PJ Morton (born as Paul Morton, Jr.; March 29, 1981) is an American R&B singer, musician, producer and one of the keyboardists in the pop rock band Maroon 5. On March 27, 2012, Morton released his first solo recording, the free EP Following My First Mind, on Lil Wayne's Young Money label. Adam Levine was featured on the lead single, "Heavy"; other musicians on the EP include Lil Wayne, Jazmine Sullivan and Chantae Cann. On May 14, 2013, Morton released his first major-label debut album, New Orleans.
Morton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father is Canadian-born American gospel singer Paul S. Morton. His mother is Debra Brown Morton. His wife is Kortni Morton.
Morton majored in Marketing, at Morehouse College.
In 2010, Morton's friend and Maroon 5's musical director Adam Blackstone asked him to audition for a keyboardist/backing vocalist spot in the band. Morton was the first to audition and left an indelible mark on the group. Since then, he has played with Maroon 5 in concerts and other live performances. From 2012 to 2014 Morton filled-in for the band's keyboardist, Jesse Carmichael, who was taking a temporary break from performing with the band, as stated on their official website in March 2012. In 2012, he joined the band as a permanent member, contributing his vocals and keyboard parts to Maroon 5's fourth studio album, Overexposed, and continuing to do so during the process of recording the band's fifth album, V.
Signing with Young Money and New OrleansEdit
Morton's solo work won the attention of Young Money's President, Mack Maine, who signed him to his production company, Soothe Your Soul and Young Money in 2011. Maine immediately recognized Morton's talent, along with Cash Money Records' co-CEOs Ronald "Slim" Williams and Bryan "Birdman" Williams, and Young Money's head Lil Wayne. On Morton and the Following My First Mind EP, Maine said, "I signed PJ because his music does not just soothe your ears, it soothes your soul. His music truly impacts your emotions and gets into your mind. We have known PJ is a special artist for many years and now with Young Money Entertainment being able to share his music at large, the whole world will get to know." The Following My First Mind EP was released on March 27, 2012.
On May 14, 2013, Morton released his first YMCMB album, entitled New Orleans. The lead single, "Only One" (featuring Stevie Wonder), was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014.
After winning Grammy Awards for his songwriting and production of India.Arie's Interested, Morton won Dove and Stellar Awards in 2008. His collaboration with gospel crooner DeWayne Woods resulted in a huge career high. The testimony Morton articulated in "Let Go, Let God" catapulted up the charts for a record seventy weeks and won numerous awards and accolades, most importantly bringing PJ's early influences full circle.
Morton was also noticed by AR Rahman (composer for Slumdog Millionaire), who asked Morton to contribute "Sajna" to the soundtrack and movie for the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat. Morton has also produced and written for musicians such as Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Jagged Edge, Monica, India.Arie, gospel musicians Fred Hammond, Men of Standard, and Heather Headley. In 2009, he published a book entitled Why Can't I Sing About Love?. In it, he ruminates on the idea that church music and secular music about love can come from the same place if God and love are the same.
As a solo artistEdit
- Studio albums
- Emotions (2005)
- Walk Alone (2010)
- New Orleans (2013)
- Live albums
- Live from LA (2008)
- Following My First Mind (2012)
- "Heavy" (feat. Adam Levine and James Valentine) (2012)
- "Lover" (feat. Lil Wayne) (2012)
- "Only One" (feat. Stevie Wonder) (2013)
With the PJ Morton BandEdit
- Perfect Song (2007)