Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James "Woody" Green
Woody Rock (born James Green on September 10 1978 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an African-American gospel and R&B singer. Woody is best known as one of the founding members of multi-platinum R&B act Dru Hill, a group for which he has written and sung lead on songs such as "Five Steps", "April Showers", and "Angel". He has also recorded his own solo gospel album, Soul Music, for Kirk Franklin's Gospocentric Records. His nickname was derived from the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character, whom he has a tattoo of on his arm.
Raised in a strict Christian family, Woody was forbidden to listen to anything except gospel, and had to listen to R&B music in secret. He met future Dru Hill bandmate Mark "Sisqó" Andrews in middle school, and in 1995, he, Sisqó, Larry "Jazz" Anthony, and Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin founded the group and began performing around the Baltimore area. Originally a gospel group, Dru Hill soon moved into R&B, at the chagrin of Woody's mother, who promptly and literally pulled the 15-year-old out of the group. Only in reluctance did Mrs. Green allow Woody to rejoin the group, which was singed to Island Records in 1996.
Woody served as the group's primary songwriter during its early days, and has always been as the group's spiritualy-grounded member. While Dru Hill enjoyed mainstream success during the late-1990s, Woody felt uneasy about leaving gospel music behind. After the group had to dodge gunshots while on tour in Paris, France, Woody felt convinced that he needed to leave the group, and quit on the set of the music video shoot for "Wild Wild West", which became a star-making vehicle for lead singer Sisqó instead of the rest of the group.
The group tried to continue as a trio, but it became apparent that they needed Woody in the group. Newly reorganized Island Def Jam Records set up the "Dru World Order" project, allowing each member to record a gospel album beore the next Dru Hill album was recorded in November 2000. Woody recording the Soul Music gospel album, but its release was continually delayed by Def Jam's Def Soul imprint, because of the overwhelming success of Sisqo's Unleash the Dragon album and its single, "Thong Song". Eventually, Woody was able to get a release from the label, and issued Soul Music on Kirk Franklin's Gospocentric Records in May 2002. The album was moderately successful within the gospel scene, reaching #5 on the gospel charts. Soul Music was dedicated to the memory of his mother, who had died of cancer the year before, and features Woody's cover version of her favorite gospel song, "I Won't Complain".
After the release of Soul Music, Woody returned to Def Soul 2002, Woody re-joined Dru Hill for the Dru World Order LP. That album's "My Angel" is a dedication to his mother, and preceds "How Could You", the first gospel track to appear on a Dru Hill album.
- 2002: Soul Music
- 2000: "My Homie" (featuring Dru Hill)
- 20002: "A New Thing" (featuring Natalie Wilson & the S.O.P. Chorale)
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