When Montell Jordan released his debut single “This Is How We Do It” in 1995, it dominated Billboard’s No. 1 slot for several weeks and became one of the biggest party anthems that year.
This followed with Jordan’s debut album on Def Jam Records, also titled This Is How We Do It, which sold more than one million records, earning him a Platinum plaque.
Jordan managed to enjoy more success with subsequent releases, acquiring a couple Gold plaques, and also producing and writing songs for other artists, such as 98 Degrees, Deborah Cox, Sisqó, and Christina Milian. And he even appeared in a couple films, including The Fighting Temptations and The Nutty Professor.
But with success came an open invitation to immorality. And this eventually impacted not only Jordan’s life, but also his marriage and career. In the end, he gave up fame and guilty pleasures to rededicate his life to Jesus Christ.
His prosperous career, the heartache he and his wife, Kristin, experienced as a result of it, and his renewed lifestyle was recently profiled during an episode of TV One’s award-winning docu-series Unsung. An encore of Jordan’s Unsung episode, which is the season premiere for the series, will air Sunday, August 3rd at 5 p.m. CT. Subsequent episodes of Unsung will air every Wednesday night at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT on TV One.
Jordan took time out to talk about appearing on Unsung, transitioning from music to ministry, still being passionate about creating music, and the importance of pursuing your calling in life and not what necessarily makes you rich.
What motivated you to agree to share your story on Unsung?
I went into ministry over four years ago after a nearly 20-year career in the music business. From a distance, many fans don’t know some of the behind the scenes tests I have endured that have become my testimony. Agreeing to be the subject of the season premiere of Unsung gives the world outside of ministry a glimpse at what I do now and why.
What was the experience like filming for the episode? And were you worried that in addition to the enjoyable moments of your career being broadcasted, the struggles that came along with it would be exposed and televised?
I believe the producer of this episode, Sade Oyinade, covered my family with integrity and showed glimpses of my life in a way that may inspire others. Before Unsung, my life was already available for review via social media through music videos, performances, and photos. This show basically compiles much of the information already available and places it into story format. My test becomes my testimony and hopefully assists others to allow my pain to become their promise.
What has the transition been like to go from being a notable entertainer to a minister? And what motivated that transition?
The journey from entertainer to minister has been an exchange of success for significance. I would have to ask the Lord to take away my “taste” for possessions, fame and things that vied for my attention and affections. The transition was motivated from an entire lifetime of not being fulfilled with worldly accolades, yet finding comfort and peace in participating in life transformation.
Do you still have a passion and interest in creating music?
I still create music. I write songs for artists as well as release Christian worship projects. Shake Heaven was released in 2011 and was nominated for a Dove Award. Our 2nd release is titled Covered and will be released on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. There will be future projects and a book as well.
Ultimately, what do you hope viewers take away from the episode and how it profiles your career and life?
There is hope in Christ. I lived and functioned in what I was gifted to do, but not what I was called to do. Now that I answered the call for my life, God blesses me to also do what I’m gifted to do as well. Many others watching are also living lives in what they are gifted at, but not necessarily what they are called to do. That’s where we don’t find fulfillment. My hope is that in revealing my story those watching will see the courage needed to take steps in their own life to find the peace that can only be found through faith. This will allow them to walk in what they are called to do.