1. D’Angelo started playing piano when he was 3.
2. In high school, he was in a rap group called I.D.U.
3. But we can credit his pop career as we know it to Ellis Marsalis — in a way.
4. D’Angelo has respect for the “heavy metalhead” scene around his hometown of Richmond, VA, which produced bands like Lamb of God and Slipknot.
5. When he was about 17, D'Angelo won Amateur Night at the Apollo with Johnny Gill's "Rub You the Right Way."
6. On another NYC trip, D’Angelo almost messed up his first big industry meeting by going to the bathroom a million times.
When he was 17, he came to New York to meet with Jocelyn Copper, the head of publishing company Midnight Music. "I was hell bent on walking into this meeting with a suit," he said. "I bought brand new church shoes and everything." But he had to excuse himself from the meeting a bunch of times to go to the restroom to take off his shoes — his feet were killing him after walking around the city all day.