Joe Lewis Thomas (born July 5, 1973), usually credited simply as Joe, is an American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer.
Joe graduated from high school and continued to sing and write music while working at occasional temporary jobs. Finally, he traveled to New Jersey, hoping to make connections in the music industry. While working at a gospel record store and continuing his music education through a local church, he met producer Vincent Herbert and recorded a three-song demo tape. He signed to Mercury Records in 1992 and released his debut album, Everything the next year. This album produced a minor hit for him and he was subsequently released from his contract. Joe also had a song called “All the Things” that appeared on the soundtrack to the Wayans Brothers film Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. Joe then signed to Jive Records for his 1997 album, All That I Am. This proved to be his breakthrough album, reaching #13 on the Billboard 200 chart, and number 4 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The hit singles from this album included the Top 5 R&B/Top 20 pop hit “All the Things Your Man Won’t Do”, the Top 5 R&B/Top 40 pop hit “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”, and “The Love Scene”. “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”, produced by Rodney Jerkins, was also featured on the Booty Call soundtrack- helping its success. All That I Am eventually went platinum in the US. Joe remixed a duet by Barry White and Tina Turner called “Never in Your Wildest Dreams” and wrote and produced on albums by Ideal, Xscape and Hi-Five in the 1990’s. Joe also sang on the remix of Big Punisher’s “Still Not a Player”, produced by Knobody, which interpolated Joe’s “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”. Joe sang the background vocals on Brandy’s track “Angel in Disguise” on her sophomore album, Never Say Never.
Joe appeared on the track “Thank God I Found You” with Mariah Carey which appeared on her Rainbow album. This song was released as the second single and came at #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This track also became a hit internationally, helping to raise Joe’s profile in other parts of the world.
2000–2007: Rise to success
In April 2000, Joe released his third album, My Name Is Joe, which became his most successful album to date, reaching the top of the R&B album chart and #2 on the Billboard 200, eventually selling more than three million copies. This album was also his first to make an impression outside the US. It featured the Top 5 R&B (#2) and pop (#4) hit lead single “I Wanna Know”, which also reached the Top 40 in the UK and Australia. The second single released was “Treat Her Like A Lady”, which enjoyed moderate success. The third single, the Roy “Royalty” Hamilton & Teddy Riley-produced “Stutter”, was #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks chart, and part of the Top 10 in the UK, and top 20 in Australia. Mystikal appeared on the remix of the single, which sampled The Pharcyde’s 1992 hit “Passin’ Me By”, which in turn samples Quincy Jones’ “Summer in the City”.
The Better Days album was released in 2001, reaching #32 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on the R&B chart. It featured two singles, “Lets Stay Home Tonight”, which reached #18 on the US R&B chart, and “What If A Woman”.
In 2002, Joe did another collaboration with Mariah Carey on the remix version of her first single “Through the Rain” from her album Charmbracelet. The song also features vocals from Kelly Price. He also recorded a track called “God’s Work” which was not released but appeared on a sampler on Jive Records.
Joe recruited high profile guests for the And Then … album released in late 2003. R. Kelly wrote the songs “More and More” and “Make You May Baby”- both of which were supposed to be on his Loveland album. G-Unit features on “Ride Wit U”. The singles from the And Then … album included the Top 20 R&B hit “More and More”, “Ride Wit U”, and “Priceless”. A double A-sided single “More and More” and “Ride Wit U” made the Australian top 40 in July 2004, as well as #12 in the UK Singles Chart.And Then … reached #26 on the US album chart and #4 on the R&B chart.
Joe’s sixth album, Ain’t Nothin’ Like Me, was produced by Tim & Bob, The Underdogs, Cool & Dre, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Sean Garrett. The album featured guest appearances by Nas, Fabolous, Papoose, Young Buck and Tony Yayo; and was released on April 24, 2007. The first single was “Where You At”, written by Sean Garrett and produced by Chrisclusive featuring rapper Papoose. The video for the single was shot by music video director Billie Woodruff.
He was confirmed as one of the judges on Making the Band. Joe performed a cover version of “Before He Cheats”, a Carrie Underwood hit, as a Pepsi Smash exclusive on Yahoo! Music. He changed the lyrics to fit a male’s perspective, and titled his version “Before I Cheat”.
2008–present: Independent releases
Joe released Joe Thomas, New Man independently on September 23, 2008, and his second independent album, titled Signature, was released on July 14, 2009 in Japan and the US. It was named iTunes Best R&B album of 2009. He is also working on a record with singer Ayoade Adeyinka.
In 2010, Joe collaborated with Keith Sweat featuring on Sweat’s album on the song, “Test Drive”.
On October 18, 2011, A new album, The Good, the Bad, the Sexy was released.
On February 19, 2013, Joe released a new single, titled “I’d Rather Have a Love”. It was the first single issued from his tenth studio album Double Back: Evolution Of R&B which was released on July 2, 2013.