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2 Jan 2008

Unforgettable People (I): Mortonette Jenkins

Remember the three wonderful ladies backing Elton on vocals in the World Tour 1989-90? One of them was Mortonette Jenkins. Mortonette did several world tours with Elton John (1989-1993) and arranged vocals on several songs, including "A Woman's Needs". She has been a backup singer for 30 years, singing with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Barbara Mandrell, Tammy Wynette, Lionel Ritchie, Bruce Hornsby, Don Henley, Michael MacDonald, Clint Black, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Burt Bacharach, Frank Sinatra, Aaron Neville, Marvin Hamlish, and Johnny Mathis, to name a few.

Mortonette was a healthy, highly intelligent, active and strong willed child from toddler into young adulthood. Because of her intense interest and talent in music, she began piano and violin lessons while attending Grape Street Elementary. A Mortonette Auntie's influential friend, well connected in the music business, heard Mortonette sing, was impressed with her voice, and arranged for auditions with Capitol Records. Capital Records signed Mortonette for recordings under the name Jodi Mathis. Mortonette sang background for Barbara Streisand on two of her live concerts, signed on concert tours with Paul Anka for eleven years and toured with Linda Ronstadt. In 1998, Linda Hopkins, the legendary Tony Awards winner, selected Mortonette to join her and Maxine Weldon on the "Wild Women Blues" concert tour in Europe. Mortonette’s musical career also includes a multitude of event performances in churches and in community and social gatherings.

Mortonette recently released her new project, Moods of Life. This album is a mix of standards performed with Mortonette's trademark soul stirring style...a mix of spirit, jazz, and blues, with her powerful mezzo-soprano voice. Recorded at InnerSound Studios, this album project was produced and arranged by genius composer, producer and musician, John Barnes. Price: $15.00. (sources from Mortonette's official website)

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