He is the son of Louise Annette Talley Dixon and Darrell Bishop; his father sometimes worked as a stockbroker and changed his name to Shahid Abdula after converting to Islam. A few months later in October 2009 He played a starring role alongside Gerard Butler in the thriller Law Abiding Citizen. He recorded a song with country superstars Rascal Flatts entitled "She Goes All the Way" for their album Still Feels Good.
As an actor his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a musical/comedy. He is also a Grammy Award winning musician producing three albums which have charted highly on the Billboard 200: Unpredictable which topped the chart Best Night of My Life and Intuition.