The son of a gospel vocalist, CJ Hilton (born Charles Hilton Jr.) has been singing and playing instruments since he was a child growing up in Baltimore. His talent, oft-described as prodigious, earned him a meeting with future mentor Raphael Saddiq. They went on to collaborate on the 2009 Grammy-nominated single “Never Give You Up” (which included a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder). In 2010, the J Records artist released The Package Mixtape, a sampler of unreleased material hosted by friend Idris Elba under his alias DJ Driis. Hilton’s debut album is expected soon.