He is the New Orleans born son of a preacher, Bishop Paul S. Morton. PJ Morton is a rising star under the Young Money record label that boasts artists such as Drake and Nicki Minaj. Coincidentally, "New Orleans" happens to be the name of his debut album under the Young Money label.
Morton is no stranger to musical success. He has had three albums prior to signing with Young Money. His trophy case includes a Grammy for a collaboration with India.Arie, as well as Dove and Stellar awards won in 2008. Morton won the Grammy for his work on the song, Interested, while a junior at Morehouse College.
So how might someone who is already successful, top himself? Well, if you are PJ Morton, you might continue to write incredible songs for people like gospel artist DeWayne Woods; or perhaps play keyboards for a band like Maroon 5.
Or you could bring down the house at Double Door Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a performance that mesmerized a crowd, and had them singing the theme song to Cheers as though it were an inspirational hymn calling them all to the alter. Morton did just that on Sunday night, June 9th.
Morton is special. His talent is tremendous. His band is über good. Fans scream his name and call him back for encores, he satiates them with Heavy and Only One.
Critics of his "crossover" from gospel to secular music are the least of his worries. He answered them in a book he penned in 2009, "Why Can't I Sing About Love?". In it, Morton addresses the schism between the church and secular music.
Morton still has a few somebodies to answer to when the lights dim onstage.
Morton has been married for four years to his wife Kortni, and is the father of three, two boys and a girl. He maintains close relationships with friends, family and most importantly God.
So how does a man with so much talent and burgeoning super star fame keep his life in balance and his personal relationships on track?
How does Morton maintain relationships with the important people in his life? Here's what he had to say in an exclusive interview with Examiner.com.
Examiner: I want to know how you keep your relationships with different people strong and enduring as you spend so much time on the road. I will list the people and want you to express how you maintain your bonds with them.
It's all one in the same with that because I am doing both. I call this the year in double duty. I just flew from LA, we had a gig in Vegas and LA last week. I flew from there to Birmingham for my solo gig. It's all on the schedule. I know what we're doing all the way into February of next year.
I'm able to book my solo stuff in between in the breaks, while Adam is doing The Voice and taping live shows. So I'm doing both.
Also in the Fall and in January, my band is opening up and I'm closing with Maroon 5, so I'm able to kill two birds with one stone.
My best friend actually lives here in Charlotte. We're the type of friends, you know my real friends, are friends that I don't have to talk to everyday for us to be close. We pick up wherever we leave off whenever we talk. So, I pick up the phone when I need to talk to my friend.
We're texting. I think this age we're more able to communicate than any other time in the world because we have so many ways. We've got social networks, we've got phones, and we’ve got Skype. We've got all these things. So I'm able to maintain. I can honestly say, I don't have a whole bunch of friends.
My friends are my band mates. Work [and friendship] mesh into each other. My best friends are in my band and in Maroon 5. These are the guys I'm with more than my own family.
My family, my wife and my children are in Los Angeles. My mother and father are between New Orleans and Atlanta, back and forth.
We just make it happen. I think, you don't know what you will do until you are in a situation. I think once you're in a situation, you play with the cards that you're dealt.
I had a show in Atlanta, last night, and my parents came to the show last night. My son and my daughter came because they're in Atlanta for the summer. We just make do.
My parents get to LA when they can. If I'm in a city longer than a day, then I'll go see them. Just make it happen. I don't know how to do it any other way, but the way I do it.
Wife and children
A lot of Skype. I think that is one of the inventions that has helped a bunch because you actually get to see them. But the main thing is, because my father traveled quite a bit, I think I had some knowledge of it before I was a father myself. He always made sure that we felt like he was there.
When I am home, I am very home. I don't do anything else, but be with them. So the time, it's not the amount of time, it is the value of the time when you're with them.
The person he was before the fame
I'm still the same person. I think people don't realize, there's a lot of down time on the road. As much as you're traveling, your job isn't until the nighttime, besides the press and stuff in the day.
There's a lot of downtime for you. I'm working on music when I'm on the road because I have a lot of time. But that's the way I...That's how it has been since I was a kid, since I started. Music was my outlet so it's no different, it just happens to be my job now. They all mesh together.
Music just isn't my job. It's the way I express myself. It's the way I deal with life.
I think it's the same way. I think the misconception is that when you're a gospel artist there's somehow more time to put towards God. It's all a job, we're all working. So you have to maintain that regardless.
Gospel artist doesn't equal good. Secular doesn't equal bad. It's like I've been in both arenas and seen maybe the people act worse in the gospel arena to be honest.
So I maintain it [relationship with God] the same way I always have. That's just in my personal time with God and making sure I keep my relationship up. And pray and study the word when I can.
So no different, I don't think.
Morton is a laid back guy with a genuine disposition. This no doubt has helped him pave his way through the music industry, whether gospel or secular. "New Orleans" has been on sale since May, and Morton continues his promotional tour throughout the summer.
Check back for the video of Morton's exclusive interview with Examiner.