What Happened to Montell Jordan?
Today we’ll take it back to the 90’s and evaluate the career of an artist who hit the charts immediately. His debut single “This Is How We Do It” is one of the top R&B hits still being played today. But, was this artist a one-hit wonder? Today’s topic is “What Happened to Montell Jordan?” We’ll evaluate his music career and see where he’s at today.
Montell Jordan was born on December 3rd, 1968 in South Central, Los Angeles. His family were heavy church goers, so he grew up in the Baptist church. He played the piano for the church and his parents worked as deacons. He attended high school in Gardena and also earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Pepperdine University, where he graduated from in 1991.
After graduating, he started to help make TV infomercials for Williams Television Time. He was determined to start his music career, so he performed in a showcase and invited all of his co-workers to it. Janet Jackson and Shanice Wilson attended the showcase and this was when he was first discovered. After performing, he made his first mixtape and flew out to New York to meet with Russell Simmons. He signed to Def Jam in 1995 and became only the second R&B artist to sign to this record label.
His first single “This Is How We Do It”, became a number one hit. The single was sampled from “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick, who was also a part of Def Jam. The song became popular worldwide and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It remained on the charts for seven consistent weeks and his first album went platinum and sold over one million copies.
Montell opened for Boyz II Men in 1996 while doing a show in Vancouver. There was an accident, where he fell off the stage and hit his head, but he was okay. His next single was “Somethin’ 4 da Honeyz” and it peaked at number 21 on the charts. Then there came “Let’s Ride” featuring Master P and Silkk the Shocker and another single “I Like”. He also stepped in and co-wrote and produced and sang backup on Shae Jones’s album titled Talk Show, that was released in 1999. He released another single “Get It On Tonite” and that peaked on the charts at number four.
While Montell was working on his own music, he also helped write and produce for other artists such as 98 Degrees, Christina Milian, Deborah Cox’s hit single “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here”, Lil’ Mo’s single “Ta Da” and Sisqo. He also ventured into acting and appeared in The Fighting Temptations as Mr. Johnson, The Nutty Professor, and Standing in the Shadows of Motown, which was a documentary. In 2000, he performed at the Miss Universe 2000 competition. Also, his single “Unstoppable” was featured in NBA Live 2001, the video game.
Montell ended up leaving Def Jam in 2003. He stated that he had issues with the label because of the image they wanted him to take on. He was looked at more of a sex symbol and he wanted to mature artistically. Also, he was married to Kristin Hudson before signing with Def Jam, and he had to often hide the fact that he was in a relationship. They felt that him being married would mess with his image of his music and also being marketed as a “sex symbol.” This was part of the reason why he decided to leave, and sign with Koch Records. That same year he released his first album with his new record label. The album was titled Life After Def.
The last Montell released was an album titled Let It Rain, on Fontana Records label. He made some appearances on different halftime shows for various sporting events in 2015 and 2016, but he only performed his hit single “This Is How We Do It.”
Fastforwarding to 2019, he sang his hit single on the finale of American Idol, and with one of the eliminated contestants rapping part of the song. This led to a memorable moment of the season that no one will ever forget.
Later on in the year he performed again on Tamron Hall’s talk show for her Throwback week series. He revealed on the show that he will be dropping another album titled The Masterpiece on Black Friday.
So this was Montell’s music career as a R&B singer, but let’s touch base on his ministry career. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia and in 2010 he planned on making it way back into the music industry. After attending Victory World Church in Atlanta, he received word from God to quit the music industry. He ended up dedicating his life, again, to Jesus and to listen to God and cancel his plans to get back into music. But, instead of quitting music in general, he decided to create a music ministry at Victory World Church and call it “Victory World Music.”
In early 2011, Victory World Music released a Christian album. The world may have forgotten about Montell Jordan, but his time in the church helped him continue to grow and get his life back on track. Check out this interview about how Montell got back into music.
So the singer, songwriter, producer, and now pastor has partaken on another music journey and now for the church. Sometimes the music industry isn’t the right fit for everyone. So I hope everyone enjoyed the video as we evaluated the career and life of Montell Jordan and where he is now.