The following year, Avant was performing with a friend named Doc in a duo called Dam, and the pair sent a videotape to Chicago-based entertainment manager Eric Payton.
Payton convinced Avant to go solo, and introduced the singer to Huff.
The LP, released November 13, first entered the Billboard albums chart at #60, dropped more than 40 places in its second week and plummeted to #190 the week before the alleged knifing occurred.
The week after her arrest, the album bounced back by nearly 50 places and went on to peak at #33 by the end of February, with nearly 340,000 copies sold, according to Sound Scan.
Born Myron Avant (he uses only his last name professionally to avoid being confused with the R&B artist Myron) in 1978 in Cleveland, Ohio, Avant was the youngest of six children, and was raised in the city's 110th St. He sang in the choir at the now-closed Union Hill Baptist Church, and listened to the music of Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, the O'Jays, and the Isley Brothers.
"I love the old-school music, but I don't like to call it old school.
The song received significant airplay on radio station WGCI in Chicago, and was included on a 1999 MCA records compilation album, Summer Heat. Kelly, Avant is a multifaceted craftsman, crooner, composer, and arranger," wrote Charles E. "His lush vocals contain a heightened sense of passion that is intimate; often bordering on breathtaking, if the unsolicited opinions of smitten females who've heard him sing account for anything." The staff at Johnson's fledgling Magic Johnson Music heard a demo of the tape, and Johnson decided to make Avant his label's debut artist.
Keke regained her composure and fired off a message to Mike's alleged side chicks.
R&B singer Keke Wyatt is facing up to 20 years in jail for allegedly stabbing her husband on Christmas Day.
Avant, like Kelly, took an increasing interest in working behind the scenes.
He collaborated with producer Steve "Stone" Huff on his early recordings, but by his third release, Private Room, he was handling a significant portion of the writing and production duties himself.