|Birth name||Jonathan Kenneth Butler|
|Born||10 October 1961|
Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa
|Genres||Rhythm and blues, jazz fusion, contemporary worship music|
|Labels||Artistry, Mountain, Jive, Rendezvous|
|Associated acts||The Pacific Express, Kirk Whalum, Ruby Turner, Boney James, Dave Koz|
Born and raised in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa, during Apartheid, Butler started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child. Racial segregation and poverty during Apartheid has been the subject of many of his records. His first single was the first by a black artist played by white radio stations in the racially segregated South Africa and earned a Sarie Award, South Africa's equivalent to the Grammy Awards.
He began touring at the age of seven when he joined a travelling stage show, and was later signed up to perform on a string of hit recordings, turning him into a local teen idol. In 1975, his cover of "Please Stay" by The Drifters reached number 2 in South Africa. The same year his cover of "I Love How You Love Me" by The Paris Sisters reached number 4. "I'll Be Home" reached number 16 in 1976.
In 1978, he found the inspiration and encouragement to begin expressing himself as a composer and songwriter when he joined Cape Town's best known jazz/rock outfit, the Pacific Express. Two albums were recorded with the Express personnel, and some Pacific Express songs were later released on the 1988 7th Avenue album. All three releases were issued by Mountain Records.
Butler was signed to CCP Records, a predecessor to Jive Records in 1977. He left the label to join Mountain Records after a few years. The manager of Mountain Records, Paddy Lee-Thorp was also Butler's manager and in the early 1980s they signed Jonathan to Jive Records and he moved to the United Kingdom, where he remained for seventeen years. His international breakthrough came in 1987 with his Grammy-nominated hit single, "Lies" which reached #27 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, and his cover version of the Staple Singers song "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)", which he performed with Ruby Turner. His single "Lies", also reached the UK Official Singles Chart, peaking at number 18, spending 12 weeks, in total, in the Top 100.
In 2001, Butler was featured in a compilation album that was a jazz tribute to Bob Marley produced by Lee Ritenour, A Twist of Marley. Butler's contribution to the album was a jazz cover of No Woman No Cry.
Butler maintained a loyal following in the 1980s and 1990s, in South Africa, the United States and Europe.
In 2006, Butler was a featured vocalist on the album Gospel Goes Classical, produced by University of Alabama at Birmingham music professor Henry Panion. This recording, featuring arrangements by Panion, Tommy Stewart, Michael Loveless, and Ray Reach, rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Gospel chart, and No. 3 on the Classical Crossover chart. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for his single "Going Home".
|1975||I Love How You Love Me||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1985||Introducing Jonathan Butler||101||46||—||—||—||—|
|Put My Love Away||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988||More Than Friends||113||17||—||10||—||29|
|Heal Our Land||—||58||—||2||—||—|
|1994||Head to Head||—||32||—||—||—||—|
|1997||Do You Love Me?||—||57||4||3||—||—|
|1999||Story of Life||—||—||9||6||—||—|
|2004||The Worship Project||—||—||—||—||16||—|
|2006||Gospel Goes Classical (2006) (with Juanita Bynum)||146||—||—||—||2||—|
|2007||Brand New Day||—||—||—||—||6||—|
|2012||Grace and Mercy||—||—||1||1||9||—|
|2013||Merry Christmas to You||—||—||9||2||12||—|
|2014||Living My Dream||—||—||3||1||—||—|
|2018||Close to You||—||—||4||2||—||—|
- Live in South Africa (2007)
- Best of Jonathan Butler (1993)
- Ultimate Butler (2002)
- Christmas Goes Gospel: Tis the Season (2014)
- Divine Voices: Pastors of Praise (2015)
- Dave Grusin Presents West Side Story (1997) (Featured soloist - Maria)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|"I Love How You Love Me"||―||—||―||―|
|"I'll Be Home"||―||—||―||—|
|1984||"I'll Be Waiting for Your Love"||―||―||―||—|
|1986||"Haunted by Your Love"||―||—||―||—|
|"Baby Please Don't Take It (I Need Your Love)"||—||—||25||―|
|"(You're) the Girl of My Dreams"||―||—||―||―|
|"Take Good Care of Me"||―||10||24||89|
|1988||"True Love Never Fails"||―||—||—||―|
|"More than Friends"||―||4||48||―|
|"There's One Born Every Minute (I'm a Sucker for You)"||―||9||―||―|
|1989||"It's So Hard to Let You Go"||―||—||―||―|
|1990||"Heal Our Land"||―||45||―||—|
|"Sing Me Your Love Song"||―||66||―||―|
|"All Grow'd Up"||―||―||―||—|
|1994||"I'm on My Knees"||―||53||―||―|
|1995||"Can We Start All Over Again"||―||61||—||―|
|1998||"Lost to Love"||―||68||―||―|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
- "Jonathan Butler Page". Soulwalking.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- Henderson, Alex. "Biography: Jonathan Butler". AMG. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (B)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "JONATHAN BUTLER - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- "Gospel Goes Classical, Vol. 1 - Juanita Bynum/Jonathon Butler". Archived from the original on 11 November 2010.
- "Jonathan Butler's House (former) in Bell Canyon, CA (Google Maps)". Virtualglobetrotting.com. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - BILLBOARD 200". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - JAZZ ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - TOP GOSPEL ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Jonathan Butler - Gospel Days - Amazon.com Music". Smile.amazon.com. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
- "West Side Story". Grusin.net. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
- "Jonathan Butler Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - HOT R&B/HIP-HOP SONGS". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Chart History: Jonathan Butler - ADULT CONTEMPORARY". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
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