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Alexander O'Neal (born November 15, 1953) is an American R&B singer. He is best known for the songs "If You Were Here Tonight", "Criticize" and "Fake" and the duets with Cherrelle, "Saturday Love" and "Never Knew Love Like This"O'Neal was born in Natchez, Mississippi, but moved to Minneapolis when he was 20. He is an alumnus of Alcorn State University. He joined a group called "The Mystics" and played the local coverband circuit. O'Neal spent a short time in a group "Enterprise" before being recruited into Flyte Tyme, a band that included Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Monte Moir.
Later signed by Prince to the Warner Bros. label with their name changed to The Time, a disagreement with Prince led to O'Neal leaving the band and being replaced as lead singer by Morris Day. Allmusic profiler John Floyd asserts that O'Neal was ousted for "looking 'too black'",.
O'Neal immediately formed an R&B band called Alexander and recorded a 12" single, "Playroom," for a Chicago-based independent label, followed by the release of "Attitude" on the Rich Records Label. Three years later, in 1984, O'Neal signed a deal with Clarence Avant's Tabu Records. He did some backing vocals for other artists on the same label, including The SOS Band and Cherrelle.
O'Neal released his eponymous debut album in 1985. It included three singles that reached the top twenty of the R&B Singles Chart. The same year, he also scored his first R&B top ten single with "Saturday Love", a duet with Cherrelle from her High Priority album. "Saturday Love" song peaked at #2, and it also reached the top ten of the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #6.
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