Among the great pure vocalists of the urban contemporary era, Howard Hewett has seldom found material worthy of his tremendous skills. He grew up in Akron, Ohio and relocated to Los Angeles. Hewett danced on Soul Train, and became one-third of Shalamar with Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley in 1979. They had several big hits before Hewett departed for a solo career in 1985. He signed with Elektra, and his second single, “I’m for Real,” was a number two R&B hit in 1986. The follow-up single, “Stay,” also made the Top Ten, while “I Commit to Love” in 1987 reached number 12. Hewitt remained on Elektra through the ’80s and into the ’90s, earning another hit with “Strange Relationship” in 1988 and cutting duets with Dionne Warwick and Anita Baker. He also became busy as a writer, producer, and session vocalist. Hewett co-wrote and produced “Frustration” for LaToya Jackson in 1984, and sang on her LP Heart Don’t Lie. He did lead vocals on LPs by Stanley Clarke and George Duke in 1984 and 1986, a duet with Stacy Lattisaw on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and sang with Firefox in 1986, as well as doing backgrounds on a Donna Summer release. An eponymous 1990 album by Hewett included the number two R&B hit “Show Me,” and the singer followed up with 1992’s Allegiance and 1994’s It’s Time before going on hiatus as a solo artist and concentrating on his work as a background vocalist on albums by a variety of jazz musicians, including Duke and Joe Sample. Hewett returned with the 2001 gospel album The Journey, and the single “Enough” (also featuring Duke) arrived in 2006, followed by the holiday effort Howard Hewett Christmas in 2008.