Sir Winston Churchill once said, "The price of greatness is responsibility." Tony James' music, life, and lyrics epitomize Churchill's statement. Born Duane A. Staples, Tony James grew up in a musical family. He is a distant relative to the famed Staple Singers, his father has been a DJ for more than 20 years, and his uncle Larry plays the guitar with a skill that evokes the memory of the great Jimmie Hendrix. Despite moving between homes at an early age after his parents divorced, music remained a constant in James' life. His mother enrolled him in piano lessons while he was in elementary school to keep him away from the negative influences that surrounded him. This early foray into music became a key building block to James' innovative and mesmerizing sound. After high school, James pursued his dream of playing Division I football at the University of Maryland. Football did not work out and Tony James found himself writing rhymes instead of lecture notes while in class. Childhood friend Andre "Dre" Marshall, an audio engineer, began teaching James how to produce songs. Following his heart, James, with the help of family and friends, purchased his first keyboard. After years of honing his skills, James heard that Young Jeezy was coming to Washington, DC nightclub Love. James labored exhaustively for two weeks to produce an instrumental CD to give to Young Jeezy. He remembered anxiously waiting in the ally for Jeezy only to watch the artist walk by without ever acknowledging him. Greatly disappointed, James knew it was time for a change. He was already behind the music, but he realized it was time to "get behind the mic." "The price of greatness is responsibility." James took it upon himself to release his debut solo album, The Turning Point, under his own Frontline Entertainment imprint. James has now garnered the attention of both major and independent record labels and is currently entertaining multiple offers. "I hope my music inspires change," James said. "My mission is to leave this world a little better than when I came into it, one song at a time."