Tramar Lacel Dillard (born September 16, 1979), better known by his stage name Flo Rida (pronounced /floʊ ˈraɪdə/), is an American rapper. He is known for hit songs such as « Low », featuring T-Pain, which was a number 1 hit for 10 weeks in the United States in 2008, and « Right Round », featuring Kesha, which was a number 1 hit for six weeks; both songs broke the record for digital download sales when they were released. Other international hit singles he has had including « Club Can’t Handle Me », « Good Feeling », « Wild Ones » and « Whistle ». He has frequently collaborated with other artists, both on his and others’ tracks. Hit songs by other artists featuring Flo Rida include « Running Back » by Jessica Mauboy, « Bad Boys » by Alexandra Burke, and « Troublemaker » by Olly Murs.
Dillard’s brother-in-law was a hype man for local rap group 2 Live Crew, and while in ninth grade, Dillard joined an amateur rap group called the GroundHoggz. The GroundHoggz had been a three-man group, with members 1Bred, Key Lime, and Fist, who lived in the same apartment complex as Dillard, 187 Apartments. They started recording at underground studios in Carver Ranches. The GroundHoggz, in this four-man incarnation, remained together for eight years.
His work with 2 Live Crew member Fresh Kid Ice attracted the attention of DeVante Swing, a member of the band Jodeci. However, he was rejected by several of the major labels, so he sought many other jobs outside of music.
After graduating from high school in 1998, he studied international business management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for two months and attended Barry University for two months. He returned to Florida to continue pursuing his music career after receiving a phone call from a representative of the independent label Poe Boy Entertainment.
Dillard signed with Poe Boy in 2006, and as Flo Rida he began affiliating with other artists, such as Rick Ross, Trina, T-Pain, and Trick Daddy. A promotional street single entitled « Birthday », featuring Rick Ross, was his first significant release. He made his debut guest appearance with the song « Bitch I’m from Dade County » on DJ Khaled’s album We the Best, which featured Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Brisco, C-Ride, and Dre.
Flo Rida’s debut album, Mail on Sunday, was released in March 2008. The first single was « Low », featuring T-Pain. « Elevator », featuring Timbaland, « In the Ayer » featuring will.i.am, and « Roll » featuring Sean Kingston followed, and both charted on the Hot 100 and other charts.
Other than T-Pain, there were many featured guests throughout Mail on Sunday. Timbaland, who produced the second single « Elevator », is also featured on the track. Rick Ross, and Trey Songz made appearances as well. Lil Wayne appeared on the track « American Superstar », while Sean Kingston appeared on the J. R. Rotem-produced « Roll », which was co-written by Compton rapper Spitfiya. Various other guests include Birdman, Brisco, and Yung Joc.
Flo Rida began recording his second album, R.O.O.T.S., 9 months after Mail On Sunday. The album was released on March 31, 2009. The first single, « Right Round » featuring Ke$ha, and was released for airplay in January 2009. « Right Round » jumped from number 58 to the top spot in one week in late February. R.O.O.T.S. debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 55,000 copies in its first week. As of August, 2009, the album has sold 223,000 copies in the United States, and 536,000 worldwide.
Flo Rida’s third album Only One Flo (Part 1) was released on November 24, 2010. In March 2010, Flo Rida announced on Twitter that the album would be titled The Only One. Billboard reported that The Only One was to be a double album. A promo single, titled « Zoosk Girl », which features T-Pain, was released on the internet, though the song is not featured on the album, the single does have its own music video. On June 28, 2010, Flo Rida released the song « Club Can’t Handle Me » featuring David Guetta, which was stated to be the official first single for the album. On November 2, 2010, « Come with Me » was released as the first promo single for the album, along with « Puzzle », produced, and featuring by Electrixx, which isn’t featured on the album. On November 16, 2010, « Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) » was released as the second official promo single for the album via the iTunes Store.
In December 2010, Flo Rida created his own label, International Music Group, inspired by Nicki Minaj’s signing with Lil Wayne’s. He has signed an 18 year-old rapper, Brianna and Git Fresh to International.
Flo Rida’s fourth album, Wild Ones (originally titled Only One Rida (Part 2)) was released in July 2012. Its debut single was « Good Feeling », released on August 29, 2011. The song samples « Levels » by Avicii, which in turn samples Etta James’ 1962 song, « Something’s Got a Hold on Me ». Following the death of Etta James on January 20, 2012, Flo Rida dedicated the song in her memory.
On April 1, Flo Rida made an appearance at WrestleMania XXVIII and had a segment with Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks where Heath calls Flo Rida « Florida » and Flo Rida shoves him into a wall; making Tyler and Curt come out laughing at Heath. Later that night Flo Rida performed « Wild Ones » and « Good Feeling » before Dwayne « The Rock » Johnson came out to battle John Cena.
In June 2013, Flo Rida collaborated with Marc Mysterio on the song « Booty on the Floor » to benefit the families and victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings via One Fund Boston.
Flo Rida dropped the first official single titled « Can’t Believe It » from his upcoming studio album « The Perfect 10 » featuring Pitbull on July 28, 2013. The second official single « How I Feel » was released October 29, 2013. On September 29, 2014 (October 21 in the U.S) Flo Rida released the lead single from the album titled « G.D.F.R. » featuring Sage the Gemini.