Mario ‘The Singer’ Wiki Bio
Mario Dewar Barrett was born in Baltimore, Maryland USA, on 27 August 1986 – his zodiac sign is Virgo and he holds American nationality. He’s a singer-songwriter, model and actor, who’s probably known best for his single “Let Me Love You”, for which he won two Billboard Music Awards.
Early life and education
Mario was raised in Baltimore alongside his half-brother Derryl ‘D. J.’ Barrett Jr. by their mother Shawntia Hardaway who was a housewife, and their father Derryl Barrett Sr. who was a gospel singer, and a member of the group Reformation. Mario’s half-brother’s a professional drummer.
His mother was a drug addict, and Mario was thus mostly raised by his grandmother. He was four when he realized he wanted to become a singer, and so he received a karaoke machine from his mother.
Mario attended the public high school Milford Mill Academy, at which he joined a musical group and then learned to play the piano. Aged 11, Mario entered a Coppin State College talent show singing the song “I’ll Make Love to You”, and it was there that he was noticed by a talent scout, and was signed by the music producer Troy Patterson. Aged 14, he signed a contract with Clive Davis’ J Records – during that time, Mario mostly looked up to the musicians Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
Upon matriculating in 2004, he chose not to pursue a college degree, but to focus on singing.
Career as a singer
In March 2002, he released his debut album “Mario”, and its lead song “Just a Friend 2002” became a hit, topping multiple charts.
Mario was then invited to serve as the opening act for the Scream Tour 3, which gathered several popular musicians such as Jhene Aiko, Nick Cannon and Marques Houston.
On 7 December 2004, Mario’s second album was released entitled “Turning Point” – its single “Let Me Love You” topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and stayed there for over two months. In February 2006, Mario sued Troy Patterson, his former manager, claiming that he was paid only $50,000 while selling over three million albums, however, Mario lost, and was then sued by Troy when he lost again. He chose J. Erving as his new manager.
On 9 October 2007, Mario’s third album was released entitled “Go”, and it eventually became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His fourth album was released in 2014 entitled “Evolve”, and Mario then announced he would be releasing two new albums, but which were eventually cancelled.
His fifth album “Dancing Shadows” was eventually released on 5 October 2018, and on 16 October 2020, his extended play (EP) “Closer to Mars” came out. Mario has announced that he’s currently working on his sixth album, set to be released by the end of 2021.
Mario launched his acting career in 2003, with his portrayal of Marvin in the episode “The Test” of the comedy series “One on One”, while the same year saw him guest star in the episode “What a Witch Wants” of the family fantasy comedy “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”.
He gained recognition in 2006, when he portrayed Miles Darby in the critically acclaimed musical crime drama movie “Step Up”, written by Duane Adler and two others, directed by Anne Fletcher, and which starred Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan and Damaine Radcliff.
It follows Tyler Gage who enrolls at an expensive performing arts school, and there starts dancing with Nora; the movie won one of the four awards it was nominated for.
In 2007, Mario played Andre Bryant in the hit biographical crime drama “Freedom Writers”, written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and based on the eponymous book, and which starred Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It follows a teacher who managed to motivate her at-risk high school students to become better people and pursue college degrees. The movie was nominated for three awards, winning two.
In 2012, Mario played Wizzy in the musical drama film “Destination Fame”, and in 2014, he made a guest appearance as Terrence in the episode “Gullible Is as Gullible Does” of the comedy series “Love That Girl!”
His two most recent roles have been his portrayal of Benjamin Coffin III in the 2019 musical movie “Rent: Live” – which won two Primetime Emmys and was nominated for nine other awards – and his portrayal of Devon in 27 episodes of the critically acclaimed musical drama series “Empire”, which was nominated for 132 awards winning 29, including a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for Taraji P. Henson.
Mario was once a member of the production team Knightwritaz, which helped produce songs of various popular musicians such as Jennifer Lopez, Raven-Symone and Chris Brown.
In March 2008, he founded the non-profit Do Right Foundation, which aims to help children whose parents are drug addicts.
In 2016, he founded his own record label called New Citizen LLC, and then partnered with the distribution company Empire, however, they parted ways in 2020, and Mario then signed a contract with the music and entertainment company The Orchard.
Awards and nominations
Mario has been nominated for six awards – in 2005 for three Teen Choice Awards including a Choice Music: Love Song Award for “Let Me Love You”. In 2006, he was nominated for two Grammys for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Let Me Love You” and Best Contemporary R&B Album for “Turning Point”.
In 2010, Mario was nominated for a Kids’ Choice Blimp Award for Favorite Male Singer.
Love life and girlfriend
Mario’s quite secretive when it comes to his love life, and not a lot is known about the girls with whom he has been.
It’s known that he dated Jillian Barberie in 2004, but that it lasted for only a couple of months. Jillian’s an American hostess, actress and a sportscaster, who’s probably still known best for having hosted the morning news show “Good Day L. A.” from 1995 to 2012. She was married to Bret Barbene before meeting Mario and to Gran Reynolds after their relationship.
Today, Mario’s dating Kristina Marie ‘Kris’ Stephens, who’s an American singer-songwriter, probably known best for having written songs for various famous musicians such as Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown and Shakira. She and Mario began dating in January 2021.
As of April 2021, Mario’s dating Kris Stephens, he hasn’t married and doesn’t have children.
Hobbies and other interests
Mario’s physically highly active, as he has five to six training sessions at the gym each week, thus his muscular body. He’s also following a strict diet, and usually avoids eating meat.
He’s a dog-lover, and a supporter of the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Mario supported its animal campaign ‘Ink, Not Mink’, and has stated: ‘Be comfortable in your own skin and let animals keep theirs’.
He’s supporting various charity organizations and movements including Black Lives Matter. Mario has also walked a couple of peaceful protests.
He’s keen on travelling, and has been all around the US while Mario has also been to several European countries, including Russia, Italy and France.
In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies starring his favorite actor and actress Ryan Reynolds and Emma Watson, such as “The Notebook”, “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, and the franchise “Harry Potter”.
Age, height and net worth
Mario’s age is 34. He has short black hair and brown eyes, his height is 5ft 11ins (1.8m) and he weighs around 165lbs (75kgs).
As of April 2021, his net worth has been estimated at close to $14 million.