Khalid Donnel Robinson (born February 11, 1998), known mononymously as Khalid (Ka-LEAD), is an American singer and songwriter. He is signed to Right Hand Music Group and RCA Records. He rose to fame after the release of his debut studio album American Teen (2017), which was certified 4× platinum (4,000,000 units) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album spawned the US top 20 singles "Location" and "Young Dumb & Broke", with the former being certified Diamond (10,000,000 units) by the RIAA.
|Birth name||Khalid Donnel Robinson|
|Born||February 11, 1998|
Fort Stewart, Georgia, U.S.
|Origin||El Paso, Texas, U.S.|
Later that year, he was featured on Logic's US top 10 single "1-800-273-8255" with Alessia Cara, which earned him a Grammy Award for Song of the Year nomination. The following year, Khalid released the No. 1 pop songs "Love Lies" with Normani and "Eastside" with Benny Blanco and Halsey, both of which tied the record at the time for longest charting songs on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. In September 2018, he released the No. 1 Rhythmic song "Better" as the lead single from his top 10 EP Suncity. In April 2019, he released his second studio album, Free Spirit, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart. The lead single "Talk" peaked at No. 3 in the US and earned him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year nomination.
Khalid has received multiple accolades including six Grammy Award nominations, six Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards and a MTV Video Music Award. In 2019, Khalid was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People.
Early life Edit
Robinson was born in Fort Stewart, Georgia. He spent his childhood in various locations due to his mother, Linda Wolfe, and her father's military careers, including Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Drum in Watertown, New York, and six years in Heidelberg, Germany. Wolfe worked as a supply technician and became a member of the Army corps. In high school, Robinson studied singing and musical theater. He attended Carthage Central High School in Carthage, New York for his first three years of high school before he and his mother moved to El Paso, Texas, where he attended Americas High School for his senior year.
2016–2017: American Teen Edit
Khalid began writing and creating music in high school; he posted his early works to SoundCloud. Shortly after graduating from Americas High School, Khalid reached number two on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart in July 2016. His single "Location" began charting, which led to his being featured in many publications, including Billboard, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, and Rolling Stone. With production from Syk Sense, Tunji Ige, and Smash David, "Location" finished the year 2016 at number 20 on the US Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart and reached the Top 10 on the US Hot R&B Songs chart on January 21, 2017. The music video for "Location" premiered on The Fader's website. The album's second single "Young Dumb & Broke" became a sleeper hit, becoming a hit at rhythmic formats and crossing over to pop radio into early 2018.
In January 2017, Alina Baraz's single "Electric", featuring Khalid, was released. His collaboration with Brasstracks, called "Whirlwind", was part of the Yours Truly & Adidas Originals Songs from Scratch series, and received over 700,000 SoundCloud plays. Khalid contributed uncredited vocals to Kendrick Lamar's song "The Heart Part 4", released on March 24, 2017. On April 28, 2017, Logic released the single "1-800-273-8255", which featured Khalid and Alessia Cara; the single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Khalid's highest-charting single.
He sold out every venue on his 21-city January–February 2017 Location Tour, including the 1,500-capacity Tricky Falls in El Paso. Following the completion of the tour, his debut studio album American Teen was released on March 3, 2017. The album received critical acclaim and Grammy Award nominations for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song (for "Location"), at the 2018 ceremony. On October 24, 2017, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 1,000,000 in combined pure sales and album-equivalent units.
In 2017, Khalid won a VMA Award for Best New Artist. Khalid made his television debut performing "Location" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 15, 2017, backed by The Roots. His song "Angels" was featured on the ABC drama series Grey's Anatomy in the episode entitled "Don't Stop Me Now", which aired April 27, 2017. In September 2018, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo Friday presented Khalid with the key to the City of El Paso.
Khalid's next single was a collaboration with American DJ Marshmello titled "Silence", which was released on August 11, 2017, via RCA Records. The song appeared on the Top 200 in over 28 countries. It topped the Dance charts in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and charted in the Top 10 of more than fifteen countries such as Germany, Sweden and Norway. It also appeared on the year-end charts of Hungary, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Additionally, it was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA and platinum or multiplatinum in many countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and others.
2018–2019: Suncity and Free Spirit Edit
Khalid's song "The Ways" with rapper Swae Lee was featured in the Marvel film Black Panther. As of February 23, 2018, the song peaked at number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, he collaborated with Lorde, SZA, and Post Malone on Lorde's "Homemade Dynamite" remix. He released a duet with singer Normani, called "Love Lies", recorded for the Love, Simon film soundtrack, which reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018. "Love Lies" was each artist's first number one on the US Pop Songs chart, and finished in the top 20 of the 2018 Billboard Hot 100 Year-End chart.
In May 2018, he wrote "Youth" in collaboration with Canadian artist Shawn Mendes. The song was featured on Mendes' self titled album and contains references to the social and political climate at that time. Mendes and Khalid performed "Youth" at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2018, as a tribute to the victims of gun violence. The performance featured the show choir from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Khalid wrote and provided vocals for DJ/producer Martin Garrix's song "Ocean", released through Stmpd Rcrds on June 15, 2018. It peaked at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 5 on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and finished at number 16 on its 2018-year end chart, then number 81 the next year.
He collaborated with Billie Eilish on the song "Lovely", which was sampled multiple times on Goodbye & Good Riddance, the debut album of rapper Juice Wrld. It was also played on the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in Season 2 Episode 13. In July 2018, he was featured alongside Halsey on Benny Blanco's debut single "Eastside". The song charted in the Billboard Hot 100's top ten and reached number one on the US Pop Songs chart, after a record 30-week climb. He also released a song called "Better" on September 14, the first day of two hometown shows. The song topped the Rhythmic Songs airplay ranking and charted in the top five at pop radio.
In October 2018, Khalid released an EP, Suncity, on October 19, 2018, through RCA Records. The EP debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200. The album also spawned the song "Saturday Nights", later remixed to feature country artist Kane Brown.
In February 2019, Khalid released the single "Talk", and he made his debut on Saturday Night Live on March 9, 2019, performing "Talk" and "Better". His second studio album Free Spirit was released on April 5, 2019, along with an accompanying short film. It debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with 202,000 album-equivalent units (including 85,000 pure album sales) in its first week, becoming Khalid's first US number-one album.
On April 25, 2019, Billboard magazine reported that since March 2018, Khalid had landed a 59-week straight streak of hits (and counting) on the Hot 100 since his Normani collaboration "Love Lies" debuted on the chart. He charted 12 tracks (both solo hits and features) on the Hot 100 throughout the last year.
In order to promote the album, Khalid embarked on his fourth concert tour titled the Free Spirit World Tour which will visit North America, Europe and Oceania on May 18, 2019, which is set to conclude on December 5, 2019.
Following the release of Free Spirit, Khalid was reported to have become the biggest global artist on Spotify, hitting 50.4 million monthly listeners on the streaming platform, and subsequently surpassing Ariana Grande. In October 2019, Khalid and Major Lazer released a single titled "Trigger" which was also featured on Death Stranding's soundtrack.
2020–present: Scenic Drive and Everything Is Changing Edit
On July 11, 2021, Khalid premiered his single "New Normal" during Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Unity 22 spaceflight at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The song will appear on his upcoming third studio album Everything Is Changing.
Prior to the album's release, Khalid released his first mixtape Scenic Drive on December 3, 2021. On November 20, 2021, Khalid previewed a new song titled "Backseat", which serves as the third track on the mixtape. His next song, tiled "Silver Platter", was featured on the soundtrack album for the 2023 film Barbie.
Musical style and influences Edit
Khalid's music is primarily R&B, hip hop, pop and pop-soul. He sings in both the baritone and tenor ranges, effectively rendering him a baritenor. Khalid possesses a two and a half octave vocal range, ranging from the low F2 to the middle B♭4. Khalid cites his mother as his leading musical inspiration and has cited Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, Frank Ocean, Grizzly Bear, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, India.Arie, and James Blake as other influences.
- The Location Tour (2017)
- American Teen Tour (2017–2018)
- Roxy Tour (2018)
- Free Spirit World Tour (2019)
Awards and nominations Edit
|2017||Woodie Awards||Woodie To Watch||Himself||Won|
|BET Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song||"Location"||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|Best Push Artist|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Song – Soul/R&B||"Location"||Nominated|
|Soul Train Music Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Best R&B Soul Male Artist|
|Song of the Year||"Location"|
|The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award|
|2018||Grammy Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Best Urban Contemporary Album||American Teen|
|Best R&B Song||"Location"|
|Song of the Year|
|Best Music Video|
|GAFFA Awards (Denmark)||Best Foreign New Act||Himself||Won|
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||R&B Song of the Year||"Location"||Nominated|
|R&B Artist of the Year||Himself|
|Best New R&B Artist||Won|
|Best New Artist||Nominated|
|Best Cover Song||"Lost" by Frank Ocean|
|R&B Album of the Year||American Teen||Won|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Breakout Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top New Artist||Won|
|Top R&B Artist||Nominated|
|Top R&B Male Artist||Nominated|
|Top R&B Song||"Young, Dumb & Broke"||Nominated|
|Top R&B Album||American Teen||Nominated|
|BMI Pop Awards||Award Winning Songs||"1-800-273-8255"||Won|
|BET Awards||Best Male R&B/Pop Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Artist: R&B/Hip-Hop||Won|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Push Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Video with a Message||"1-800-273-8255"||Nominated|
|iHeartRadio Titanium Awards||1 Billion Total Audience Spins on iHeartRadio Stations||"Love Lies" (with Normani)||Won|
|Soul Train Music Awards||Best R&B/Soul Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Best Collaboration Performance||"OTW" (with Ty Dolla Sign and 6lack)||Nominated|
|2019||BET Awards||Best Male R&B/Pop Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top R&B Artist||Nominated|
|Top R&B Male Artist||Nominated|
|Top R&B Album||American Teen||Nominated|
|Top R&B Song||"Better"||Nominated|
|Top Radio Song||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Pop||"Talk"||Nominated|
|Song of Summer||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Abu Dhabi||Favorite International Star||Himself||Nominated|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock||Won|
|Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B||Nominated|
|Favorite Album – Soul/R&B||Free Spirit||Won|
|Favorite Song – Soul/R&B||"Talk"||Won|
|iHeartRadio Titanium Awards||1 Billion Total Audience Spins on iHeartRadio Stations||"Eastside" (Halsey & Benny Blanco)||Won|
|Soul Train Music Awards||Best R&B/Soul Male Artist||Himself||Won|
|Song of the Year||"Talk"||Nominated|
|The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award||Nominated|
|Video of the Year||Better||Nominated|
|Album/Mixtape of the Year||Free Spirit||Nominated|
|2020||Grammy Awards||Record of the Year||"Talk"||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Best Male R&B/Pop Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Collaboration||"Beautiful People"
(with Ed Sheeran)
(featuring Summer Walker)
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||Male Artist of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
|R&B Artist of the Year||Nominated|
(featuring Benny Blanco and Halsey)
|Best Lyric||"Beautiful People"
(with Ed Sheeran)
|R&B Song of the Year||"Talk"||Nominated|
|R&B Album of the Year||Free Spirit||Won|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Outstanding Song, Contemporary||"Talk"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music Video||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Top Male Artist||Nominated|
|Top Billboard 200 Artist||Nominated|
|Top Hot 100 Artist||Nominated|
|Top Radio Songs Artist||Nominated|
|Top R&B Tour Artist||Won|
|Top R&B Artist||Won|
|Top R&B Male Artist||Won|
|Top Radio Song||"Talk"||Nominated|
|Top R&B Song||Won|
|Top Billboard 200 Album||Free Spirit||Nominated|
|Top R&B Album||Won|
|iHeartRadio Titanium Awards||1 Billion Total Audience Spins on iHeartRadio Stations||"Talk"||Won|
|Juno Awards||International Album of the Year||Free Spirit||Nominated|
|2021||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary)||"So Done"
(with Alicia Keys)
|2022||MTV Video Music Awards||Song of Summer||"Numb"
- Ju, Shirley (February 12, 2019). "Khalid Celebrates 21st Birthday With Bash at Beverly Hills Mansion". Variety. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
- "Khalid: The 100 Most Influential People of 2019". TIME. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
- Shifferaw, Abel. "Kel Mitchell, Rachael Leigh Cook Star in Khalid's High School-Themed Video for "Young Dumb & Broke"". Complex. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- Acosta, Dave. "Khalid finds his 'Location' in El Paso". El Paso Times. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- Scott Perry, "Saved" documentary, The Fader, February 2, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Elias Leight, "10 Hip-Hop and R&B Artists to Watch In 2017", Billboard, December 27, 2016, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Jim Farber, "10 Artists to Watch in 2017", Yahoo! Music, December 28, 2016, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Emma Cooke, "26 Brilliant Songs You Need In Your January Playlist", Buzzfeed, January 11, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017
- "10 New Artists You Need to Know: February 2017", Rolling Stone, February 1, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Amaya Mendizabal, "The 'Location' of Khalid's Breakout Hit? The Top 10 on Hot R&B Songs Chart", Billboard, January 12, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Myles Tanzer, "Khalid Finds A Digital Love In 'Location' Video", The Fader, September 26, 2016, retrieved February 7, 2017
- "Alina Baraz and Khalid Link Up on Seductive New Track, 'Electric'". Ones to Watch. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- Black, Adrienne. "Listen to Khalid and Brasstracks Team Up for "Whirlwind"". PigeonsandPlanes. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- "Kendrick Lamar's "The Heart Part 4" Features An Uncredited Vocal From Khalid". The Fader. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Khalid Is Featured on Kendrick Lamar's New "The Heart Part 4"". XXL. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Khalid on '1-800-273-8255' Hitting Top 5: 'A Song Like This Was Necessary'". Billboard.
- "El Paso's Khalid nominated for MTV VMA for Best New Artist". El Paso Times. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- "American Teen by Khalid on Apple Music". iTunes. March 3, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- "See The Full List Of 60th Grammy Nominees". Grammy Award. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- "Khalid's debut Album American Teen is certified Platinum". The Fader. October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
- "Khalid wins Best New Artist at the MTV VMAs". EW.com. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- Myers, Owen. "Watch Khalid's Charismatic Performance Of "Location" On Fallon". The FADER. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- "Khalid". www.facebook.com. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- "Mayor presents Khalid with Key to the City of El Paso".
- "Hear Marshmello, Khalid Unite on Stirring New Song 'Silence'". Rolling Stone. August 11, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- "Love, Simon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists on Apple Music". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- Kaufman, Gil (May 20, 2018). "Shawn Mendes & Khalid Put on Powerful Performance of 'Youth' at the Billboard Music Awards 2018: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- Blistein, Jon (July 12, 2018). "Hear Benny Blanco, Halsey, Khalid Team for Bittersweet 'Eastside'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- @thegreatkhalid (September 11, 2018). "With love, to the 915. On 9/14 a song for y'all" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Suncity by Khalid, October 19, 2018, retrieved October 21, 2018
- "Khalid shares sexy new jam 'Better': Stream". Consequence of Sound. September 14, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
- Caulfield, Keith (October 28, 2018). "'A Star Is Born' Soundtrack Earns Third Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart, Future & Juice WRLD Debut at No. 2". Billboard. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Williams, Aaron (March 10, 2019). "Khalid's Powerful Falsetto On 'Talk' Shines In His Debut 'SNL' Performance". UpRoxx. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- "Khalid's 'Free Spirit' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- "Khalid Is The First Artist To Simultaneously Have The Top 5 R&B Songs". UPROXX. April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- "Khalid Becomes First Artist In History To Secure Top 5 Spots On R&B Songs Chart". HotNewHipHop. April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- "How Khalid Spent the Whole Past Year on the Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- Kreps, Daniel (April 1, 2019). "Khalid Sets U.S. Arena Leg of Free Spirit World Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- "Khalid has announced a 2019 Australian tour". Tone Deaf. April 7, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- Weber, Brooke. "Khalid announces Dublin and Belfast dates on European tour". Hotpress. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- "Khalid just became the biggest artist in the world on Spotify, with over 50 m monthly listeners". Music Business Worldwide. April 28, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- "Khalid". Spotify. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- WATCH LIVE: Virgin Galactic Unity 22 Spaceflight Livestream, retrieved July 11, 2021
- "Khalid Performing 'New Normal' At Virgin Galactic Spaceflight Launch". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
- Spanos, Brittany (July 21, 2021). "Khalid Embraces 'New Normal', Announces Third Album 'Everything Is Changing'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- "Khalid Reveals 'Scenic Drive' Tracklist". Rap-Up. November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- "Backseat... Track 3... December 3rd".
- Forever & Again (From Barbie The Album), July 21, 2023, retrieved September 2, 2023
- Kellman, Andy. "Khalid Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- Abramson, Alana; Hoffman, Ashley (April 23, 2019). "Khalid Says People Used to Chant 'Khalid Can't Sing' at Him in High School". Time. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Is a New Khalid Album Coming Soon?". Billboard. February 4, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Coscarelli, Joe (November 28, 2017). "Khalid, the Teenager With 5 Grammy Nominations: 'They Got It Right This Year'". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "Khalid | The Range Place". therangeplace.boards.net. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- Kevito, "First Look Friday: Chucotown's Own Khalid Is The Future of Millennial R&B"[permanent dead link], Okayplayer, December 2016, retrieved February 7, 2017
- Eddie Cepeda, "IRL Paso: Texas Singer Khalid Is Making Music to Connect To", Noisey, January 17, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017
- "Beyoncé tops 2017 BET Awards nominations". Los Angeles Times. May 15, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "VMAs: Kendrick Lamar Tops Nominations as MTV Continues to Eliminate Gendered Categories". The Hollywood Reporter. July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- "Solange, Bruno Mars Lead 2017 Soul Train Awards Nominations". Billboard. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "GAFFA Prize – And the winners are ..." GAFFA (in Danish). Denmark. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- Atkinson, Katie (March 11, 2018). "iHeartRadio Music Award Winners 2018: Complete List". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- "Mark Ronson Receives the BMI Champion Award at the 66th BMI Pop Awards". BMI. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "DJ Khaled Leads 2018 BET Awards Nominations: See the Full List". Billboard. May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Abu Dhabi's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards: Billie Eilish, Zahra Lari and Essa Al Marzoug among nominees". The National. August 18, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
- "Chris Brown, Drake, Beyoncé & Lizzo Top Nominees For 2019 Soul Train Awards: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
- Shafer, Ellise (July 30, 2020). "Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and The Weeknd Lead MTV VMAs Nominations". Variety. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- Shanfeld, Ethan (August 17, 2021). "Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Young Thug Among Latest iHeartRadio 'Titanium Award' Recipients". Variety. Retrieved February 6, 2023.