Tyrese Gibson Biography

A biography of the successful singer and actor

Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson
Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson. Getty Images/Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment

Tyrese Darnell Gibson, known mononymously as Tyrese, was born on December 30, 1978 in Los Angeles. He grew up in Watts, a neighborhood in South Los Angeles, formerly (and widely) known as South Central, an inner-city area notorious for crime, drug trade and gangs.

His father left in 1983 and his mother, Priscilla Murray Gibson (née Durham), raised Tyrese and his three older siblings as a single parent. Tyrese was a talented kid. He loved to sing and rap. He was member of a local rap group called Triple Impact and went by the name Black-Ty, and he performed in local talent shows.

Big Break

In 1994, when he was 16, Tyrese auditioned for a Coca-Cola commercial at the suggestion of his high school music teacher. He got the job and starred in the commercial singing the phrase "Always Coca-Cola," which quickly led to more work. 

A year later he had become a successful model, appearing in ads for Guess and Tommy Hilfiger. Still, Tyrese was dead-set on a music career.

In 1998 he was signed to RCA Records and subsequently released his self-titled debut. That same year he became an MTV VJ and hosted the weekday music video show "MTV Jams." Tyrese's third single, "Sweet Lady," became the album's biggest hit, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song also earned him a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance and the album later became certified platinum.


In 2001 he released his sophomore effort 2000 Watts, which went gold. The album's third single, "Just a Baby Boy," featuring Snoop Dogg and Mr. Tan, appeared on the soundtrack for the film "Baby Boy," which marked Tyrese's first major acting role.

RCA dissolved and Tyrese transferred to J Records, issuing I Wanna Go There in 2002. It produced his most popular single to date "How You Gonna Act Like That," which debuted at No. 7 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

He released a double-disc album, Alter Ego, in 2006. Although the album was meant to serve as a return to his rap and hip-hop roots (it marked the introduction of his rap alter ego Black-Ty), it was a huge disappointment and became the lowest-selling album of his career.

The following year he teamed up with Ginuwine and Tank to form R&B supergroup TGT, an acronym for their names. They planned on recording an album, but busy schedules got in the way and the project was indefinitely put on hold.

Return to Music

After spending several years away from music to focus on his family and acting career, Tyrese returned to music in 2011 with  Open Invitation. It debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and earned him another Grammy nom for Best R&B Album.

In 2013 TGT announced they had reunited and released Three Kings on Atlantic Records that year. That same year Tyrese announced that he'd begun production for his final album Black Rose.

The two-disc album was released in 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the first No. 1 album of his career.

Acting Career

Following the release of Alter Ego in 2006 Tyrese paused his music career for the next seven years to focus on acting. His first break was starring as Roman Pearce in "2 Fast 2 Furious" (2003), the second installment of "The Fast and the Furious" franchise.

Other early credits include "Four Brothers" (2005), "Waist Deep" (2007) and "Death Race" (2008).

He landed his biggest role yet when he starred in the first "Transformers" film in 2007. Tyrese went on to star in the series' next two installments: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009) and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011).

He eventually returned to "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, starring in "Fast Five" (2001), "Fast & Furious 6" (2013) and "Furious 7" (2015).

Other Ventures

Tyrese is also a published author. In 2012 he released the New York Times bestseller "How to Get Out of Your Own Way." He coauthored his second book with close friend Rev Run, titled "Manology: Secrets of Your Man's Mind Revealed," which also became a New York Times bestseller.

Popular Songs:

  • "Shame" 
  • "Sweet Lady" 
  • "How You Gonna Act Like That" 
  • "Stay" 
  • "Lately" 
  • "Signs of Love Makin'" 


  • Tyrese (1998)
  • 2000 Watts (2001)
  • I Wanna Go There (2002)
  • Alter Ego (2006)
  • Open Invitation (2011)
  • Three Kings (with TGT) (2013)
  • Black Rose (2015)