Ray star Jamie Foxx may be winning plaudits for his portrayal of legendary musician Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's biopic Ray, but his career took a musical path before he turned to Hollywood.
Foxx's role in Collateral got him properly noticed
Born Eric Bishop in Texas in 1967, Foxx was brought up by his grandparents. He took an interest in music at an early age, going on to direct his local church choir and starting his own R&B band as a teenager.
He studied music at university in San Diego and it was here that he first made a name for himself as a comedian, a role which would eventually bring him national recognition.
A friend dared him to do stand-up at a comedy club amateurs' night and he soon began to win acclaim imitating the likes of Mike Tyson.
Foxx is also musically gifted and releases a second album in 2005
Within a year, the 22-year-old was appearing in Living Color, a comedy sketch show featuring rap music, skits and dancing.
Jim Carrey made his name on the show and Foxx has said he learned a lot from the Hollywood actor.
Foxx also appeared as Crazy George in US sitcom Roc in the early 90s before being given his own show in 1996.
It was only a matter of time before the popular television star made the leap from small to big screen with a part in 1996 rom-com The Truth About Cats and Dogs, alongside Uma Thurman and Ben Chaplin.
Foxx has been praised for his portrayal of Ray Charles
Several movie parts followed, including The Great White Hype, Booty Call and The Players Club, written and directed by rapper Ice Cube.
But it was Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday in 1999 that earned Foxx his best reviews yet.
While not all of his subsequent film choices have been big hitters, his roles in Michael Mann's biopic Ali in 2001 and 2004's Collateral, opposite Tom Cruise, placed him firmly on the A-list.
But his first love, music, has never been far from his mind - he sang some of the songs in Ray, although Charles himself also re-recorded many of his old hits for the film before he died.
He released his first album himself in 1994, and managed to shift 300,000 copies after touring the US.
He was recently signed to J Records and has collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.
His first album for the label is due out in 2005.