Ester Dean

Ester Dean's singing aspirations were so strong that she cold-called recording studios around her Oklahoma home and ingratiated herself enough to provide vocals on demos. She continued to pursue a career in music by relocating to Atlanta, a move that took some time to pay off; uniquely raspy-voiced and not rail-thin, her progress was met with some resistance. She broke through as a songwriter and also signed to Polow da Don's Interscope-affiliated Zone 4 label, where she released her debut single, "Drop It Low" (featuring Chris Brown), during the summer of 2009. Though it was not a major smash, it remained on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart through the end of the year. At that point, she was known more for her writing, with her credits beneath the likes of Teyana Taylor's "Google Me," Ciara's "Never Ever," Rihanna's "Rude Boy," and Mary J. Blige's "The One."

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