Maroon 5 musician PJ Morton returns to gospel roots after successful mainstream career

PJ Morton
PJ Morton album cover

PJ Morton, Maroon 5's keyboardist and Grammy Award-winning solo artist, has returned to his gospel roots with the release of his first faith-album, Gospel According to PJ

Morton collaborated with an all-star cast of gospel artists for the project, including Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and the Clark Sisters, among many others. The album will be released on Aug. 28.

Morton grew up in the church and was immersed in gospel music as the son of two pastors in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, Bishop Paul S. Morton, was also successful in the entertainment industry as a gospel artist known for the singles, “Let It Rain” and “I’m Still Standing.”

The musician, who was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, distanced himself from his roots and became an R&B artist. 

“Just because I got his name don’t mean that I am him,” Morton raps in the song, “Son of a Preacher Man.” 

People look at me like I’m supposed to be his twin / We’re so different, yet we’re still the same / He taught me how to be a man, for that he’s to blame / For being a man, I learned that I’ve got to stand on my own, not spend my whole life trying to be his clone.

Morton, however, always held his father in high esteem.

In a birthday dedication to his father posted on Instagram in July, Morton described his dad as “the most consistent man I know. He literally did everything possible to try to set me up for success. Whether that was giving me what I needed or withholding what I thought I wanted. That’s what fathers are supposed to do! Even when he didn’t fully understand me, he supported me. I hope I’m half the man you are.”

Morton’s career kicked into high gear in 2010 when he signed on to play keyboards with the iconic pop-rock group Maroon 5, which has since had three platinum-plus-selling albums.

His solo career was simultaneously kicking off and he signed a deal with Young Money Entertainment. Morton won several Grammy Awards, including best traditional R&B performance (2019) for his cover of “How Deep Is Your Love.”

Throughout the years, however, he kept gospel music close to his heart and worked with gospel artists including Fred Hammond and Heather Headley, among others. Now 39 years old, Morton is taking his followers to church with his own full-length album.

His gospel single, “All in His Plan,” featuring Mary Mary and Le’Andria Johnson, is currently a radio hit.

Other highlights on the album include an interlude by his father, “Here He Comes Again” featuring the Clark Sisters, and “Gotta Have You” with Jermaine Dolly, Lenna Byrd Miles and gospel pioneer Kirk Franklin.

“It sounds so crazy now, but Kirk wanted to sign me years ago, but he wanted me to do gospel music,” Morton said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.

“I’m finally doing a gospel album.” 

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