Flo Rida

Flo Rida
Flo Rida. Photo by Larry Marano / Getty Images

Early Career With 2 Live Crew

Born Tramar Dillard September 16, 1979, Flo Rida grew up in the housing projects of the Carol City neighborhood of Miami Gardens, Florida. He was a member of a home-grown group, the Groundhoggz, for eight years. At age 15, Flo Rida began working with his brother-in-law who was connected to Luther Campbell, aka Luke Skywalker, of 2 Live Crew. By 2001 Flo Rida was the promotion man for 2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice when he headed out on a solo career.

Return to Florida

Through the music industry relationships he cultivated, Flo Rida met DeVante Swing of the group Jodeci and headed west to Los Angeles, California to pursue a music career. He left college to focus full-time on becoming a recording artist. "After basketball didn't work out, I knew this was what I was meant to do." After four years in California, Flo Rida returned to his home state of Florida and signed a contract with Miami hip hop label Poe Boy Entertainment in early 2006.

"Low"

Flo Rida's first official single "Low" was released in October, 2007. It features vocals as well as writing and production from T-Pain. The song is featured in the soundtrack to the film Step Up 2: The Streets. It became a phenomenal smash hit hitting the top of the pop singles chart in January 2008. The song ultimately sold more than seven million digital copies, and for a time was the bestselling digital single of all time.

Billboard ranked the song as #23 all time in the summer of 2008.

Mail on Sunday

Mail on Sunday, the first full-length album from Flo Rida, was released in March 2008. It includes contributions from Timbaland, will.i.am, and J.R. Rotem among others. The singles "Elevator" and "In the Ayer" also reached the pop top 20.

Mail on Sunday climbed to #4 on the album chart.

"Right Round"

Flo Rida previewed his second solo album by releasing the single "Right Round" in January 2009. It is built around the melody line of Dead or Alive's classic pop hit "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)." "Right Round" quickly headed to the top of the pop singles chart and set a new record for the most digital sales of a single in one week, 636,000 in the last week of February 2009. "Right Round" is also notable for including uncredited featured vocals from Kesha just before she became a solo star in her own right. Bruno Mars co-wrote "Right Round" while he was also on his way toward a successful solo career.

Top Flo Rida Hits

  • 2007 - "Low" - #1
  • 2009 - "Right Round" - #1
  • 2009 - "Sugar" - #5
  • 2011 - "Good Feeling" - #3
  • 2011 - "Wild Ones" - #5
  • 2012 - "Whistle" - #1
  • 2015 - "My House" - #4

R.O.O.T.S.

The acronym R.O.O.T.S., the title of Flo Rida's second solo album, stands for "Roots of Overcoming the Struggle." It was released in March 2009 and includes the hit single "Sugar" that is built around the catchy melody of Eiffel 65's "Blue (Da Ba Dee)." Among the collaborators on the album are Akon, Nelly Furtado, and Ne-Yo. Flo Rida said that the inspiration for this album was knowing that his success involved hard work and wasn't an overnight thing.

The album hit #8 on the chart and ultimately sold over 300,00 copies.

Wild Ones

After a disappointing commercial performance by his third studio album Only One Flo (Part 1), Flo Rida went to work on more expansive pop and dance music sounds for his fourth album Wild Ones. The lead single "Good Feeling," released in 2011, sampled Etta James' song "Something's Got a Hold On Me," and it was inspired by Avicii's massive dance hit "Levels" which also used the sample. It became a massive pop hit around the world and reached #3 on the US pop chart. The title track for the album featured Sia on vocals just after she appeared on David Guetta's huge hit "Titanium." "Wild Ones" reached #5 on the pop singles chart.

Flo Rida saved the biggest hit for the third single "Whistle." Despite critical complaints about suggestive sexual content, the song reached #1 on the US pop single chart and became another massive hit for Flo Rida around the world.

Wild Ones, released in the summer of 2012, spun out one more top 10 pop hit with "I Cry." Despite, or perhaps because of, having four top 10 pop hits, the album sales were modest and the Wild Ones album peaked at #14. 

My House

Instead of a full-length album, Flo Rida released the EP My House in early 2015. It included the single "G.D.F.R." The acronym stands for "Going Down For Real." The song stayed closer to traditional hip hop than most of Flo Rida's hits. The shift was commercially successful and "G.D.F.R." reached #8 on the pop chart while going all the way to #2 on the rap chart. The title track of My House was the follow-up single. With heavy use of the song for TV sports coverage, it climbed the pop charts and reached #4.