Alexander O’Neal is a renowned R&B singer with a soulful voice. Although many of us know him from his popular singles like “If You Were Here Tonight,” “Criticize”, and “Fake,” there’s so much more to this gifted artist that you probably don’t know about. From his musical influences to his near-death experience, we’ve done our research to reveal 10 fascinating facts about Alexander O’Neal.

1. Alexander O’Neal’s Musical Influences

Being born in the town of Natchez, Mississippi, Alexander was raised in a family that loved music. In his early years, he listened to a lot of gospel, blues, and R&B music. In fact, O’Neal claims that his mother played significant influences in his career since she had a beautiful singing voice. Later, he was inspired by artists such as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding.

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2. Alexander O’Neal’s Gospel Beginnings

Before becoming a prominent R&B singer, Alexander O’Neal started his career in gospel music. Early in his career, he joined a gospel quintet called The Esquires. Afterward, he became a member of another gospel group “The Nightingales,” which he co-founded.

3. Alexander O’Neal was a former football player

Alexander O’Neal wasn’t just a talented singer; he was also a good football player. In his early years, Alexander won a football scholarship to Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. He studied music at the university, but his football skills led him to transfer to Missouri Western State University to continue his football career.

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4. Alexander O’Neal Met Prince

Alexander O’Neal once met the iconic Prince when he was performing with his band Grand Central in Minneapolis. Back then, Prince wasn’t a popular artist yet, but there was something about him that Alexander saw, and he was proven right when Prince rose to stardom.

5. Alexander O’Neal Almost Quit Music

There was a time in Alexander O’Neal’s career when he almost quit music. O’Neal became disenchanted with the music industry and how it was run. It was only after he was signed to Tabu Records that he regained his enthusiasm for music.

6. Alexander O’Neal and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

It was through Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis that Alexander O’Neal’s career took off. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were members of two different Minneapolis-based bands; The Time and Flyte Tyme. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote and produced a lot of Alexander O’Neal’s most popular hits, including “Fake” and “Criticize.”

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7. Alexander O’Neal’s Near-Death Experience

Alexander O’Neal had a near-death experience in 2003 when he went into cardiac arrest during a performance in London. Doctors declared him clinically dead for a few moments, but he was resuscitated. O’Neal later acknowledged that the near-death experience had a profound impact on him and influenced his perspective on life.

8. Alexander O’Neal’s Solo Career

Although Alexander O’Neal collaborated with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to produce some of his most famous hits, he also had a successful solo career in the UK. “All True Man,” his fourth album, became his highest-charting album in the UK, peaking at number three in the album chart.

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1. What was Alexander O’Neal’s first hit song?

Alexander O’Neal’s first hit song was “Innocent,” which was released in 1985.

2. What is Alexander O’Neal’s net worth?

Alexander O’Neal’s net worth is estimated to be around $2 million.

3. Which record label was Alexander O’Neal signed to?

Alexander O’Neal was signed to Tabu Records in the early years of his career.

4. How many albums has Alexander O’Neal released?

Alexander O’Neal has released 14 studio albums in total throughout his career.

5. Has Alexander O’Neal won any awards?

Alexander O’Neal has been nominated for several awards but has not won any major awards.

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6. When did Alexander O’Neal’s career take off?

Alexander O’Neal’s career took off in the mid-80s when he signed to Tabu Records and started collaborating with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

7. Did Alexander O’Neal quit music after experiencing a heart attack on stage?

No, Alexander O’Neal did not quit music after experiencing a heart attack on stage. He continued to perform and release music after his recovery from the near-death experience.


Alexander O’Neal is a talented artist whose soulful voice has captivated many fans worldwide. Despite his popularity, there’s still a lot that people don’t know about him. We hope that these 10 fascinating facts about Alexander O’Neal have given you a glimpse into the life and career of this legendary artist. If you’re an R&B fan and haven’t yet listened to Alexander O’Neal’s music, we highly recommend it!

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When you think about Alexander O’Neal, which song comes to mind? Please share your favorite song or moment in the comments below.

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