Terius Nash was born in Rockingham, North Carolina and moved with his mother, Reva Nash, to Atlanta at the age of 3. He played trumpet, drums, and guitar as a child. His mother died in 1992 when Nash was fifteen years old, an event which would inspire him to write songs. He states that the death of his mother gave him a "soft spot" for women, which he credits to his desire to write songs about female empowerment such as Rihanna's "Umbrella". He moved in with his grandfather, a concrete mason who instilled a strong work ethic in young Nash. Of his grandfather, Nash recalls "He came out of a bad time for blacks in the South, but even though we lived in the hood, we had a boat, some cars and a house that was paid for. So I’ve always had a different outlook on life. There’s nothing I can’t do."
Nash met R&B producer Laney Stewart in 2001; Stewart helped him get a publishing deal after writing "Everything" for B2K's album Pandemonium!. Under the pen name "The-Dream", Nash began writing lyrics for many popular artists. He co-wrote Britney Spears' hit "Me Against the Music" from her fourth album In the Zone. He spent two years working on Nivea's second album Complicated, which he executive produced, and continued to write and produce with Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Laney's brother, which led to Rihanna's 2007 smash hit "Umbrella". The success of "Umbrella" boosted Dream's music career, and in 2007, he signed a deal with Def Jam Records.
Following the deal with Def Jam Records, The-Dream began working on his debut studio album Love Hate. The album was produced by The-Dream's production partner Tricky Stewart, and Carlos "LOS Da Maestro" McKinney, and featured Fabolous and Rihanna. The album was written and recorded in eight days with twelve tracks making the final cut. Some of the tracks were written in regards to The-Dream's personal life, most notably "Nikki," written about his ex-wife Nivea and how he has moved on since their divorce. The-Dream explained the title, Love Hate, as short for, "Love me all summer, hate me all winter, because they love you when you hot and when you're cold they don't... I'm hot right now and they love me, but I was cold and they wasn't fuckin' with me." Released December 11, 2007 on The-Dream's Def Jam-imprint Radio Killa Records, Love Hate moved 59,000 copies and debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200. Love Hate also peaked at #5 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album received generally positive reviews from critics, as Rolling Stone called it "one of the most likable R&B records of the year" and UrbanMusicReviews.com said that the singer has "hit a home run."
On March 10, 2009 The-Dream released his second album Love vs. Money. He re-teamed with his production partner Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, who produced most of the tracks on the album, and Los Da Maestro. He also enlisted the help of Lil Jon for the song "Let Me See the Booty". Love vs. Money debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 151,000 copies in its first week. It also entered at number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at number three on its Top Digital Albums chart in March 2009. Upon its release, the album received general acclaim from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 83/100 from Metacritic.
During the making of Love King, he recorded a song with T-Pain and expressed that he would like to make a collaborative album with Kanye West in the future. In January 2010, The-Dream officially stated he was finished recording the album and he called it the best of his three albums. The first single, "Love King", was released on March 16, 2010 for digital download. The album was released on June 29, 2010.
Before the album's release, the-Dream announced that Love King will be his last solo album.
The-Dream's next album has been retitled and delayed repeatedly. It was originally titled Love Affair and scheduled for release on June 7, 2011. Subsequent delays have seen it change title to The Love, IV, Love IV: Diary of a Madman, Love IV MMXII, then IV Play. On June 7, 2011 The-Dream released double promotional singles titled Body Work and Fuck My Brains Out to the internet followed by a free 10-track album on the internet entitled 1977 on August 31, 2011, however, 1977 was later made available for purchase starting from December 18, 2012 as Terius Nash: 1977. His fifth studio album now entitled IV Play will be released on May 7, 2013. The first single called "Slow It Down" which features rapper & fellow labelmate Fabolous. The song will be released for a digital download on March 5, 2013.
In addition to working with Nivea and Rihanna, The-Dream also began writing for numerous artists, most notably J. Holiday's "Bed", Usher's "Moving Mountains", Yung Joc's "Coffee Shop" and Jesse McCartney's "Leavin'". He also co-wrote Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body", Ciara's "High Price", and took part in co-writing a majority of Mary J. Blige's 2007 Growing Pains album, including the smash hit "Just Fine". Recently[when?] he featured in Drake's album Thank Me Later in the song "Shut It Down".
In December 2007, The-Dream was nominated for Grammy Award for Song of the Year for "Umbrella", but lost to Amy Winehouse's "Rehab". However, in June 2008, The-Dream won the award for Best New Artist at the 2008 BET Awards. Throughout 2008, The-Dream appeared on a number of records including Plies' "Please Excuse My Hands" with Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J's "Baby", Gym Class Heroes' "Cookie Jar" and Kardinal Offishall's "Gimme Some". In addition, The-Dream signed female R&B girl-group Electrik Red to Radio Killa Records and they released their debut album, How to Be a Lady: Volume 1, under the label. The-Dream and production partner Christopher "Tricky" Stewart produced "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" off Beyoncé's album I Am… Sasha Fierce, co-produced two tracks ("Just Like Me" & "Digital Girl") and was featured on Jamie Foxx's album Intuition, and worked with Mario and Lionel Richie. He will also be featured on a number of upcoming albums from; Phyzikal, Ciara, Sterling Simms, Young Chris, Dear Jayne, Brandy and Cassie.
In early 2009, The-Dream began working with Christina Milian on her fourth studio album Elope, which led to her signing a joint-deal with Radio Killa Records. The-Dream said that when he was building his label, he went looking for Milian because he believed she was a talented singer. The singer confirmed that her second single would be a duet with The-Dream called "Supersonic".
Throughout 2009, The-Dream has also been working on new material for Mariah Carey, Brandy, and Diddy. Diddy's song "Change" is described by The-Dream as, "probably one of the best male records I've ever written...the best record I've written besides 'Umbrella'. The-Dream also worked on Jennifer Lopez's single Louboutins from her 7th album Love? by Sony Music. The song did not chart at the Billboard Hot 100 but charted at number 1 on the Hot/Dance Club Chart. He keep working on more tracks for her album which was released in Spring 2011 by Def Jam.[dated info][dated info] He also collaborated on, produced and wrote Snoop Dogg's "Gangsta Luv", which is on the 2009 album Malice n Wonderland.
The-Dream and Tricky Stewart have worked on Ciara's fourth studio album titled Basic Instinct, which was released on December 14, 2010, and was executive produced by the trio. He co-wrote her lead single titled "Ride", which was released in April 2010, and went on to become a R&B smash hit and her twelfth top ten hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
The-Dream received a fair amount of backlash for his cover of singer Aaliyah's song "One in a Million". Upon the release of the song, fans of Aaliyah bombarded radio shows and blog sites with distaste for The-Dream's rendition.
He also worked alongside Tricky Stewart on Jessica Simpson's Christmas album titled Happy Christmas, released on November 22, 2010, and also working on Simpson's upcoming pop album.
The-Dream produced a music single for Kim Kardashian, "Jam (Turn It Up)", released in March 2, 2011 and then worked on Beyoncé's album titled 4, released on June 28, 2011.
On March 16, 2012, Billboard posted an interview with The-Dream, where he talked about having been given the opportunity to go in to the studio in a few weeks to work with Shakira, and how excited he is for the track.
The-Dream produced, co-wrote and was featured on a song for 2 Chainz titled "Extremely Blessed", which is featured on his 2012 album titled Based on a T.R.U. Story.
John Calvert of The Quietus writes that The-Dream's "stadium-R&B reinvented the genre as a mythological epic", citing it as an influence on Frank Ocean's 2012 song "Pyramids". Allmusic editor Andy Kellman writes that, with Carlos McKinney and Tricky Stewart, The-Dream "seized possession of [...] the belt for the electronic pop-R&B division, once held by innovators Leon Sylvers III, Kashif and Morrie Brown, Prince, Jam & Lewis, Teddy Riley, Timbaland and Missy Elliott, and the Neptunes".
The-Dream married girlfriend Nivea in 2004, whom he had been dating for one year. Together they had three children, daughter Navy Talia (on May 10, 2005); and twin sons London and Christian (April 2006). They had been married for three years when Nivea filed for legal separation in December 2007. The-Dream said that although he was in love with Nivea, his lack of experience in a family growing up meant he was "not taught how much more than love does it take to run a relationship. Like, 'cause love isn't just where it's gonna end. It can't start and stop with love. There has to be a certain amount of knowledge and patience that's acquired in order to keep it going and keep it straight, and I found out the hard way".
The-Dream began dating Christina Milian in early 2009; she became pregnant. The Daily Mail reported that "the pregnancy was a surprise, but they were getting married regardless". They then became engaged in June 2009. In August, it was reported that they had applied for a marriage license in Los Angeles. On September 4, 2009, The-Dream married Milian at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas. The-Dream said in an interview that Nivea was still a good friend of his, and that she was also friends with Milian. Milian gave birth to their daughter Violet Madison Nash on February 26, 2010. Milian and The-Dream announced their separation on July 12, 2010 after photos surfaced of The-Dream vacationing with his assistant.
In addition to music, The-Dream revealed he is currently working on a TV reality series for MTV where he will scout aspiring singers, and plans to release a clothing line called Millionaire Love Affair.