From An R&B Singer To A Hollywood Star: The Journey of Tyrese Gibson

Beginning with his professional music career in 1998, Tyrese Gibson is likely to be one of the most versatile yet unappreciated celebrities of his time. He is one of the few actors who can boast of a successful music and acting career with legitimate bragging rights. The Award-winning actor is responsible for chart-topping songs like How You Gonna Act Like That, Sweet Lady, Signs of Love Making, and Just A Baby Boy, featuring Snoop Dogg. His acting resume puts him in brackets with some of the greatest names in Hollywood, from Ving Rhames and Taraji P. Henson to Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Mark Wahlberg. Here is how the actor/musician amassed and maintained his $6 million net worth.

A Golden Ticket

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Born Tyrese Darnell Gibson, but known professionally as Tyrese, he was born in December 1978 and raised in the Watts area of South Central, Los Angeles. Despite this area of LA being known for its heavy gang-related activity, violent crime, and drug infestation, Gibson’s star still managed to shine brightly amid all the darkness. Being raised in a single-parent home by his mother, Priscilla Murray Gibson, along with his other siblings, he grew to have a love for music at an early age and would often be found singing and rapping at neighborhood shows with a local rap group called Triple Impact under his stage name, Black-Ty.

Although his sights were laser-focused on a music career, Tyrese actually got his foot in the door of success through an acting gig. At only 16 years old, he auditioned for a Coca-Cola commercial in which he would sing the phrase “Always Coca-Cola.” The gig was a success, and his natural charm coupled with his musical and acting talent opened the door to a flood of other opportunities. Soon, he would be adding modeling to his list of professions, as he was featured in ads for Guess and Tommy Hilfiger. It’s clear that the young prospect had many doors opened before him from which he could choose. However, before he became established as Tyrese the actor, he remained true to his vision of becoming a music artist, and that determination began to pay off.

Living The Musical Dream

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According to Celebrity Net Worth, Tyrese signed with RCA Records in 1998 and thereafter released his debut single, Nobody Else, which quickly made its way to No. 36 on the 10 Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1998. In September of the same year, he would go on to release his first self-titled album, Tyrese, at only 19 years old. The album did relatively well, debuting at No. 17 on the Billboard charts. His third single, Sweet Lady, became the most successful release from the album, peaking at number nine on the R&B charts. The song was such a hit that Tyrese ended up being nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.

In addition, the entire album, Tyrese, went on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) one year later in 1999. For his first album release, it’s safe to say that his early achievements would be the envy of even some established artists. Around the same time as his album release in late 1998, he was offered the chance to showcase his on-screen presence as a weekday host for MTV’s video show “MTV Jams.” With one foot in the door and the other on the gas pedal, it was only up from here for the South Central native.

Success In The R&B Genre

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By May 2001, Tyrese had already recorded and released his second album, 2000 Watts, which became certified Gold and sold over 500,000 copies. The album was only gained further success when Tyrese released the first single from the album, I Like Them Girls, which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album was released just a few months before the launch of his first major acting role in John Singleton’s drama/crime movie, Baby Boy, where Gibson played the role of Jody alongside Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg, Omar Gooding, and Ving Rhames. Released as the feature song in conjunction with the movie was the third single from the album, Just A Baby Boy, featuring rapper/actor Snoop Dogg and Mr. Tan.

And this was all the proof Gibson needed to be convinced that his dreams of becoming a musician were becoming a reality. By December 2002, Tyrese released his third studio album, I Wanna Go There, which sold 877,000 copies from 2002-2006. His hottest and most successful single from the album, How You Gonna Act Like That, peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the highest chart-topping song throughout his entire music career. Following this was the release of his fourth album in 2006, Alter Ego, which didn’t do as well as his previous albums. Although it sold 116,000 copies in its first week of release, it reached No. 23 on the US Billboard 200, making it the singer’s lowest-ranking album to date. Gibson’s next two albums, Open Invitation (2011) and Black Rose (2015) did considerably well, with the latter topping the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. However, his Open Invitation album earned him his third Grammy nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards. In total, Tyrese has sold over 4 million albums during his music career.


A Fruitful Acting Career

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With an impressive list of musical achievements under his belt, Tyrese would now go on to dominate Hollywood with a string of acting opportunities. As previously mentioned, his first major role was in Baby Boy in 2001, which opened even greater opportunities with some of Hollywood’s most talented actors. His next iconic film saw him starring as Angel Mercer alongside Mark Wahlberg in the 2005 action-packed movie, Four Brothers. He also shared the screen with Terrence Howard, Sofia Vergara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the same film. Four Brothers grossed a total of $92.5 million at the box office, but that still wasn’t his highest-grossing film.

One of his star performances, as well as highest-grossing franchises, came in his 2003 appearance in John Singleton’s 2 Fast 2 Furious alongside Vin Diesel, Eva Mendes, Ludacris, and Michael Ealy. His character played a wildcard, Roman Pearce, who stuck with the Fast and The Furious franchise all the way to F9, which was released in June 2021. According to The Numbers, as of July 2021, the Fast and The Furious franchise has grossed $6.6 billion at the worldwide box office.

Apart from this sensational movie, Gibson has also starred in the Transformers franchise which also raked in close to $5 billion. His other acting ventures include The Take (2007), Flight of Phoenix (2004), Wiast Deep (2006) alongside Megan Good, Legion (2010), and Dangerous (2021) alongside Mel Gibson.

At 43-years old, it’s clear that Tyrese Gibson has no plans of taking his foot off the gas pedal in acting, and is expected to be in Fast and Furious 10, scheduled to be released in 2023.

READ NEXT: Fast And Furious: Every Cast Member’s Net Worth

Sources: Live About, Celebrity Net Worth, MUBI, The Numbers


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