Pop-oriented R&B singer Dante Thomas almost gave up on his musical dreams prior to launching a lengthy if intermittent career with the global 2001 hit "Miss California." Straight out of high school, the Sacramento, California-born Thomas left his native Salt Lake City, Utah, and hopped a bus for the Big Apple, where he didn't know a soul.
He spent his first night in New York on a bench at the Port Authority bus station, and stayed at youth hostels as he struggled to make progress. At the Hit Factory, he crossed paths with Pras
, for whom he auditioned with a song by Stevie Wonder
(along with one by Donny Hathaway
, one of his primary inspirations). Impressed, Pras
went to work with Thomas that day. Thomas scored a big hit with his first single, "Miss California," which topped charts in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, went Top Ten in several other territories, and reached number 85 in the U.S. The parent album, Fly, along with tour dates as the opening act for *NSYNC
, further broadened the vocalist's fan base, but Thomas went on an extended hiatus. He reappeared in 2004 with "Get It On," a number 20 hit in France, and continued to release the occasional single, as well as a second album, Hardcore on Videotape, through 2013. Additionally, he was featured on European hits by KRIS and Michael Mind Project
. During the latter half of the 2010s, Thomas issued feel-good tracks such as "Lonely," "Put It Down on Me," and "Get Up!" ~ Linda Seida & Andy Kellman