 by "Return of the Mack," which became a smash hit, spending two weeks at number one on the U.K. charts; he became the first black male solo artist to reach number one in the '90s. Morrison's debut album, also titled Return of the Mack, followed and peaked at number four. "Let's Get Down," his third single, reached the Top 40 that summer.
Although his career was going well, Morrison was constantly in trouble with the law, culminating in an arrest for trying to bring a stun gun onto a plane. He was convicted and sent to jail in early 1997. Around the same time, he received four Brit Award nominations (he didn't win any), and "Return of the Mack" began to climb its way to number two on the American charts. Over the following years, Morrison recorded sporadically and wasn't nearly as successful commercially. He released Innocent Man (featuring appearances from Adina Howard and DMX) in 2006 and I Am What I Am in 2010. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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