American RNB artiste Donell Jones will be performing in Nairobi’s National Park for the Tusker Lite Experience concert this Friday.
Born May 22, 1973 in Chicago, IL, Donell started singing at the age of 8, wrote his first song at the age of 12 and at the age of 14 he received an electric guitar as a gift from his mother. With his roots in music firmly planted, Jones overcame the southside streets of Chicago’s gang life to pursue his dream.
While at a music conference in Washington, DC in 1993, Donell caught the attention of music producer Eddie F. At the time Jones was a member of a group. The group had high aspirations for their talent showcase at the conference, however, no one showed up.
Determined to get noticed, Jones and the group started singing for anyone who listened. Eddie F saw great potential in the group that day. Shortly after that meeting the group was signed to Untouchables/LaFace and recorded a single but their dream was never realized because the group disbanded.
Not willing to give up on the music business, Donell proved his skills as a writer and producer. Donell wrote one of Usher’s first top ten hits, “Think of You.” He wrote and produced for several other artists including 702, Silk, Brownstone, Madonna. In 1996, with LaFace’s long awaited approval, Jones released his debut album, My Heart. It included a cover of Stevie Wonders’ song; “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” that quickly gained Jones a loyal following.
But it wasn’t until his second album “Where I Wanna Be,” released in 1999 and certified platinum, that Donell was recognized as a true force in R&B. With a number one hit that featured TLC's Lisa "Left-Eye” Lopes, “U Know What’s Up” others began to see what LaFace Records already knew.
His third album, “Life Goes On,” was released in 2002 and peaked at number 2 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
After a 4 year hiatus, in 2006 Jones released his fourth album “Journey of a Gemini,” which debuted at number 1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart, his first album to achieve that feat.
Jones released his fifth studio album, Lyrics, on Sept 28, 2010 on his own label, Candyman Records. Jones is also working with new artists Trina B and Breese, plans to release their debut albums are forthcoming.