James "J.T." Taylor

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James "J.T." Taylor
Birth nameJames Warren Taylor
Also known asJT Taylor
Born (1953-08-16) August 16, 1953 (age 67)
Laurens, South Carolina, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul, funk, post-disco, electro
Occupation(s)Singer, actor, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, bass synthesizer
Years active1978–present
LabelsMCA Records
Associated actsKool & the Gang

James "J.T." Taylor (born August 16, 1953, Laurens, South Carolina) is an American singer and actor best known as the former lead singer of the R&B/funk band, Kool & the Gang. Before his rise to fame, Taylor was a teacher and amateur night club singer having first joined a band at the age of 13. He joined Kool & the Gang in 1978 and became the band's lead singer in 1979.

Solo career[edit]

Taylor joined the band in 1978 and eventually became the lead singer in 1979. Before that, Taylor was working as a nightclub singer in New Jersey clubs for $40 a night. Though born in South Carolina, Taylor grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey. He was the first and only singer they auditioned for lead singer.

In 1988, Taylor amicably left Kool & the Gang to pursue a solo career and has released four solo albums to date. In 1989, he released his first solo album titled Master of the Game, which produced several hits, including the album's first single "All I Want Is Forever", a duet with Regina Belle. The single "The Promised Land" was included on the soundtrack of Ghostbusters II.

In 1991, Taylor released his second solo album, Feel the Need, which garnered the hits "Long Hot Summer Night" and "Heart to Heart", a duet with Stephanie Mills.

1993 saw the release of the singer's third solo album, Baby I'm Back, followed by his fourth solo album in 2000 titled A Brand New Me.

In 1996, he briefly reunited with Kool & the Gang, releasing the 1996 album State of Affairs. Although the album was well received by critics, it was not commercially successful compared to Kool & the Gang's releases from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Acting career[edit]

During the 1990s, Taylor began his acting career in earnest appearing in the 1992 Hollywood film The Mambo Kings, and the long-running Broadway musical Raisin.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Record label
1989 Master of the Game 77 MCA
1991 Feel the Need
1993 Baby I'm Back
2000 A Brand New Me Interscope Records
"—" denotes the album failed to chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US R&B HipHop
1989 "All I Want Is Forever" (duet with Regina Belle) 2 Tap OST
"Sister Rosa" 53 Master of the Game
1990 "Master of the Game"
"8 Days a Week" (US only) 81
1991 "Long Hot Summer Night" 13 63 Feel the Need
"Heart to Heart" (duet with Stephanie Mills) (US promo) 65
"Feel the Need" (UK only; US promo) 57
1992 "Follow Me" (UK only) 59
1993 "Baby I'm Back" (US promo) 65 Baby I'm Back
1994 "Prove My Love" (US promo)
1999 "Sex on the Beach" (US only) A Brand New Me
2000 "How" (US only) 82
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. ^ "James "J.T." Taylor – US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "James "J.T." Taylor – UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 12, 2014.

External links[edit]