Mario Barrett was born in Maryland, Baltimore in 1986. Growing up in a musical family - his father a singer in a gospel group and his half-brother a drummer - he joined a musical group as a child and learned to play the piano. After singing the Boyz II Men song 'I'll Make Love to You' at a talent show at the age of eleven, he was discovered by manager Troy Patterson and signed to J Records. In 2002, now just using his first name, Mario released his debut self-titled album, charting at number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. His second album, 'Turning Point', was released in 2004 and featured his most successful single to date, 'Let Me Love You'. The single topped charts around the world including the UK R&B Chart and the Billboard Hot 100 where it remained for nine weeks. Further albums included 'Go' (2007) and 'D.N.A.' (2009), but neither could live up to the success of 'Turning Point'. After two promised albums failed to appear, Mario parted ways with J Records and their parent company RCA. The single 'Somebody Else', which he recorded with Nicki Minaj, was released in 2013. Though originally intended to be the lead single of his fifth album, when the album failed to materialise he released it as a standalone single. He launched his own independent label New Citizen in 2016. His fifth album, after going through several title changes, was finally released in 2018 as 'Dancing Shadows'.

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