Jon B: Celebrating America’s First White Boy Of Soul

Published on January 19th, 2017

Jon B: Celebrating America’s First White Boy Of Soul

By: William Clark


It’s been over twenty years now since R&B/soul sensation Jon B first appeared on the music scene. With the release of his first album, Bonafide in 1995, this lily white rich kid from the suburbs of Rhode Island had every black girl in America begging to have his baby.

Jon B was the voice of seduction in the mid 1990’s. Had your girl over and wanted to get into them panties. Throw on some Jon B.

But his smooth, silky vocals also made him one of the biggest mysteries of 1996. Was he white? Was he just light skinned? What the hell was he? He was the Teena Marie of the ’90’s. Although, we couldn’t figure him out right away, that didn’t stop armies of black women from throwing their panties on the stage at his concerts.

Later, when we saw him attempting to dance Puffy-style in the music video for “Don’t Talk,”

many of us had that “ah hah” moment. Yeah, this guy was definitely white. But, white in a black way. Like a blacker shade of white. Which means he was way blacker than Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey.

Hard to believe the offspring of such uppity, blue blood parents – his father’s an orchestra conductor and his mother’s a concert pianist – would pop out the womb with a voice that sounded like it was straight out of Compton.

Despite his color – or maybe as a result of it – Jon B has demonstrated true staying power in a business where one-hit-wonders are legion. He was a producer and songwriter for such legends as Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, and Jay-Z. And he would be the last artist to work with Tupac before he was shot dead in Las Vegas.

While he’s enjoyed runaway musical success and continued popularity with ladies of the darker persuasion, Jon B says he remains humbled by the blessings he’s enjoyed. As he recently posted on his Instagram page “So incredibly humbled by this whole experience.”




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