R&B singer Miguel was born Miguel Jontel Pimentel in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, to a Mexican American father and an African American mother.
Speaking on an episode of MTV's This is How I Made It, Miguel revealed that his father was the reason he fell in love with music. "I had a happy childhood. We weren't well off by any means; my parents did their very best to provide for us," he said. "My father is one of the coolest people I know. He was just always bringing broken instruments home from the swap meet or the flea market or what not. Three out of five pieces of a drum set, a guitar missing two strings; he just loved music, he wanted us to have fun, and I think that's where I fell in love with music. I wasn't playing with Legos; I was playing with a guitar."
While waiting for the release of his own debut album, All I Want Is You
, during a lengthy contract dispute, Miguel contributed vocals to fellow artists' records like Blu and Exile's Below the Heavens
. He also loaned his co-writing skills to Usher's Here I Stand
("Revolver") and Raymond v. Raymond
("Monstar"), Asher Roth's Asleep in the Bread Aisle
" which he also sang on), and Musiq Soulchild's "IfULeave."
The under-promoted All I Want Is You proved to be a sleeper hit, eventually peaking at #37 on the Billboard 200. His 2012 follow-up, Kaleidoscope Dream, brought him both commercial success and critical acclaim. It debuted at #3 on the albums chart.
Miguel began dating singer/model Nazanin Mandi in 2005 long before he signed his first record deal and she began her modeling career. They got married on November 24, 2018 at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in California.
Miguel gave what would become an infamous performance of "Adorn
" at the Billboard Music Awards in 2013 when he landed on two fans after a failed stage-to-stage leap across the crowd.
The singer won his first Grammy Award in 2013, for "Adorn" as Best R&B Song. The track was also nominated for Song of the Year and Best R&B Performance.
Miguel's falsetto voice is reckoned to be one of the best in the game. Asked by Billboard magazine if he has any rituals for keeping his falsetto intact, Miguel replied: "All-natural honey is my favorite. And then an apple before I go on. What are those pink and yellow ones? Honeycrisp. You know what else I like as an alternative? Nectarines. It's a similar texture, especially when you get a good nectarine."
Miguel spent his childhood largely in the projects of San Pedro, a former fishing village that's technically part of Los Angeles. He was never tempted to go the gang route. "My head was always in music," Miguel told Spin. "When I was three years old, I'd be at family parties, dancing like Michael Jackson and singing the wrong words."
Miguel's rider is somewhat more healthy than the average star's backstage haul, though it does include a few standard beverages. "It's my favorite waters, roasted almonds, seeds, snacks," he told USA Today. "It's pretty much just healthy stoner food, like quinoa chips and salsa. I love fresh fruit, like pineapple, mango and apples. And then, of course, afterwards on the rider, there's tequila and vodka and whiskey. Those are also creative moments you want to be prepared for."