Growing up in Watts, a notoriously rough area of Los Angeles, chiseled and handsome African-American singer-actor-model Tyrese Gibson had the big dream to be a garbage man when he grew up. By the age of fourteen, his singing talent had been discovered and soon all hopes for a career in sanitation would be left behind for a shot at stardom. Trying out for a commercial at age sixteen, Gibson almost blew the audition by arriving late. After hearing a few bars of his singing, producers were won over and cast the young hopeful as the new face of Coca-Cola with a memorable city bus-set spot that showcased his impressive pipes. In 1996 at age seventeen, the tall, muscular and striking Gibson began modeling and also made his TV debut on an episode of the ABC series "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." Guest shots on "Martin" (Fox, 1997) "The Parent 'Hood" and "Sister, Sister" (both The WB, 1998) followed, as did a record contract with RCA, which led to the release of his debut album "Tyrese" (1998). The smooth R&B crooner won over many fans with his first effort, selling enough units to be certified platinum. In 1999, Gibson replaced Bill Bellamy as host of "MTV Jams," appearing daily on the small screen to present the "MTV Jams Countdown."