Montell Jordan, the first ‘Unsung’ artist highlighted on TV One’s docu-series, airs Wednesdays at 8/7c
*TV One premieres a new season of its docu-series “Unsung” starting with the life of singer/songwriter/producer/actor and minister Montell Jordan. His segment aired July 30, 2014, but TV One will air an encore Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 5 p.m. CT. “Unsung” airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c.
“I was a little nervous but in the same breath…they considered me for the show where most are older more seasoned,” said singer/songwriter/producer/actor and minister Montell Jordan about his TV One “Unsung” episode. “It shows I’m still relevant in today’s society. I was killed on Twitter, I was a young minister at the time, and I was reading what people said. They said, ‘Montell Jordan of ‘This is How We Do It’ (fame) died…’ I’m more than that. I want ‘…’ after Montell Jordan.”
His episode will show there is so much more to Montell Jordan, and the others that this season of TV One’s “Unsung” will focus on. Other episodes will highlight the lives of Hi Five (August 6th), The Emotions (August 13th), Martha Wash (August 20th), Troop (August 27th), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (September 3rd), Wilson Pickett (September 10th), The Chi-Lites (September 17th), Peaches & Herb (September 24th), and Rick James (October 1st). Jordan is not only a singer, but a songwriter/producer (SisQo’s “Incomplete,” Deborah Cox’s “Nobody Suppose to Be Here”), an actor (The Nutty Professor, Fighting Temptations), and a minister (Victor World Church). Montell also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.
“(Giving his songs away) It was a huge issue,” Jordan said when asked about others singing his songs, such as Christina Milian, 98 Degrees, Shae Jones and Lil’ Mo. “In the same breath…when nobody gets to see your child…I had notoriety at the time and was able to give them away, give them life. It was a great opportunity. We (Montell and his partner Shep Crawford) had songs I wanted to birth that wouldn’t see the time of day. I was an up-temple artist, and we had songs like ‘Incomplete’ so we gave it to SisQo to give them life.”
Jordan said that the producer of TV One’s “Unsung” had access to his family and children, and he feels the episode will do him justice.
“It was shot with integrity,” Jordan pointed out. “It shows I am two very difference characters. I’m in ministry (now) and live very different. I went through…the journey of the music business to ministry. I traded success for significance. If I never sing another song…I’m relevant in people’s lives, instead of in music.”
Montell Jordan started in the music business at Def Jam Soul in 1995, and he married his wife in 1994 (they have four children). He topped the charts at Def Jam with “This is How We Do It,” “Let’s Ride” featuring Master P and Sillk Shocker, and “When You Get Home.” Montell also signed a deal with Koch Records in 2003 and Fontana Records in 2008. Jordan left secular music in 2010 to minister at his church Victory World Church, and released a Gospel album in 2011.
The TV One “Unsung” docu-series is produced by A. Smith & Company, an award winning television production company founded by Arthur Smith and Kent Weed. Their company has produced programs with budgets totaling one billion dollars. In 2011 they teamed up with Tinopolis Group becoming the leading North American television production force.
Learn more about TV One and its docu-series “Unsung” by logging onto www.TVOne.tv/shows/Unsung.
Famed Gospel choir master Ricky Dillard releases his much anticipated live album with New G, ‘Amazing,’ celebrating 25 years
*“I started with 25 in 1988,” Stellar Award winning choir master Ricky Dillard said about his choir called New G – with currently 35 members. “I knew what kind of singers I wanted to get that sound. I taught them how to project…so you can hear them (audience) say, ‘Wow.’”
Well on his latest live album release titled “Amazing” you will say “wow” yourself. The :Light Records/Entertainment One release offers 13 selections where Ricky Dillard and New G proves why he is a Gospel superstar and New G is a choir to be reckoned with. The album also celebrates 25 years of Ricky Dillard and New G’s contributions to the Gospel music industry. “Amazing” reached #2 on Gospel Radio charts.
“My passion has been always the choir,” Grammy Award nominated Dillard pointed out when I mention his own impressive vocal ability. “My mother sang in a choir and I was there. At the age of five I started to direct a choir. I was director of the children’s choir. I’d wave my hand!”
Ricky said as years past he became more animated in his direction of the choir.
”I kept growing, watching…great directors,” he said. When I asked how he chooses his choir members he said, “When I audition I am not asking (singers) for specific sections, I’m looking for lead singer capabilities. When I hear I know. I can tell from the vocalist’s texture.”
Dillard’s choir directing skills had him directing for Rev. Shirley Caesar, and in major motion pictures like Fighting Temptations in 2003, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit in 1993, and Leap of Faith in 1992. The Chicago native features the vocals of “Sunday Best” winner Le’Andria Johnson on the “Amazing” live project.
My favorite cuts on the album include “Grateful,” featuring the perfect vocals of Bryon Cage; the title track “Amazing,” a marching Praise & Worship song with lead vocals by Dillard and Tiffany Joy McGhee; “Always There,” a passionate Praise & Worship selection with lead vocals of Le’Andria, and “Be Weak” an inspirational “Al Green” flavored song with Ricky carrying lead.
“I recorded it in two nights, Friday and Saturday,” Dillard said about the project. “All my albums are record live. When I teach New G a song I’m ready for them to sing live.”
To learn more about the live, “Amazing,” album release log onto www.RickyDillard.net.
(Syndicated Columnist: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations/Business consult at Freelance Associates, and Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. Her Events: “Uplifting Minds II” free entertainment conference arrives in Hollywood, CA Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the Celebrity Center, and comes back to Baltimore Sat. April 18, 2015 at Security Square Mall. www.UpliftingMinds2.com, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)