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James "J.T." Taylor (born August 16, 1953, Laurens, South Carolina) is an American singer and actor best known as the former lead singer of the R&B/funk band, Kool & the Gang. Before his rise to fame, Taylor was a schoolteacher and amateur night club singer having first joined a band at the age of 13. He joined Kool & the Gang in 1978 and became the band's lead singer in 1979.

James "J.T." Taylor
Birth name James Warren Taylor
Also known as JT Taylor
Born (1953-08-16) August 16, 1953 (age 64)
Laurens, South Carolina
Origin South Carolina
Genres R&B, soul, funk, post-disco, electro
Occupation(s) Singer, actor, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, bass synthesizer
Years active 1978–present
Labels MCA Records
Associated acts Kool & the Gang

Earlier Life: JT's vocal talents were discovered at the age of seven while singing in his church choir, rapidly inspiring praise for him throughout his neighborhood. At the age of thirteen, JT formed his first band, gaining tri-state recognition with an appearance at the world famous Apollo Theater. During his time as a high school track star, he advanced in his artistry and newfound capacity for songwriting to the point that he began to receive considerable attention from record companies. Although enthused by their offers, the virtue of knowledge instilled by his treasured mother led him to pursue school as the primary priority. His decisions would lead him to accept a scholarship from Norfolk State University. After two years, JT's heart impelled him to pursue his dream. He began to sing full-time in a variety of bands, which helped him widen his appreciation for Jazz, R&B, Rock, Gospel, Country and Classical music.


Solo careerEdit

In 1988, Taylor amicably left Kool & the Gang to pursue a solo career and has released four solo albums to date. In 1989, he released his first solo album entitled Master of the Game which produced several hits including the album's first single, "All I Want Is Forever", a duet with Regina Belle. Another single, "The Promised Land" was included on 1989's Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack.

In 1991, Taylor released his second solo album, Feel The Need, which garnered the hits, "Long Hot Summer Night" and "Heart To Heart", a duet with Stephanie Mills.

1993 saw the release of the singer's third solo album, Baby I'm Back, followed by his fourth solo album in 2000 entitled A Brand New Me.

Acting careerEdit

During the 1990s, Taylor began his acting career in earnest appearing in the 1992 Hollywood film The Mambo Kings, and the long-running Broadway musical, Raisin.


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions Record label
1989 Master of the Game - 77 MCA
1991 Feel The Need - -
1993 Baby I'm Back - -
2000 A Brand New Me - - Interscope Records
"—" denotes the album failed to chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US R&B HipHop
1989 "All I Want Is Forever" (duet with Regina Belle) 2 Tap OST
"Sister Rosa" 53 Master Of The Game
1990 "Master Of The Game"
"8 Days A Week" (US only) 81
1991 "Long Hot Summer Night" 13 63 Feel The Need
"Heart To Heart" (duet with Stephanie Mills) (US promo) 65
"Feel The Need" (UK only; US promo) 57
1992 "Follow Me" (UK only) 59
1993 "Baby I'm Back" (US promo) 65 Baby I'm Back
1994 "Prove My Love" (US promo)
1999 "Sex On The Beach" (US only) A Brand New Me
2000 "How" (US only) 82
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. ^ "James "J.T." Taylor - US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "James "J.T." Taylor - UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 

External linksEdit