In 2002, he came on the music scene with his debut single "It's the Weekend" from his debut album All About J. He later released a follow-up album the next year titled Back 2 J which featured the single "Baby Girl."
During this period, he started his acting career, landing his noteworthy role on the Disney Channel series That's So Raven. He also appeared in the film "Nora's Hair Salon" which starred Jenifer Lewis and Tatyana Ali in 2004. After the release of his studio albums on Hollywood Records, he left and joined 845 Entertainment/SMC Recordings, releasing his third album Back Like I Left Somethin' in 2006.
McDaniel signed with London based record label Transmission Records in 2009 and released his digital single 'London Girl' on May 16, 2010. In 2012, McDaniel starred in In the Hive to much acclaim. The film was shot in only 18 days. In 2013, he joined the cast of VH1's new series Hit the Floor. Jonathan has a daughter name Aiza Jae McDaniel born on August 21, 2013.