Montell Jordan will be joining American Idol contestants, Margie May and Austin Michael, for what’s sure to be an epic performance during the season 17 finale on May 19. Despite not making it to the live shows of Idol, Margie and Austin were fan-favorites early on in the competition, so it only makes sense for them to return for the finale! The group will be singing Montell’s most well-known hit, “This Is How We Do It,” and it’s definitely going to bring a lot of fun to the big night! Here’s more to know about Montell:
1. How did he get started in the music industry? Montell received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Pepperdine University, and began making TV infomercials for Williams Television Time after graduation. In his spare time, he began performing showcases to help kick off his music career. After being recognized by Russell Simmons from Def Jam Records, he was flown out to New York to record a mixtape, and was signed to DefJam in 1995. “This Is How We Do It” came out that year.
2. He’s done a lot of work as a songwriter. While Montell has a number of songs of his own, he’s also written and produced tracks for plenty of well-known artists, like Christina Milian, 98 Degrees, Sisqo, and Deborah Cox, among others.
3. Why did he leave Def Jam? Montell left Def Jam in 2003. At the time, he said the reason was for artistic differences, but he later elaborated and explained that he wasn’t happy with his image as a ‘sex symbol’ under the label. His last album was released in 2008, under a different label. However, he recently revealed that he’s recorded a new R&B album and plans to release it in 2019.
4. He now works as a minister. Now that he’s a born-again Christian, Montell worships at the Victory World Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He created a music collective called “Victory World Music” within the church.
5. He’s married. Montell has been married to his wife, Kristin Hudson, since 1994. At the height of his career, Montell was advised that people would be less interested in his music if they knew he was married, so he simply referred to Kristin as his “manager” publicly. When asked about his love life, he would also cryptically tell people, “I’m married to my music.” In 2017, Montell opened up about cheating on his wife during this time, and explained that his decision to quit the music industry was to save his relationship. Montell and Kristin overcame the difficult path, and are still together to this day.