Richard Preston Butler, Jr. (born December 3, 1982), better known by his stage name Rico Love, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Love wrote and produced hit records such as Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” and “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)”, Nelly’s “Just a Dream” and “Gone”, as well as Beyoncé Knowles’ “Sweet Dreams”. and has contributed to works which have gone on to win Grammys such as Beyoncé’s 2009 Best Contemporary R&B album I Am… Sasha Fierce, Usher’s 2010 Best Contemporary R&B album Raymond v. Raymond, and Usher’s 2010 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance “There Goes My Baby”. In addition Love has written and produced records for Kelly Rowland, Diddy – Dirty Money, Chris Brown, Alexandra Burke, Keri Hilson, Fergie, and Fantasia. Love is also the CEO of Division1, a record label which partnered with Interscope Records in 2013. Love has appeared as a featured artist on records with T.I., Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Jamie Foxx, Rich Boy, and Fat Joe.
Love was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and his parents divorced at early age. As a result of the divorce Love spent his childhood growing up in two different cities, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his Mother and Harlem, NY with his father. Love’s mother encouraged him as a child to write poetry. Love wrote his own poems and went on to join the African American Children’s Theater where he recited Langston Hughes and acted. Love had already been writing his own poems before he was introduced to rap in his early teens. By the end of high school Love had decided to pursue a career in rap but would go to college simultaneously, “I’m [going] to go to school instead of just sitting on the block. If I hadn’t gone to college I would’ve been a drug dealer.” While in college at Florida A&M University Love stayed involved in his music by winning many rap battles and talent shows. On the weekends Love would leave for Atlanta, Georgia for the benefit of its studios and popular music scene. While visiting Atlanta Love met members of Jagged Edge who were an influence on Love’s songwriting development. Love eventually left college because of a paper work error made by the college’s administration’s office. Love went to live with some local Atlanta producers the Corna Boyz. This relationship provided Love the opportunity to rap on a remix the producers were creating for Usher. Usher liked Love’s work on the remix and eventually signed him to US Records/J Records. Usher requested Love compose lyrics for a song written by Just Blaze. This song eventually became “Throwback” and was featured on Usher’s Diamond-selling (10× Platinum) Confessions album. Love next toured with Usher where he met and connected with many music industry players. Usher encouraged Love to become a songwriter and requests for Love’s compositions began coming from artists Chris Brown, Omarion, and Marques Houston. Love currently lives in Miami with photographer Robin Thompson known as Robin V. They have one child together, a son Carys Preston.
As an artist Love is both a vocalist and a rapper. Love was asked by Usher to contribute to the sound track to Usher’s film In the Mix. Love contributed “Settle Down”, “Sweat” featuring Usher, and “On the Grind” featuring Juelz Santana and Paul Wall. Love recorded a solo album in 2007 titled The 5th Element but ultimately decided to focus on his songwriting and not release the recordings. Though Love may not be recording as a solo artist he still contributes his vocals and rhymes to other artists. Love has appeared as a guest artist on songs by Fat Joe, Juvenile, Rich Boy, Jamie Foxx, T.I., and his own artist, Young Chris.
Follow Rico Love on Twitter – https://twitter.com/IamRicoLove