R&B artist Shaliek Rivers, who counts Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway among his influences, was briefly signed to Universal, where he released the single "Get 2 Know Ya" (featuring Juvenile) in 2005. Studio time was spent collaborating with Alicia Keys and Rockwilder, as well as with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, but the label deal did not pan out for the Bronx native. Rivers subsequently wrote songs for Day26 and Jordan Knight, and he eventually signed a solo deal with the Pendulum label. In 2012, publications such as Essence and Billboard took notice and included Rivers -- who, by then, was going by his first name only -- in features about upcoming artists. The following year, Rivers released the soul-baring ballad "The Past" in advance of Blood Sweat Tears, his debut album. ~ Andy Kellman
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