Throughout a career that dates back to the early '80s, Will Downing has been among the steadiest and most productive artists in R&B. Not cut out to hop aboard commercial production trends for the sake of attaining mainstream success, the Grammy-nominated singer has tended to stick resolutely to a sophisticated and modern sound based in soul and jazz. He mixes refined originals with spirited covers, and combines his deep and rich voice with a restrained "song first" approach. Downing doesn't have many major singles by the standard measurement -- his version of Angela Bofill's "I Try" is his only Top 20 Billboard R&B hit -- but he has been a mainstay of the urban adult contemporary radio format. ~ Andy Kellman
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