Mario Dewar Barrett (born August 27, 1986), known mononymously as Mario, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and model.
He is known for his singles “Just a Friend” (2002) and “Let Me Love You” (2004), which won him two Billboard Music Awards, as well as for appearing in the films Step Up and Freedom Writers.
He has released four studio albums: Mario (2002), Turning Point (2004), Go (2007), and D.N.A. (2009). At the end of the 2000s decade, was ranked by Billboard at number 98 on their “Artist of the Decade” list. While his yet-to-released fifth studio album Cosmo 17 is still in the works.
In July 2001, Mario began recording his major-label debut album, titled Mario, which was nearly a year before the official release in March 2002. The album’s lead single “Just a Friend 2002”, which was a cover of Biz Markie’s song, was a success, peaking at number one on the charts. Follow-up singles were “Braid My Hair” and “C’mon”. He was the opening act on the Scream Tour 3, which features the headliner, such as B2K, Marques Houston, Nick Cannon, Jhené Aiko and AJA. As of 2006, his debut album has sold over 700,000 copies. During this period, he became a draw in the teen market.
After his debut album was released, Mario wanted to record an album that was more mature. He enlisted a number of well-known producers to help him, such as Scott Storch and Lil’ Jon. He released his second album, Turning Point on December 7, 2004. The album was more successful than his first, mainly because of the hit single “Let Me Love You”.