R&B singer/songwriter and producer Terius Youngdell Nash, better known as the-Dream, was born in Rockingham, North Carolina, but moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with his mother at the age of three. He first learned to play trumpet in elementary school, later picking up the drums and guitar. Nash's singing career got off to a slow start once he graduated from high school, but he found success in selling song lyrics after he met R&B producer Laney Stewart in 2001. Stewart helped Nash land his first publishing contract in 2003 in light of his penning "Everything" for B2K's platinum 2002 album Pandemonium! Paired with producer Chris "Tricky" Stewart (Laney's brother), he continued to write songs for various artists over the next four years, such as the Britney Spears/Madonna duet "Me Against the Music." His watershed moment came when he and Tricky created Rihanna's 2007 international smash hit "Umbrella."