Battling homelessness and addiction, this Detroit-raised singer (born Kem Owens) emerged in the world of music as an R&B star. Before signing to Motown in 2001, Kem wrote, produced and paid for his debut LP Kemistry with his own American Express card. The overwhelming response to Kem’s jazzed soul album caused labels who’d formerly rejected him to take notice. His debut and sophomore disc, 2005’s Album II, both released on Motown, went gold.

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