Montell Jordan was born on Dec. 3, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. A natural singer, he always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in music. As a youth, Jordan was a member of his church choir and captivated the stage at local talent shows. When he got his big break in 1995, his debut album and hit single “This Is How We Do It” topped the R&B charts and became a must have on DJ party playlists across the globe.
Although Jordan had wanted to be in the music industry since childhood, he decided to go to college before pursuing his career. While studying communications at Pepperdine University, Jordan sang at nightclubs and was hunted for a record deal. He graduated in 1991 then met Paul Stewart, the president of PMP Records, who later introduced him to Russell Simmons.
Simmons signed him to Def Jam, making Jordan the second R&B artist to sign with the label. “This Is How We Do It” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and sold more than 1 million copies. As a result, the accompanying album went Platinum.
Jordan followed up This Is How We Do It with 1996's More..., but the album failed to find the same success. In 1998 he released Let's Ride, followed by Get It On...Tonite in 1999, both of which featured hit singles.
Jordan left the music business in 2010. The born-again Christian became a worship minister at the Victory World Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year he released a Christian album featuring the single “Shake Heaven."
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(Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage)