Foxx is also a Grammy Award-winning musician, producing four albums which have charted in the top ten of the US Billboard 200: Unpredictable (2005), which topped the chart, Intuition (2008), Best Night of My Life (2010), and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015).
Eric Marlon Bishop was born in Terrell, Texas on December 13, 1967. He is the son of Darrell Bishop (renamed Shahid Abdula following his conversion to Islam), who sometimes worked as a stockbroker, and Louise Annette Talley Dixon. Shortly after his birth, Foxx was adopted and raised by his mother's adoptive parents, Esther Marie (Nelson), a domestic worker and nursery operator, and Mark Talley, a yard worker. He has had little contact with his birth parents, who were not part of his upbringing. Foxx was raised in the black quarter of Terrell, which at the time was a racially segregated community. He has often acknowledged his grandmother's influence in his life as one of the greatest reasons for his success.
Foxx began playing the piano when he was five years old. He had a strict Baptist upbringing, and as a teenager he was a part-time pianist and choir leader in Terrell's New Hope Baptist Church. His natural talent for telling jokes was already in evidence as a third grader, when his teacher would use him as a reward: if the class behaved, Foxx would tell them jokes. Foxx attended Terrell High School, where he received top grades and played basketball and football (as quarterback). His ambition was to play for the Dallas Cowboys, and he was the first player in the school's history to pass for more than 1,000 yards. He also sang in a band called Leather and Lace. After completing high school, Foxx received a scholarship to United States International University, where he studied classical music and composition.
Foxx first told jokes at a comedy club's open mic night in 1989, after accepting a girlfriend's dare. When he found that female comedians were often called first to perform, he changed his name to Jamie Foxx, feeling that it was a name ambiguous enough to disallow any biases. He chose his surname as a tribute to the black comedian Redd Foxx. Foxx joined the cast of In Living Color in 1991, where his recurrent character Wanda also shared a name with Redd's friend and co-worker, LaWanda Page. Following a recurring role in the comedy-drama sitcom Roc, Foxx went on to star in his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, from 1996 to 2001.
Foxx made his film debut in the 1992 comedy Toys. His first dramatic role came in Oliver Stone's 1999 film Any Given Sunday, where he was cast as a hard-partying American football player, partly because of his own football background. In 2001, Foxx starred opposite Will Smith in Michael Mann's biographical drama Ali. Three years later, Foxx played taxi driver Max Durocher in the film Collateral alongside Tom Cruise, for which he received outstanding reviews and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1994, Foxx released an album (on the Fox record label) entitled Peep This, which was not commercially successful. In 2003, Foxx made a cameo in Benzino's music video for "Would You", which features LisaRaye McCoy and Mario Winans.
In 2003, Foxx featured on the rapper Twista's song, "Slow Jamz", together with Kanye West, which reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #3 on the UK Singles chart. His second collaboration with Kanye West, "Gold Digger," in which Foxx sang the Ray Charles-influenced "I Got a Woman" hook, then went straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining there for 10 weeks. In 2005, Foxx featured on the single "Georgia" by Atlanta rappers Ludacris and Field Mob, which sampled Ray Charles' hit "Georgia on My Mind".
Foxx would also portray Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray (2004), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Foxx is the second male in history to receive two acting Oscar nominations in the same year for two different movies, Collateral and Ray (the only other male actor to achieve this feat being Al Pacino). In 2005, Foxx was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Foxx released his second studio album, Unpredictable, in December 2005. It debuted at #2, selling 598,000 copies in its first week, rising to #1 the following week and selling an additional 200,000 copies. To date, the album has sold 1.98 million copies in the United States, and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. The album also charted on the UK Albums Chart, where it peaked at #9. Foxx became the fourth artist to have both won an Academy Award® for an acting role and to have achieved a #1 album in the U.S, joining Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Barbra Streisand. Foxx's first single from the album, the title track "Unpredictable" (featuring Ludacris), peaked in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles and also made the UK Top 20 singles chart; the track samples "Wildflower" by New Birth. The second US single from the album was "DJ Play a Love Song," which reunited Foxx with Twista. In the UK, the second single was "Extravaganza", which saw Foxx once again collaborate with Kanye West, although Foxx did not feature in the song's music video.
At the 2006 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards, Foxx won Best Duet/Collaboration with Kanye West for "Gold Digger" and tied with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" for Video of the Year. On December 8, 2006, Foxx received four Grammy Award® nominations, which included Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for Love Changes featuring Mary J. Blige, Best R&B Album for Unpredictable, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for Georgia by Ludacris & Field Mob featuring Jamie Foxx, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for Unpredictable featuring Ludacris.
Following on from these successes, Foxx went on to appear in the box-office hits Jarhead, Miami Vice and Dreamgirls, which lifted his profile even higher as a bankable star in Hollywood.
2007 brought him the lead role in the action thriller film The Kingdom opposite Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Ashraf Barhom. In September 2007, Foxx was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: "[it was] one of the most amazing days of my life," said Foxx. In April 2009, Foxx played the lead role in the dramatic film The Soloist. A few months later in October 2009, he played a starring role alongside Gerard Butler in the thriller Law Abiding Citizen.
Foxx released his third album titled Intuition in 2008, featuring Kanye West, T.I., Ne-Yo, Lil' Kim and T-Pain. The album's first single, "Just Like Me" featuring T.I., was promoted by a video directed by Brett Ratner which featured an appearance by actress Taraji P. Henson. The second single "Blame It" featured T-Pain and became a top 5 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and a number-one single on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The "Blame It" music video, directed by Hype Williams, features cameo appearances by Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Howard, Quincy Jones and his Jarhead co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, amongst others.
Foxx's musical career has also included a number of collaborations. In 2007, he recorded the song "She Goes All the Way" with country superstars Rascal Flatts for their Still Feels Good album. Foxx performed backing vocals for artist/songwriter Tank. He featured alongside The-Dream on Plies' "Please Excuse My Hands." He also appeared alongside Fabolous on the remix of Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent". Foxx collaborated with rapper The Game on the track "Around the World". Foxx also featured on T.I.'s single "Live in the Sky" from the album King.
On January 22, 2007, Foxx launched The Foxxhole, a channel on Sirius Satellite Radio featuring talk-radio programs, stand-up comedy albums and music primarily by African-American performers, as well as much of Foxx's own material. Foxx's own talk-radio variety program The Jamie Foxx Show airs Friday evenings on The Foxxhole with guests including musicians, actors and fellow comedians; co-hosts have included Johnny Mack, Speedy, Claudia Jordan, The Poetess, Lewis Dix, Yvette Wilson, T.D.P and Tyrin Turner. On the April 17, 2009 episode of The Jamie Foxx Show, Foxx and his co-hosts made several sexually suggestive and disparaging jokes regarding the teenage singer Miley Cyrus. Several days later Foxx issued a public apology on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in response to growing public outcry and televised criticism by Cyrus's father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
On April 6, 2009, Foxx, a longtime fan of country music, performed the George Strait song "You Look So Good in Love" at the George Strait Artist of the Decade All-Star Concert. Jamie Foxx hosted the 2009 BET Awards ceremony on June 28, 2009, which featured several tributes to pop star Michael Jackson, who had died three days prior to the show. As well as performing "Blame It" with T-Pain and "She Got Her Own" with Ne-Yo and Fabolous, Foxx opened the show with a rendition of Jackson's "Beat It" dance routine and closed the show with a cover of The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with Ne-Yo. "We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everybody else.", said Foxx during the ceremony.
In April 2011, Foxx voiced Nico, a canary in the movie Rio. During the summer of 2011, Foxx was involved as a producer in In the Flow with Affion Crockett on Fox.
Foxx released his fourth album, Best Night of My Life, on December 21, 2010, featuring the singles "Winner" (featuring Justin Timberlake and T.I.), "Living Better Now" (featuring rapper Rick Ross) and "Fall for Your Type" (featuring rapper Drake). On October 7, the RCA Music Group announced that it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records, meaning that all artists (including Foxx) previously signed to the three labels will release their future material on the RCA Records brand. In 2011, Jamie Foxx also featured on the rapper Pitbull's album "Planet Pit", in the song "Where Do We Go".
In 2012, Foxx starred in the title role of the Quentin Tarantino written and directed Django Unchained. Foxx starred alongside his Ray co-star Kerry Washington, as well as Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson. In an interview about Django Unchained, Foxx told Vibe magazine: "As a black person it's always racial. ... when I get home my other homies are like how was your day? Well, I only had to be white for at least eight hours today, [or] I only had to be white for four hours." The filming was emotional as Foxx said, "It’s tough shooting when you’re in plantation row and that’s where your ancestors were persecuted and killed."
On November 25, 2012 at BET’s Soul Train Awards, Foxx joked: "It's like church in here. First of all, giving honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama." The joke led to condemnation from some Christians, to which Foxx responded: "I'm a comic [and] sometimes I think people get a little too tight." While hosting Saturday Night Live on December 8, 2012 to promote Django Unchained, Foxx joked about being excited "to kill all the white people in the movie". Appearing at the 2013 NAACP Image Awards, Foxx praised the achievements of black people, saying that "black people are the most talented people in the world".
In 2013, Foxx was cast as President James Sawyer in White House Down alongside Channing Tatum. The following year, Foxx appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the villain Electro, and co-starred with Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie, Sony's Will Smith and Jay-Z produced update of the comic strip-turned-musical. Director Oliver Stone has also confirmed that Foxx will play Martin Luther King Jr. in his upcoming Steven Spielberg-produced biopic. His October 2014 Deja Vu duet with Dionne Warwick appears on the Feels So Good album released by Warwick.
Foxx released his fifth studio album, Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses, on May 18, 2015. It debuted atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. In 2015, Foxx's voice was featured in the chorus on the Ariana Grande song, "Focus". Beginning with its debut on May 25, 2017, Foxx is now the host and executive producer of the Fox game show Beat Shazam, which is described as a hip, 21st-century update of the popular mid- to late-20th century ubiquitous radio and TV game show Name That Tune. Three sets of two partners try to beat the computer "Shazam" in correctly identifying the titles of popular songs in the shortest amount of time in incrementally higher amounts of money, with one team eventually vying for a potential prize of $1 million.
In April 2003, Foxx was involved in an incident with two police officers who were attempting to escort him and his sister out of Harrah's casino in New Orleans. Employees claimed the Foxx party had failed to show identification upon entry. Originally charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, battery on police officers and resisting arrest, Foxx pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace in exchange for the other charges being dropped, and was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term with two years of probation and a $1,500 fine.
Foxx has two daughters: Corinne Bishop (born 1994) and Annalise (born August 2009). Corinne made her formal debut at the Bal des débutantes in November 2014 and was named Miss Golden Globe 2016 on November 18, 2015.
In 2008, Foxx filmed a public service announcement for Do Something to promote food drives in local communities.
Foxx has been involved in feuds with co-stars LL Cool J and Colin Farrell.
On January 18, 2016, Foxx rescued a young man from a burning vehicle that crashed outside his home. The driver, Brett Kyle, was driving his truck "at a high rate of speed" when the truck left the road, traveled into a drainage ditch, and rolled over multiple times. Kyle was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.Studio albums
Peep This (1994)
Best Night of My Life (2010)
Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015)
The Unpredictable Tour (2006)
The Blame It Tour (2009)
Jamie Foxx: Straight from the Foxxhole (1993)
Jamie Foxx: I Might Need Security (2002)
Jamie Foxx Unleashed: Lost, Stolen and Leaked! (2003)