5 Things to Know About August Alsina

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August Alsina may have won best new artist at the BET Awards this year, but he's been generating buzz for quite some time now.

The 21-year-old singer, who is best known for his hit song with Trinidad James' "I Love This S*it," has worked with the likes of Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Rick Ross and B.o.B., among many others.

Check out the five things to know about August Alsina!

1. August had a gift early on: August didn't start singing until he was 14, but it was clear he had talent even then, when he started uploading YouTube videos of himself covering songs by the likes of Musiq Soulchild and Lyfe Jennings, according to UpRoxx. "I always had a love for music, but I was watching Sister Act 2 with Lauryn Hill, and I heard her sing, and I was just like, 'Man, I want to do that," Alsina told USA Today. "The whole movie overall was an inspiration for me."

2. August's tough childhood motivated him: Originally from New Orleans, the singer later relocated to Houston with his mom, who wanted to separate her family from August's dad, who reportedly battled crack addiction, according to USA Today. He later died when August was 14.

Two years after that, his mom kicked him out of the house and he headed back to New Orleans, where he became homeless and sold drugs to survive. Then, days before his 18th birthday, his older brother Melvin was shot and killed. That "opened his eyes," he said. "I was like, 'Man, that could be me.'" His brother's death gave him the motivation to pursue a music career because of all the support he showed him.
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3. August's career sparked thanks to DJs: After moving to moved to Atlanta, the R&B star started releasing mixtapes and earned a rep with local DJs. He was later signed to Def Jam and The Dream's Label Radio Killa in 2012.

4. He had major beef with Trey Songz: After releasing the remix for the hit song "I Luv This Sh*t" featuring Trey and Chris Brown, August later told Rap-Up, "I don't really f**k with Trey right now. We don't get along right now. We ain't on the same page. He did some other sh*t and we just don't rock."

The duo seems to have squashed that beef though, with Trey telling theGrio, "A lot of us got caught up in August's remarks about me early on, a few months ago. I never really got caught up in that because I know what it's like being a young artist and have people on your a**." Trey said they had a convo and August said he didn't really mean what he said about him.

5. He released his debut album this year: August released Testimony April 15, which featured collabos with not only Trey Songz, Trinidad James and Chris Brown, but also Jeezy on "Make It Home" and Rich Home Quan on "Ghetto." It landed at No. 2 on the Billboard album charts and sold nearly 64,000 copies in its first week, according to USA Today.

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