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Montell Jordan

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Montell Jordan
Jordan in 1995
Jordan in 1995
Background information
Birth nameMontell Du'Sean Barnett Jordan
Born (1968-12-03) December 3, 1968 (age 55)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationPepperdine University (BS)
SpouseKristin Jordan (m.1994)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • rapper
  • actor
  • minister
Years active1991–present

Montell Du'Sean Barnett Jordan (born December 3, 1968) is an American singer, pastor, songwriter, and record producer. Best known for his 1995 single "This Is How We Do It", Jordan was the primary male solo artist on Def Jam's Def Soul imprint until leaving the label in 2003.

In 2010, Jordan became the worship leader at Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Montell Jordan was born in South Central Los Angeles to Elijah and Deloris Jordan. Born into a Baptist family, Jordan attended his local church frequently as a child, where his mother and father worked as deacons. Growing up, Jordan played piano for his church as a musician. In the mid-1980s, he attended Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, as well as Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where he earned a bachelor's degree in communications.[2] He became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity in the spring of 1989. Jordan graduated in 1991.[citation needed]

After graduating, Jordan started working for Williams Television Time, where he helped make TV infomercials. In an attempt to jump-start his career as a musician, Jordan invited his coworkers to see him perform at a showcase. According to interviews with Jordan, musicians Janet Jackson and Shanice Wilson attended the show. From there he made his first mix-tape and flew out to New York with producer Russell Simmons of Def Jam Records. He signed to Def Jam in 1995, becoming the second R&B artist to sign with the label.

Musical career[edit]

Jordan's first single was the 1995 No. 1 hit "This Is How We Do It," which sampled Slick Rick's earlier Def Jam hit "Children's Story".[2] According to interviews with Jordan, the song is a "reflection of what street life was for a kid who grew up in the neighborhood."[3] The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for seven consecutive weeks. Thanks to the enormous success of the single, Jordan's first album went platinum, selling over a million copies.

In 1996, Jordan opened for Boyz II Men in Vancouver. During the performance a stage flare disoriented him, causing him to fall off the seven-foot stage and hit his head. Despite being taken to the hospital, Jordan sustained no injuries. Jordan would later describe the event as a "modern-day miracle" and that he owed his life to Boyz II Men.[4]

Jordan followed up his success with "Somethin' 4 da Honeyz", which peaked at No. 21. Later hits included "Let's Ride" with Master P and Silkk the Shocker and "I Like". He co-wrote, produced and sang back-up on Shae Jones's 1999 album Talk Show. The Jordan single "Get It On Tonite" peaked at No. 4 in the same year.

In addition to crafting his own material, Jordan has written and produced for other artists, including Christina Milian, 98 Degrees, Shae Jones, Deborah Cox ("Nobody's Supposed to Be Here", 1998), Lil' Mo ("Ta Da", 2000), and Sisqó (the number-one hit "Incomplete", 2000). The singer had a comedic supporting role in the film The Fighting Temptations as Mr. Johnson, an aggressive convict who is self-conscious about his high-pitched voice. He made a cameo appearance in The Nutty Professor, and he performed in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown. In 2000, his song "Unstoppable" was featured exclusively in the video game NBA Live 2001. He performed the song "Careless Whisper" together with musician Dave Koz during the evening gown competition in Miss Universe 2000, in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Jordan at the Tom Joyner studios in 2008

In 2003 Jordan left Def Soul, citing artistic differences as the reason for the departure. In recent interviews, Jordan recalls issues he had with his image under Def Soul. In particular, Jordan wished to leave his image as a sex symbol behind and mature artistically. Jordan was marketed as a sex icon since his start at Def Soul, despite having been married to Kristin Hudson before even signing. Whenever he was asked about his relationship status, Jordan would simply respond that he was "married to [his] music."[5] Realizing Def Soul was committed to maintaining Jordan's current image as their prominent R&B artist, Jordan left the label to sign with Koch Records. That same year Jordan released the album Life After Def under Koch. He contributed to the album of Croatian singer Nina Badrić in the duet "Ne dam te nikom" ("I'm Not Giving You to Anyone"). Jordan's last release was 2008's Let It Rain on the Fontana Records label.

Through 2015 and 2016, Jordan appeared at the halftime shows of various sporting games, as well as on The Late Late Show with James Corden, performing "This Is How We Do It".[6][7][8]

In 2019, during an appearance on the SoulBack R&B Podcast, Jordan confirmed that he has recorded his first R&B album in over a decade and plans to release it this year.[9]

On May 19, 2019, Jordan sang "This Is How We Do It" on the finale of American Idol, with a minor portion rapped by eliminated contestant Margie Mays, due to a performance of the song by Jake Puliti from earlier in the season in the audition round, which led to one of the memorable moments of the season with Katy Perry doing the worm.[10][11][12]

On November 19, 2019, Jordan was a guest on Tamron Hall's talk show for her Throwback week series in which he performed "This Is How We Do It". During the show, he talked about his upcoming album, The Masterpiece, which would be released on November 29.

In 2022, Jordan competed in season eight of The Masked Singer as "Panther". When Jordan was eliminated on "Vegas Night" alongside Jeff Dunham as "Pi-Rat", Nick Cannon stated to the panel that this is the one time that they didn't guess Montell Jordan like they did for the other contestants. In addition, Jordan also sang this show's rendition of "This Is How We Do It".

Ministry career[edit]

Jordan is now a born-again Christian and can be seen at Victory World Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives and worships with the church team called Victory World Music. In 2010 Jordan planned to make a comeback album as his foray back into the music industry. However, during a fast at the Victory World Church, Jordan said he was told by God to quit the music industry. He decided to cancel his plans and dedicate his life to his faith.[13]

Jordan created a music collective at the Victory World Church called "Victory World Music." In early 2011, they released a Christian album featuring the song "Shake Heaven", with Beckah Shae.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Jordan married his wife, Kristin, in 1994. They have four children. Montell and Kristin co-authored their first book in 2017: This Is How We Do It! Making Your Marriage A Masterpeace.[15]

In 2023, Jordan appeared on the reality TV series Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test. He was eliminated in the second episode due to a medical issue.[16]


Studio albums



  1. ^ "Montell Jordan Leaving Entertainment Behind For Good?! Taking on the Ministry!". UrbLife.com. December 1, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 210. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  3. ^ Nibokun, Imade (May 22, 2013). "Montell Jordan Is Now a Megachurch Pastor". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Meeting God: Exclusive Interview with Montell Jordan". Religio Magazine | Faith and Religion. February 24, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  5. ^ "Pastor Montell Jordan: 'This Is How God Does It'". BlackDoctor. December 4, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Sixers Halftime Concert Series Tips Off This Thursday". nba.com. January 11, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Malec, Brett (January 29, 2015). "Watch Montell Jordan Sing His Hit This Is How We Do It for a Surprised Crowd of Super Bowl Fans". E! News. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  8. ^ Kaulman, Gil (August 23, 2016). "Watch James Corden Get a Birthday Surprise from Montell Jordan". Billboard.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  9. ^ "Montell Jordan Has Recorded an R&B Album To Release This Year After a Decade Away from the Music Industry (Exclusive)". Youknowigotsoul.com. March 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Montell Jordan & Margie Mays Sings "This Is How We Do It" - American Idol 2019 Finale". YouTube.
  11. ^ Dixon, Marcus James (May 20, 2019). "Yes, Katy Perry really did the worm: Re-watch the 'most meme-able moment' from 'American Idol' Season 17". Goldderby.com.
  12. ^ "YouTube". YouTube.
  13. ^ Cooper, Andrew (April 15, 2017). "Montell Jordan: Music, Fame, and Faith". Montelljordan.weebly.com. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "iTunes – Music – Shake Heaven (feat. Montell Jordan & Beckah Shae) – Single by Victory World Music". Itunes.apple.com. June 7, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  15. ^ "Our Story – Montell & Kristin Jordan".
  16. ^ Sinnott, Henry (January 5, 2023). "Dr. Drew Pinsky Medically Removed From New Reality Show". Heavy.com. Retrieved January 7, 2023.

External links[edit]