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Ballad singer Joe Thomas is a native of Columbus, Georgia, where the TJMS has set out this Monday. The son of two evangelist preachers, his family moved down the road to Opelika, Alabama, where he grew up playing music in the church. Though his real name is actually Joe, which is his stage name as well, like with any Black family, he’s not known at home that way.

“My sisters used to call me Little Joe. My dad is Joe, Sr.,” he says. “They still call me Little Joe.”

Yup, those family nicknames tend to stick. Although Joe’s parents are pastors, he moved from the gospel music he learned in church onto R&B crafting hits like “Still Not A Player” with the late Big Pun, “I Wanna Know” and  “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do).” He says he wrote his first song “Good Girl” when he was about 16.

If it’s true that R&B singers write songs because they are too shy to approach women, Joe says that he may have leaned on music to express himself since the girls went for the jocks when he was younger. There’s at least one woman young Joe wrote a song for, but despite the best efforts of the Tom Joyner crew, nope, he’s not going to tell the world.

Fortunately, Joe, who’s managed to keep his personal life very private all these years, has found a way to express himself in music, although we figure that early shyness is probably a thing of the past. Currently touring with Charlie Wilson and KEM, he’s enjoying the ride so far.

“I couldn’t be on a better tour with better guys,” Joe says.

Remaining Dates on the ‘Forever Charlie’ Tour with Joe and KEM

March 18 Mobile, AL Civic Center

March 19 Boosier City, LA Century Link Center

March 21 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy

March 22 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center

March 25 Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theatre

March 26 Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theatre

March 27 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena

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Joe Talks Touring With Charlie Wilson and KEM, Growing Up In Columbus  was originally published on