Unmasking the Lesser-Known Artists of the 'Fifty Shades Darker' Soundtrack
With less than a month until the release of Fifty Shades Darker, fans are riding the momentum of recent releases and teaser trailers to get them to opening night.
Last week, the soundtrack's track list was released, along with its second single, Halsey’s “Not Afraid Anymore.” Looking over the artists on the soundtrack, it was hard not to notice a myriad of somewhat unfamiliar names mixed in with bigger names like Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj, and Sia. Upon closer inspection, though, some of these artists might not be so unfamiliar after all. A little digging has revealed you may know some of these artists’ work better than you thought. Here are six of the less instantly recognizable artists on the soundtrack, and what you might already know them from.
JRY featuring Rooty - "Pray"
You may not recognize the moniker JRY aside from his striking vocals being featured on DJ Snake’s “Sober.” But JRY has lingered behind the scenes of the music industry under his formal name -- John Henry Ryan -- for years, and is best known for co-writing hits like One Direction’s “Story Of My Life” and John Legend’s “Love Me Now,” among various others. His counterpart on the Fifty Shades Darker track “Pray” is singer-songwriter Rooty -- real name Ruth-Anne Cunningham -- who has some Top 40 experience herself, having helped create JoJo’s “Too Little Too Late” and “In the Name of Love” by Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha.
Toulouse - "No Running From Me"
Toulouse is a New York-based, Nigerian-born singer, who reinvented Little Peggy March's 1963 Hot 100-topper, “I Will Follow Him.” His arrangement of the song appeared in this touching Apple commercial for the iPhone 7, sending the track to No. 1 on the Spotify Viral 50. (You can read more about Toulouse in our recent spotlight piece here.)
Joseph Angel - "Empty Pack of Cigarettes"
Signed to Republic Records, Angel is known for his work under RocNation Publishing, where he’s worked with artists like Lil Wayne and Demi Lovato. Most notably, Angel helped write Rihanna’s Hot 100 top 20 hit “Love on the Brain,” off her last album ANTI.
Anderson East - "What Would It Take"
Already known to some for dating country singer Miranda Lambert, East is a musician himself. His last album Delilah -- an enigmatic blend of gospel, soul, rock, and country -- hit No. 28 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
Jose James - "They Can't Take That Away From Me"
Predominately a jazz artist, James commemorated the 100th birthday of legend Billie Holiday -- one of his greatest influences -- in 2015 with the album Yesterday I Had The Blues: The Music Of Billie Holiday. His new album Love in a Time of Madness is to be released Feb. 24.
JP Cooper - "Birthday"
Cooper -- a British soul artist -- has his debut full-length album We Were Raised Under Grey Skies on the horizon. Just last week, the album’s standout single “September Song” was No. 7 on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart. Cooper also had a No. 1 Dance Club Song in 2016 as a guest vocalist on Jonas Blue's "Perfect Strangers."