Observing B. Michael Cox paying homage to music impresario Diddy at his own private pre-Grammy party a few years back at the ultra-exclusive Four Seasons Hotel on the edge of Beverly Hills, you would think this resplendent production savant had inherited his seat on the musical throne.
To be sure, Bryan-Michael Cox seemed destined for success. Like another musical prodigy from Texas, Jamie Foxx, Cox was a classically-trained musician who moved with his mother to Houston. But Cox’s path to musical greatness was truly blazed when he came face to face with fate. In Houston, Cox attended the High School of the Performing Arts — the same school that churned out none other than pop goddess Beyonce Knowles.
“The very first demo tape that I produced was for Beyonce while I was in high school,” Cox recalls. “And ironically it was Matthew Knowles who, after listening to the demo, encouraged me to keep producing.”
It would not be the first time the entertainment gods smiled upon Cox. After he moved to attend Clark Atlanta University and landed at Noontime Records, Cox’s versatility and abilities would catch the attention of veteran music mogul Jermaine Dupri. After JD helped harness and nurture his prodigious talents, Cox co-produced multiple monster club anthems and blockbuster ballads such as Usher’s “You Got it Bad,” “Burn” and “Confessions,” as well as Mariah Carey’s “Shake it Off” and “Don’t Forget About Us.”
To date, Bryan-Michael’s portfolio is almost ridiculously thick: he has cranked out 19 number one hits, has won seven Grammy Awards, the Billboard Songwriter of the Year Award and the SESAC Songwriter of the Year Award six consecutive years. In 2010, Bryan-Michael Cox was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and named Billboard magazine’s number eight “Producer of the Decade.” After producing dozens of hits, including Chris Brown’s “Say Goodbye” and Trey Song’s “Last Time”, Cox was most humbled when Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You” was selected by Billboard as the number one R&B Song of the Decade.