Ray Lavender emerged on the scene with a blast! Back in 2008 when I first met with him, I thought without a doubt he’d be one of the kings of R & B for years to come. He had the song writing ability of a Ne-yo, the vocal talents of a R. Kelly, the lovable persona of a Trey Songz–and I’m pretty sure the ladies found him decently attractive. Still, he had a swag all his own and when he released the hit, “Girl Gotta Girlfriend,” he had a catchy tune to dominate radio as well. However, industry politics sidelined him, starting with a ban of his video, followed by disagreements with his label. It had been a few years since I had last talked with Ray, but now he’s back with another banger. Win, lose or draw, he’s going to do it on his terms. Get focused, because Ray Lavender is ready for his close-up.
Those like myself who tune out reality television may recognize Lavender from commercials for The Ultimate Merger, a Bachelor-type reality show, presented by Donald J. Trump, which helped find love interests for Omarosa. While Lavender was taking a step back from music, he was “winning the heart” of the former Apprentice contestant. Lavender made it to the final episode and did win her over, before a technicality disqualified him. The exposure the show provided was undeniable. “What that reality show did for me was familiarize me with the public, cause a lot of them didn’t know who I was,” Lavender acknowledges. “It was perfect for where I was in my career cause had I been all over, it wouldn’t have worked out.”
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