Throughout his career, Timbaland has had a few different stage names, DJ Timmy Tim, Timbo, Timar, and the one that stuck was, of course, Timbaland. His birth name, however, is Timothy Zachary Mosley, and he was born on March 10, 1972, in Norfolk, Virginia.
His mother, Latrice, managed a homeless shelter, while his father, Garland, worked for Amtrak. Timbaland has a younger brother Sebastian who followed in his brother’s footsteps to become a rapper and songwriter. His younger sister Courtney, on the other hand, followed a different path and went on to become an author and a successful make-up artist.
Timbaland’s always been interested in music and was especially intrigued by the rap and hip-hop scene of his youth. He started making connections and working together with various artists-to-be when he was still in high school. He met his longest friend and collaborator Magoo in school, befriended the rappers Pusha T and Malice, and soon after became part of the production ensemble SBI.
Timbaland didn’t have it easy, however. As a 14-year-old boy, he was working at a Red Lobster restaurant where he was accidentally shot at by his coworker. This left him partially paralyzed for over nine months, but there was a silver lining there. The accident forced him to learn how to DJ with his left hand and allowed him to hone his skills.
Soon afterward, Missy Elliott got wind of his talents and started collaborating with him. This opened the doors of the industry to him, and Timbaland got the chance to work on various different projects and create a name for himself.
While he’d already spent a few years in the industry, he didn’t really rise to fame until 1996. That year, he produced most of Aaliyah’s album One in a Million, and collaborated with Ginuwine on his debut album Ginuwine… the Bachelor.
His early work clearly showed Timbaland’s inclination towards the hip-hop sound, even though most of that early work was for R&B musicians. His first hip-hop production was for Missy Elliott, and her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which was followed by the release of his own hip-hop debut album with Magoo Welcome to Our World.
By the end of the ‘90s, Timbaland already became a household name. His collaborations with Jay-Z and UGK, Xscape, Usher, Ludacris, Total, and Aaliyah, among many others, sent his career skyrocketing. He took a blow after Aaliyah’s death, however. Being her close friend and collaborator, Timbaland was seriously affected by this loss.
Between 2003 and 2005, he continued producing albums and songs for some of the world’s best-known artists. He worked on Missy Elliott’s Under Construction, and This Is Not a Test! and even helped Justin Timberlake establish himself as a solo artist with his debut Justified and the song Cry Me a River.
In 2006, Timbaland started his own label Mosley Music Group which attracted stars such as Nelly Furtado and Keri Hilson.
Over the next few years, he stayed busy, establishing new connections, and working on several new projects. Besides producing successful albums for some of the music industry’s most celebrated names, he took on a few unique tasks. He produced Dima Bilan’s song Believe, which was a Russian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008.
To date, Timbaland’s released only 3 of his own albums, but his legacy is much bigger. He has numerous successful productions behind him and has received various awards and nominations for his talents. He’s a 4-time GRAMMY winner, and he boasts a BET Hip Hop Award, a People’s Choice Awards, and many more.
Timbaland Relationships: Who Has He Dated
Timbaland has only a couple of known relationships behind him and has been married once. He has three children, Frankie, Demetrius, and Reign.
Missy Elliott (early ‘90s)
Karrine Steffans (2003)
Monique Idlett (m: 2008-2016)
In the News
Recently, Timbaland opened up about his former opioid addiction. He said he became addicted to opioids back in 2007 after having a dental procedure. He needed to take them to deal with the pains after the procedure, but he continued using them irresponsibly. This deeply affected his marriage, music, and children.
Timbaland states that when he realized that his children are being affected, he cut cold turkey and never went back.
If you want to keep up with Timbaland, make sure to stay tuned to The Shade Room!