Willie Jones

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American singer, rapper, and songwriter Willie Jones has forged a career successfully bridging the gap between hip-hop and country, with the unlikely bedfellows sharing room alongside a blast of R&B on his 2021 debut album, Right Now.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Jones grew up surrounded by music, absorbing everything from R&B, rap, pop, gospel, and country — before attending a performing arts high school and joining local choirs — but it was a performance in ninth grade that planted the country bug in Jones’ psyche. Studying country music on the side, Jones first got a break when he auditioned for the 2012 season of The X Factor. With friends knowing him as more of a rapper, they were surprised when he delivered a flawless version of Josh Turner’s “Your Man,” while also wowing the judges and crowd. Following his X Factor appearance, Jones performed for the social media influencer tour MAGCON, using the time to focus on his style and eventual sound.
By 2018, he’d inked a deal with Empire-linked The Penthouse to release his single “Runs in Our Blood,” with the mix of country, R&B, and hip-hop signaling the start of Jones’ unique combination of genres. A string of singles followed over the next two years, including “Down for It,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Bachelorettes on Broadway,” and “Back Porch,” before he readied his debut album, Right Now. Released at the beginning of 2021, the record’s distinctive blending of styles was located perfectly between the country-trap of Lil Nas X and the contemporary country of Jimmie Allen. ~ Rich Wilson