Donell Jones is an accomplished singer and songwriter. He was born on May 22, 1973, in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he knew his love for music very early. With his father being a musician and even playing drums for Hall & Oates, there was no doubt Donell would be able to follow in his footsteps.

His shining moment came when he released his first single, “U Know What’s Up,” in 1999. The hit peaked at number one on the Billboard charts and reached gold status, selling over 1.2 million copies. He has churned out other successful singles like “Where I Wanna Be” and “Where Did She Go” to even more acclaim.

Early Years (1996-2007)

The album was released in June of 1996. Jones dropped his first album, “My Heart, ” released through LaFace Records. Although Jones himself wrote the majority of it, it also received assistance from Eddie Ferrell’s Untouchables Entertainment production team, including Mookie, Marks Sparks, Kenny Tonge, and Darin Whittington. A modest commercial record peaked at thirty on the Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums but did not make it to the top portion of the Billboard 200. The album’s initial two hits, “In the Hood” and an ode to Stevie Wonder’s hit song from 1976, “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” were top thirty singles according to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as well as being on the New Zealand singles chart. The album was released on September 2, 1976.

In 1999, Jones had a major hit when he released his sophomore album “Where I Wanna Be” . It was boosted by the popular song “U Know What’s Up,” which was ranked at the number seven spot at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. “U Know What’s Up” was a huge hit across the globe that climbed into the top ten on music charts across Belgium (Flanders) as well as The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, “U Know What’s Up” came out and peaked at second place in the UK Singles Chart, where it continued for two weeks after “The Masses Against the Classes” by Manic Street Preachers and “Born to Make You Happy” by Britney Spears. 

“Where I Wanna Be” was ranked at the top of The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in the United States. The album released three additional singles that included “Shorty (Got Her Eyes On Me)” and “Where I Wanna Be,” the latter came in at number two on the Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was later designated platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the sales of over 1.0 million copies. In 2000, Jones released the track “I’ll Go” for the romance film Love and Basketball soundtrack, which brought him the Black Reel Award nomination for the Best Original or modified Song. He was also honored with one American Music Award in the Best Soul/R&B New Artist category in the following year.

Jones joined forces with his usual group of collaborators, Eddie F., Sheldon Goode, Jamie Hawkins, G-Wise Kyle West, and Darren Lighty, to create the third studio album “Life Goes On”. It was released in June 2002. it debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, being his highest-charting album yet. A consistent seller, the album was granted gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). However, three singles did not do as well, and the lead track “You Know That I Love You” was one of the top twenty hits in the R&B charts. Jones released his fourth album, Journey of a Gemini was released in 2006 and was his first album that featured an array of collaborators that included producers from Tim & Bob, Sean Garrett, Ryan Leslie, Tank, Mike City, and The Underdogs. The album became Jones the highest-charting album on his Billboard top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, where it was ranked at the top while also making it into the top 20 spots on the Billboard 200 chart. 

2009 – till now

As of 2009, Jones dropped The Lost Files, a collection of songs not released between the years 1996-2004 through his record label Candyman Music Inc and TuneCore. The album was released as a prelude for his forthcoming studio album. The Lost Files failed to chart.[6″ Lyrics,” Jones, his fifth album of regular releases, came out in September of 2010 through Candyman as well as eOne Music. Jones himself produced the album, it was released, and reached the top spot at the number 28 spot on the US Billboard 200 and nine in the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, becoming his fourth appearance in the second chart. Lyrics released two singles, “Love Like This,” which made it to the top five on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs.

Jones her sixth album Forever was released in July 2013. A second project conceived in conjunction with Candyman and eOne Music, debuted at the top of the charts, averaging 20 within the Billboard 200 and reaching number eight on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. The album was the birthplace of two singles. The title track peaked at 14 in Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs. In 2016, Jones premiered the single “Never Let Her Go” in collaboration with the rapper David Banner. In support of the track, the singer promoted the single in the spring of 2017. In 2018 Jones recorded the track, provided vocals, and co-wrote “23” by Jacquees off the album 4275 (2018).

In 2019, Donell Jones collaborated with Jon B. on the duet “Understand”. The singer also revealed plans for an album that will be released in 2019 during the SoulBack Podcast. The album was dubbed 100% Free, was set to release in December of 2020. However, it was ultimately released via digital platforms (and at no cost on the official site of his) on February 14, 2021.

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