It is difficult to trace the history of popular music through the 80s, 90s and 00s without pausing to marvel at the handiwork of Kipper Jones. Trained at Motown as a session singer as a teenager, he was a musical sponge, learning the art of hitmaking before blossoming into a hitmaker in his own right.
Kipper went on to join the R&B group TEASE (then signed by Epic Records) and worked with a who’s who of stars as a background singer. But it was as a songwriter that he became a musical legend.
From Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down” and “Baby” to Vanessa Williams’ “The Right Stuff,” to Kenny Lattimore’s breakout hit “Never Too Busy,” and so many more, Kipper Jones helped create the soundtrack of an era for sophisticated, melodic R&B.
Even as his legend grew, Jones continued to develop his craft. "We've hit a wall, of sorts, and find ourselves placing style over substance; the desire for reward above the passion for the gift. The trick is to maintain artistic integrity, while maintaining artistic relevance. I am convinced, it can be done!"
In the 2000s, Jones continued to write for other artists, even as he developed his solo recording career and his popular show, Kipper Jones’ R&B Circus, an institution in Atlanta that occasionally travels to other parts of the country. He also spends large amounts of his time on projects to help advance the development of youth in Atlanta.
By Chris Rizik