With smash hits like “Talk Dirty” and “Want to Want Me” under his belt, it’s clear that Jason Derulo knows a thing or two about what makes a good summer jam! And his latest album, Everything Is 4, which features collaborations with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and more is only further proof of his penchant for penning toe tapping hits.
Next up, Derulo is set to rock the stage at People’s Choice Awards 2016 and we’re sure we’re not the only ones who can’t wait to see the “Trumpets” singer perform live on the big night!
To get you even more excited for his performance, we’ve put together a list of five surprising facts about the singer so you can get to know him a bit better before the big night:
1. You won’t catch him singing his name at the beginning of songs anymore.
There was a time where you couldn’t listen to a Jason Derulo song without hearing the artist sing his own name — but those days are behind him. In an interview with Time over the summer, the singer said he’d “outgrown” singing his own name, but that doesn’t mean he won’t let other artists do it. On his latest album, he let fellow singer Meghan Trainor sing his name on their track “Painkiller,” but only because the “Marvin Gaye” singer begged him to let her do it.
“She insisted! She was like, “Please, please, please let me do it!” And I was like, “Nah! I’m done with that!” She said, “But it’s me singing it, not you!” I was like, “Alright, cool, but I’ve got to sing your name.” She said, “Good, of course!”
2. His hit single “Want To Want Me” was never supposed to be a single.
“Want To Want Me” may be one of the biggest hits of the summer, but according to Derulo, he never thought the track would be the first single off his latest album simply because it’s the first song for the new record that he wrote. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the singer explained that it’s fairly unheard of for the first song you write off a new record to be the album’s lead single, so Derulo was pleasantly surprised over the positive response he got from friends when he first started sharing the track.
“The first song you do is supposed to be, like, the trial run. Like, ‘Ok, I got that wack one out of the way and now we can really start doing the album.’ It wasn’t until I started playing it for people that I knew how special the song was…it started a whole new vibe. It was the start of something new,” explained the singer.
3. He’s good friends with Meghan Trainor.
Derulo’s latest album may be stacked with collaborators, but the singer recently told Radio.com that he feels a connection to everyone he scored to take part in Everything Is 4. One such collaborator he holds in the highest respect is none other than Grammy nominee Meghan Trainor.
“Meghan is an amazing spirit— she’s a friend first,” Derulo told the station back in May. “I think Meghan is a very special person because she exemplifies what being humble is. She’s still herself now that everything’s happened. She’s still this very down to earth girl next door. She loves to have a great time, just like I do. She likes to goof off and just have fun…we get along very well from that perspective so it was only natural that led to doing a song together.”
4. He turned down a role in a popular Broadway musical just before his career took off.
After high school, the Miami native made his way to Manhattan where he spent two years majoring in musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. It’s clear his hard work at school paid off because before he knew it, the “Talk Dirty” singer had been offered the role of a lifetime.
“I’m singing, dancing and having the time of my life,” Derulo told Billboard. “Then I landed a role in Rent on Broadway. It could’ve been a secure job, but I would’ve been locked into [theater] forever.”
Instead, Derulo took a gamble and turned the offer down in favor of pursuing a record deal and his gamble paid. A few years later, he found himself signed to Warner where he went onto release his debut hit single, “Whatcha Say.”
5. He recorded his collab with Stevie Wonder at the iconic singer’s own home studio.
Derulo scored Stevie Wonder for his latest album after he asked the iconic singer if he would play harmonica on the track during a White House dinner. After Wonder agreed, Derulo told ET that they actually recorded the track at Wonder’s own personal home studio. The experience was definitely a highlight for Derulo who regards Wonder as one of his heroes.
“He went through 15 different harmonicas to make sure he had the right harmonica,” Derulo told the outlet. “He was like, ‘Nah, this one is flat. This one is sharp. This ain’t right. Bring me the other bag over there!” It was crazy to watch one of my heroes do his thing, especially on a song that I did.”
Watch Jason Derulo perform live during the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 at 9 p.m. on CBS.