Freddie Lee Peterkin, also known as Freddie Lee, is a singer–songwriter and actor born in Pahokee, Florida. He is known for his gritty power soul and became an artist of public note for his 2009 album Beyond Comprehension which gained him critical acclaim and mass radio airplay.
He made his prime time acting debut as "DJ Freddie Murphy" on Channel 4's T4 Stars & Strikes and as a character in BBC2's Grump Guides in 2011. Freddie Lee Peterkin is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Psi Chapter, a brotherhood known for members such as Martin Luther King. Peterkin was responsible for composing many Delta Psi Chapter fraternity anthems such as 'I've Been Changed' written in 1985 while he was pledging.
Freddie Lee is the son of migrant workers originally from Georgia who came to Florida to pick crops for a living. Freddie Lee grew up in Padgett Island one of a number of housing projects in Pahokee, Florida, USA. As a child he began working alongside his family picking beans and oranges to support the family income. Like most children in the area he also attended Pahokee Elementary and Pahokee High School. Whilst in school Freddie became part of the Pahokee marching band OD Express and also part of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
Freddie was an exceptional high school student and gained a scholarship to attend Florida Memorial University, a historical black college based in Miami, Florida. He graduated with two degrees in Airway Science, Business Management and minors in Sociology and Education. Whilst attending Florida Memorial University, he pledged to his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. He also formed the Florida Memorial Gospel Choir with Benjamin Carroll. During this time Freddie was part of the Soul and Gospel group Message and he opened up for artists such as Howard Hewett, Betty Wright, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Shirley Caesar. He also worked with Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, providing backing vocals on their studio recordings. Upon graduating, Freddie became a school teacher until he and his colleages in Message were offered a contract to produce a soul show in Spain
Freddie left the USA for Spain in 1991 and began a new life as an entertainer and show producer. He created one of the earliest known soul tribute shows in Europe. In 1994 Freddie renamed the group Aces and was responsible for costumes and show production as well as sharing lead vocals in the show. He was based initially in Madrid and then in Gran Canaria, touring all the live music venues. Aces featured on television, billboards and buses. They also toured England, Germany, France, Italy and the rest of Spain.
Aces relocated permanently to London, England in 1998 and were the first American Soul Tribute show to be seen in the UK. They began touring and working 300 shows a year in theatre, clubs, resorts and festivals. They appeared several times on Capital Gold Radio Roadshows. Freddie was responsible for both costume and choreography for the national theatre show "Reach Out" produced by Pete Tobit.
It was in 2002 when Freddie found that one of his colleagues who had been appointed the group's business administrator has been stealing from their company account for a number of years. High tensions ensued, Freddie and the other group members were outraged enough to close down the group and they went their separate ways. The effects of his colleague's theft and the termination of their work contracts caused Freddie Lee to lose his home.
It was during this time that out of pride and refusal to ask others for help, that he took to sleeping in his car in roadside service stations whilst restarting both his life and career over again. He has stated in interviews that the one or two friends he confided in about his situation who had previously enjoyed his five star live style, turned their backs on him. He also could not face returning home to his family in the USA having lost everything he had worked for. It was during this time that his inspiration for writing much of the album Beyond Comprehension took place.
The album Beyond Comprehension was produced by music heavyweights Tony Bean and Colin Bassett at 5am Productions for 5am Records , Birmingham, UK. 5am have been noted for their work with UK soul star Lemar, and US stars Kelly Rowland, Usher, Tyrese and Justin Timberlake. The PR guru behind the album is Michael Grant formerly a child reggae star in the group Musical Youth.
On Thursday 16 June 2009, Freddie Lee gave his first British television interview on the chat show Bright Talk on BEN Television, Sky TV channel 184. Following radio and club support by the UK's premier soul DJ's the album hit the No.12 spot Solar Radio's album charts on December 14, 2009. Music from his album "Beyond Comprehension" featured heavily on the Phil Driver Soul Unsigned radio show and the Gary Spence Soulchoonz radio show, giving Freddie Lee airplay in the UK, USA, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. This resulted in critical acclaim from the UK music press and music review websites.
Following this success Freddie Lee featured in the January 2010 edition of the award-winning Blues and Soul, speaking to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis. Freddie Lee also appeared in a 3 page feature in the February 2010 edition of Soul Survivors magazine in an interview with journalist and DJ Fitzroy Facey.
Following the coverage he received for his first album, Freddie began auditioning for film and television roles. Towards the end of 2010 Freddie was featured in a small role in the feature film 'How Not To Be a Loser' with Richard E. Grant. He then made a guest appearance in the BBC2 comedy series 'Grumpy Guide to Work as a mischievous office worker. He has also become known as the comedy character presenter ‘DJ Freddie Murphy’ on Channel 4’s Stars & Strikes and 4Music Channel. Freddie Lee will also appear in the forthcoming feature film ‘ Streetdance 2’ due for release in late 2011.
Three years after the release of his first album, Freddie Lee is back with his new single 'Searching'. This song pays homage to classic feel good soul. This single is the first release from his forthcoming album 'My Soul Intentions'. The new album is earmarked for release in October 2011.