Donald Earle DeGrate Jr. and Dalvin Ertimus DeGrate, better known by their stage names DeVanté Swing and Mr. Dalvin respectively, were born in Hampton, VA and together, are one half of the incomparable R&B group Jodeci.
DeVanté served as the main songwriter and producer of the group and is also credited for discovering Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Ginuwine, Stevie J, and Static Major. Dalvin, who rarely sang lead on Jodeci tracks, has many production and songwriting credits and occasionally played drums onstage, too.
In their early days, Dalvin & DeVante toured as Gospel singers, as did the other brother-duo and second half of Jodeci, Cedric (K-Ci) and JoJo Hailey. But after years of limited success for both sets of siblings, they joined forces in 1989 in Charlotte, North Carolina and eventually signed with Uptown Records in 1991. Jodeci was assigned to Uptown intern Sean Combs (yes…that Sean Combs), who took on the task of developing the new act by counteracting the normal polished looks and styles prominent in R&B at the time. That distinct Hip-Hop look that Jodeci had is part of what made them stand out among their peers.
Jodeci remains well respected and revered among lovers of R&B and to date, the group has sold more than 20 million records worldwide.