J Dilla was born James Dewitt Yancey on February 7, 1974 in Detroit, Michigan, to Maureen and Beverly Yancey. From the onset, music was intrinsic to Jay's life. His mother Maureen was an accomplished singer and lover of classical music and opera. His father Beverly was a gifted vocalist and bass player fond of vocal harmonies and jazz, who played professionally for 25 years before taking a job at Ford. A two-year-old Jay would gurgle along in perfect pitch to the sound of his father practicing on his upright bass until it lulled him to sleep.