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Tramar Lacel Dillard (born December 16, 1979), better known by his stage name Flo Rida (pronounced pron.: / /), is an American rapper and singer-songwriter. He is known for hit songs such as "Low", featuring T-Pain, which was a number 1 hit for ten weeks in the United States in 2008, and "Right Round", featuring Kesha, which was a number 1 hit for six weeks; both songs broke the record for digital download sales when they were released. Other international hit singles he has had include "Club Can't Handle Me", "Good Feeling", "Wild Ones" and "Whistle". He has frequently collaborated with other artists, both on his and others' tracks. Hit songs by other artists on which he has appeared include "Running Back" by Jessica Mauboy, "Bad Boys" by Alexandra Burke and "Troublemaker" by Olly Murs.
Flo Rida has released four albums so far: Mail on Sunday in 2008, R.O.O.T.S. in 2009, Only One Flo (Part 1) in 2010, and Wild Ones in 2012.
Tramar Dillard was born on December 16, 1979 in Carol City, Florida. His parents raised him and his seven sisters together, some of whom sang in a local gospel group.
Dillard's brother-in-law was a hype man for local rap group 2 Live Crew, and while in ninth grade, Dillard joined an amateur rap group called the GroundHoggz. The GroundHoggz had been a three-man group, with members 1Bred, Key Lime, and Fist, who lived in the same apartment complex as Dilard, 187 Apartments. They started recording at underground studios in Carver Ranches. The GroundHoggz, in this four-man incarnation, remained together for eight years.
His work with 2 Live Crew member Fresh Kid Ice attracted the attention of DeVante Swing, a member of the band Jodeci. However, he was rejected by several of the major labels, so he sought many other jobs outside of music.
After graduating from high school in 1998, he studied international business management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for two months and attended Barry University for two months. He returned to Florida to continue pursuing his music career after receiving a phone call from a representative of the independent label Poe Boy Entertainment.
Dillard signed with Poe Boy in 2006, and as Flo Rida he began affiliating with other artists, such as Rick Ross, Trina, T-Pain, and Trick Daddy. A promotional street single entitled "Birthday", featuring Rick Ross, was his first significant release. He made his debut guest appearance with the song "Bitch I'm from Dade County" on DJ Khaled's album We the Best, which featured Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Brisco, C-Ride, and Dre.
Flo Rida's debut album, Mail on Sunday, was released in March 2008. The first single was "Low", featuring T-Pain, which was also included in the soundtrack to the movie Step Up 2: The Streets. "Low" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Elevator", featuring Timbaland, "In the Ayer" featuring will.i.am, and "Roll" featuring Sean Kingston followed, and both charted on the Hot 100 and other charts.
Other than T-Pain, there were many featured guests throughout Mail on Sunday. Timbaland, who produced the second single "Elevator", is also featured on the track. Rick Ross, and Trey Songz made appearances as well. Lil Wayne appeared on the track "American Superstar", while Sean Kingston appeared on the J. R. Rotem-produced "Roll", which was co-written by Compton rapper Spitfiya. Various other guests include Birdman, Brisco, and Yung Joc.
"Money Right", featuring Brisco and Rick Ross, was scheduled to be the fourth single, but this was canceled due to the upcoming release of Flo Rida's second studio album, R.O.O.T.S. His second collaboration with T-Pain, "I Bet", as well as his collaboration with Trina, named "Bout It", both didn't make the final tracklist, but were recorded.
After the success of Mail on Sunday, Flo Rida made guest performances on other R&B, rap, and pop singles, including "Move Shake Drop" by DJ Laz, "We Break the Dawn" by Michelle Williams, the remix of "4 Minutes" by Madonna, "Running Back" by Australian R&B singer Jessica Mauboy, "Feel It" by DJ Felli Fel, and the remix of "Speedin'" by Rick Ross. During the summer of 2008, he did live performances on the Fox dance competition program So You Think You Can Dance in the US and 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada. He appeared on the albums We Global by DJ Khaled, Gutta by Ace Hood, and The Fame by Lady Gaga, among others.
Flo Rida began recording his sophomore album, R.O.O.T.S., nine months after Mail On Sunday. The album was released on March 31, 2009. The first single, "Right Round" featuring Ke$ha, and was released for airplay in January 2009. "Right Round" jumped from number 58 to the top spot in one week in late February. The song broke a record for the most digital one week sales in the U.S., with 636,000, beating the previous record he had set himself with "Low". "Right Round" sampled "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", a 1985 hit by Dead or Alive. The second official single was "Sugar", which featured R&B singer Wynter Gordon. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Jump", featuring singer Nelly Furtado, was the third official single and was released on July 27, 2009 in the UK, and July 28, 2009 worldwide. "Be on You", featuring features singer Ne-Yo, was the album's fourth official single, released on October 6, 2009. Both songs charted in the top 100 in various countries. "Available", featuring Akon, was going to be released on iTunes but was cancelled. It charted at number 120 in Ireland. A music video was also shot in mid-2009. R.O.O.T.S. debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 55,000 copies in its first week. As of August, 2009, the album has sold 223,000 copies in the United States, and 536,000 worldwide. By the end of 2009, the album sold 247,000 copies in the US, becoming the eighth best selling rap album of 2009.
Flo Rida made guest performances on "Feel It" by DJ Felli Fel, "Starstruck" by Lady Gaga, and "Feel It" by Three 6 Mafia. "Bad Boys", the first single by winner of British reality show The X Factor Alexandra Burke that featured Flo Rida, debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in October.
Flo Rida's third album Only One Flo (Part 1) was released on November 24, 2010. In March 2010, Flo Rida announced on Twitter that the album would be titled The Only One. Billboard reported that The Only One was to be a double album. A promo single, titled "Zoosk Girl", which features T-Pain, was released on the internet, though the song is not featured on the album, the single does have its own music video. On June 28, 2010, Flo Rida released the song "Club Can't Handle Me" featuring David Guetta, which was stated to be the official first single for the album. The song was also featured in the Step Up 3D soundtrack. On November 2, 2010, "Come with Me" was released as the first promo single for the album, along with "Puzzle", produced, and featuring by Electrixx, which isn't featured on the album. On November 16, 2010, "Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was released as the second official promo single for the album via the iTunes Store. It debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number thirty-four on November 29, 2010. After the release of the album in the UK, "Who Dat Girl" started to receive a strong amount of downloads, thus causing it to debut at number 136 on the UK Singles Chart and chart at a current peak of number thirty-one on the UK R&B Chart. "Why You Up In Here" was released as the fourth single, and third promo single, on May 11, 2011. The song features Ludacris, Gucci Mane, and Git Fresh.
Flo Rida also made guest appearances on "iYiYi", a song by Australian teen singer Cody Simpson, and on the song "Out My Video" by Bulgarian singer LiLana. Flo Rida collaborated with UK girl group The Saturdays, recording a new version of their single, "Higher".
In December 2010, Flo Rida created his own label, International Music Group, inspired by Nicki Minaj's signing with Lil Wayne's. He has signed an 18 year-old rapper, Brianna and Git Fresh to International.
Flo Rida's fourth album, Wild Ones (originally titled Only One Rida (Part 2)) was released in July 2012. Its debut single was "Good Feeling", released on August 29, 2011. The song samples "Levels" by Avicii, which in turn samples Etta James' 1962 song, "Something's Got a Hold on Me". Following the death of Etta James on January 20, 2012, Flo Rida dedicated the song in her memory. The song peaked at No. 3 in the United States, and topped the charts in Austria, Germany, Scotland, and the UK. It reached the top five in nine other countries.
The next two singles from the album were the title track, "Wild Ones", released in December 2011, and "Whistle", released April 2012. "Wild Ones" reached #1 in various countries, and hit #5 in the US, while "Whistle" reached #1 in 20 countries, including the United States.
On April 1, Flo Rida made an appearance at WrestleMania XXVIII and had a segment with Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks where Heath calls Flo Rida "Florida" and Flo Rida shoves him into a wall; making Tyler and Curt come out laughing at Heath. Later that night Flo Rida performed "Wild Ones" and "Good Feeling" before Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came out to battle John Cena. On April 6, 2012 an exclusive Australian EP entitled Good Feeling was released in Australia, which contains six of his biggest hits and two remixes. It debuted at No. 21 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart On May 22, 2012, Flo Rida performed and closed the show at the first Q102 Springle Ball Concert, and the following day he performed "Goin' In" with Jennifer Lopez on the America Idol finale.
On September 13, Flo Rida performed his new single "I Cry" on America's Got Talent. In an interview with New York Music News, Flo Rida said he is currently recording his next album and that he has finished shooting the music video for "Let It Roll". On December 9, he performed "Let it Roll" and "Wild Ones" at the 2012 edition of WWE's Tribute to the Troops.
Flo Rida has already started work on his new studio album, which is currently untitled, that will be released later in 2013. The first single from the project is called "Tell Me When You Ready" and features Future.
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