Lyfe Jennings: biography
Chester Jermaine Jennings is an American R&B and soul singer and songwriter. He also plays the guitar, bass, and piano which you can hear in his songs. All Chester’s studio albums have peaked in the Top 10 of Billboard's R&B chart.
Childhood and youth
Lyfe Jennings was born in 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. The artist has four siblings, and he lost his father at a young age, that we know from his songs Ghetto Superman and More Than A Girl (album The Phoenix, 2006). As a teenager, Jennings used to sing in a church choir, and then he performed as a part of the band called “The Dotsons” which also included his brother and two cousins.
During the 1990s, Lyfe started having legal issues, and his music career took a pause when he was sent to prison for an arson charge at the age of 14.
In 2002, Jennings got released from the prison after serving ten years here. While being in jail, the artist found a sort of escape in music. Just two days after his release, Lyfe recorded his debut CD with four singles. In a month, he was performing at the Apollo Theater in New York. When the Apollo Showtime audience heard his falsetto and felt the point of his songs, they started dancing slowly. Jennings has sold more than 1,000 CD copies with his four singles.
After that, he moved to New York, where he signed a contract with Columbia Records, and in summer 2004 Lyfe’s first album titled Lyfe 268-192 got released. The numbers “268-192” represent Lyfe’s identification number in prison. By the way, this album included the song about the church, Made up my mind, which has a relevant topic because in childhood Lyfe used to sing in the choir. Another great track from this album is Stick Up Kid.
In 2006, Jennings released the next album, The Phoenix, which turned out to be more hip-hop and Three 6 Mafia and Young Buck made guest appearances in that. The most well-known singles are The River and Slow Down. After releasing his album Lyfe Change in 2008, the singer signed a new deal with another company, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. With Warner Bros. Lyfe began his work on the project called Sooner or Later, which as he stated was supposed to be his last album. Eventually, it got the name I Still Believe, and it was released in 2010 with guest appearances of various musicians like Bryan-Michael Cox, Bobby Valentino, Anthony Hamilton, and Jazmine Sullivan.
After completing another prison stint for a domestic dispute in 2008, Jennings returned to the world of music with his next album Lucid, which was released in 2013 on the Mass Appeal label. In two years, he released his new album Tree of Lyfe which was recorded mostly in Lyfe’s home studio in Greenwood, Mississippi and considered to be the most personal work of Jennings. The music video Talkin About Love featuring Demetria McKinney got more than 2 million views on YouTube.
In 2016, Lyfe and other similar artists such as Timbaland, Kehlani and Les Twins appeared in the 8th season of the comedy show on MTV called Wild 'N Out. In 2019, Jennings created the #MeToo movement when recorded his own version of R. Kelly’s hit song When A Woman's Fed Up. In Lyfetime that was recorded over Kelly’s track, Lyfe appears to support R. Kelly, who was arrested that year for the sexual abuse of several women.
For now, the artist has a net worth of $500,000. He often participates in concerts, for instance, in March this year Jennings was coming to Greenville where he performed at club Epic in South Carolina, and in April - at Sugar’s Cajun in Missouri. In summer 2019, the artist is going on tour: he can be seen at the Stranahan Theatre in Toledo, Ohio, at the House of Blues in Chicago, etc.
Lyfe’s imprisonment at the age of 14 was not the only one. In autumn 2008, after arguing with his ex-fiancé Joy Bounds, he followed her to her family’s house in Georgia. Jennings crushed the door, fired several shots in the street, and when the police came, it chased him until Lyfe crashed his Corvette. In 2010, the artist was sentenced to 3,5 years for that.
Jennings has never been married, although he has a lot of kids. With Joy Bounds, his fiancé and ex-manager, Lyfe has two sons, Phoenix Roy Jennings (born in 2005) and Elijah Jennings (born in 2006). In October 2008, he had a daughter Liyah Jennings with Anita Priestley. In 2011, Lyfe Michael Jennings was born; he is the son of an actress, Marquita Goings. In 2016, a model India Mendoza gave birth to Knoah Mendoza. Two years later, Jennings had two more children, whose names remain unknown.
- 2004 – Lyfe 268-192
- 2006 – The Phoenix
- 2008 – Lyfe Change
- 2009 – Playlist: The Very Best of Lyfe Jennings
- 2010 – I Still Believe
- 2013 – Lucid
- 2015 – Tree of Lyfe