R. J. Helton

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R.J. Helton
Birth name Rolando Alberto de Jesus Rivas, Jr.
Also known as Richard Jason Helton
Born (1981-05-17) May 17, 1981 (age 36)
Pasadena, Texas
Origin Cumming, Georgia
Genres Christian pop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments vocals, singer-songwriter
Years active 2002–present
Labels GospoCentric

Richard Jason "R.J." Helton (born May 17, 1981; as Rolando Alberto de Jesus Rivas, Jr.) is an American Christian musician, who sings Christian pop music. He has released a studio album, Real Life, with GospoCentric Records. This album was his breakthrough release upon the Billboard magazine charts.

Early life and background[edit]

Helton was born in Pasadena, Texas, on May 17, 1981, as Rolando Alberto de Jesus Rivas, Jr., to a Nicaraguan father, while he was adopted shortly after his birth by a couple from Cumming, Georgia, naming him Richard Jason Helton, where he was raised until moving while in high school. He graduated from Tuscola High School, in Waynesville, North Carolina, where he was in the choir. Helton stated singing in his church, when he was young.[1][2]

Music career[edit]

His music career began with his fifth-place finish on season one of American Idol.[1][2] This exposure got him a record deal with GospoCentric Records, where they released, Real Life, on March 23, 2004.[3][4][5][6] This album was his breakthrough release upon the Billboard magazine charts, while it placed on the Christian Albums and Heatseekers Albums charts, where it peaked at Nos. 14 and 19, correspondingly.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He said on a radio show that he was gay, in 2006.[8][9]


List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions[7]
Real Life 14 19


  1. ^ a b Carpenter, Bil (2005). "Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopdia": 188. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Mineo, Robert (March 1, 2004). "American Dreams" (PDF). CCM Magazine. 26 (9): 42–3. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ely, Gordon (April 3, 2004). Paoletta, Michael, ed. "Album Reviews: Gospel; R.J. Helton - Real Life" (Print). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 116 (14): 47. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ Jenison, David (June 1, 2002). "R.J. Helton: Real Life" (PDF). CCM Magazine. 26 (10): 50. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ Breimeier, Russ (March 23, 2004). "Real Life". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Hames, Daniel (September 1, 2004). "Review: Real Life - RJ Helton". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Billboard. "Real Life - RJ Helton : Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (October 20, 2006). "Former Idol Finalist Helton Says He's Gay". People. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ Staff (April 14, 2010). "Former R.J. Helton's Emotional "Coming-Out" Performance". The Advocate. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]