Merriman propels singer of 'Lights Out'
August, 20, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
With the news Monday that Shawne Merriman had been cut by the Buffalo Bills, the phrase "Lights Out" -- which became Merriman's nickname in high school after he knocked out four players in one game -- is prevalent everywhere.
Leads in news stories. Headlines. Blogs.
But did you know that Merriman was the subject of a massively successful tribute song called "Lights Out" by California music producer Tony Corleone? The song been played more than 2 million times on MySpace.
When Merriman was playing for the San Diego Chargers from 2005-10, the JumboTron announcer at Qualcomm Stadium needed some music to be played when the fiery linebacker made a great sack.
That's where Corleone stepped in. He was friends with someone who knew the announcer and came up with the lyrics and music to the song "Lights Out" in one day.
"The next thing you know, they are playing it at the stadium," Corleone said. "Then they started playing it on the radio and it just took off."
Merriman eventually heard the song and added his own twist to the lyrics, and the song became a huge club hit in San Diego.
Corleone took that fame and parlayed it into more music. He now lives in Los Angeles and has his own record company, working on projects with the likes of Tha Dogg Pound and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. He also recently wrote/produced/sang the entrance music for mixed martial artist Cung Le.
"My whole family is Chargers fans but I wasn't a fanatic," Corleone said. "I was a just a local hip-hop artist at the time. This definitely opened some doors."