Celebrity Then And Now
Timbaland
Name: Timbaland
Birthdate: January 1, 1970
Famous Years: 1997 - Present
Currently Known For: Continued Production and Singing Careers
Networth: $85 MillionFamous For: Production Career, "The Way I Are," "Apologize"
Timbaland
Name Timbaland
Birthdate January 1, 1970
Famous Years 1997 - Present
Currently Known For Continued Production and Singing Careers
Networth $85 Million
Famous For Production Career, "The Way I Are," "Apologize"

Everyone knows the singers that come out with the hottest songs that you hear on the radio, but hardly anyone ever knows who produces these songs. That is, however, unless you’re Timbaland, who’s perhaps the most famous producer that’s been involved with pop and rap music over the past 20 years.

Born as Timothy Mosley on March 10, 1972, Timbaland had a bad accident as a teenager while working at a restaurant, where he was accidentally shot by a co-worker. The accident left Timbaland paralyzed for nearly a year, though he was still able to use his left hand. Wanting to work as a DJ, Timbaland would learn to use that hand until he was able to get use of both.

Instead of drawing inspiration from other producers and musicians, Timbaland says that he learned to make his own style. “I listened to everything, but what influenced me? Just me,” he says. “That’s a gift from God that I have. I just know music like Steve Jobs knows the computer and knows the vision of a small computer and know what he could do with it. I just know music and sound.”

That type of determination and creativity would end up shining through on Timbaland’s music as his DJing skills caught the attention of some big names in the R&B world when he was in his early 20s, including Missy Elliott and Jodeci. Throughout his teenage years and into his 20s, Timbaland had been working with Melvin “Magoo” Barcliff, and the duo would start to produce albums for the likes of Ginuwine and Aaliyah in the middle of the 1990s.

Timbaland quickly became a rising star for his productions, landing hit after hit throughout the second half of the decade. Artists were lining up to work with the young talent from all ranges of music. People were starting to know Timbaland’s name despite not even hearing him sing, and rarely hearing him speak.

That would change in the 2000s when he started up his own record label called Mosley Music Group, signing establish acts such as Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. At this point, Timbaland was being featured on songs such as “Promiscuous” and “SexyBack” that would become smash singles. He even became the featured artist on a song called “Give It To Me” that became a club hit.

Timbaland was also prominently featured as a vocalist on songs such as “Apologize” and “The Way I Are” that really cemented him as a multi-talented musician. By then, Timbaland had worked with just about every hip hop, R&B and pop singer around, including those that had already achieved icon statuses themselves. Timbaland would pair up with Jay-Z as part of Roc Nation, and still operates his own label that currently has acts such as OneRepublic and Keri Hilson signed on.

After his smash hit production of Beyonce’s 2013 album, it seemed that people hadn’t heard from Timbaland in a while. It turned out that he had fallen on some tough times, saying that “I felt like I wasn’t committed, I was riding off ego. It was really about me neglecting my gift. As a producer and a soundmaker, I had to find out what God had in store for me.”

Timbaland revealed that he had been on pain medication stemming from the accident that stemmed back from his teenage years when he was shot. When he wasn’t producing over the past few years, Timbaland said that he had increased his drug usage and that it almost cost him his life. While sleeping at one point in 2014, Timbaland says he say a light, and thought that he was dying.

“All I can tell you is that there was a light,” he said. “I woke up trying to catch my breath, like I was underwater. But through that whole thing I saw life - I saw where I would be if I don’t change, and where I could be if I did.” The near-death experience caused Timbaland to clean up, slowly getting himself off of pain pills and back to the studio. “I thought about Michael Jackson” he said as a reason to quit. “I didn’t want to be old and taking these pills.”

Now at 46 years old, Timbaland is living the clean lifestyle and has found himself back in the groove with his production. In 2018 alone, he’s produced Justin Timberlake’s “Man Of The Woods” album, as well as the likes of singles by Meek Mill, Sam Smith, V Bozeman and more. Many consider Timbaland to be the greatest musical producer of the past 20 years, and he’s ready to prove why he’s been given that reputation again now that he has this new lease on life.

“Right now, I feel like what I can do with my legacy is to give back,” he said. “Which means finding the youth of today. Look at Quincy Jones - he was 50 when he did ‘Thriller’! What’s my ‘Thriller’? That’s the goal.” He added that “Right now, I’m at a peaceful level, I’m happy with myself and changing myself every day.”