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Johntá Austin (/ɒnˈt/ jon-TAY; born June 28, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, vocalist and rapper, signed to Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Recordings. He is known for collaborating with producers Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri and the production duo StarGate. He was awarded two Grammy Awards for his work on the songs "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey and "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige.

Johntá Austin
Birth nameJohntá Austin[1]
Born (1980-06-28) June 28, 1980 (age 39)
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, United States
Years active1995–present
Associated acts

Early life and careerEdit

Austin grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1989, at the age of 8, Austin hosted the daily television show, Kid's Beat on TBS. Covering current events, sports and the entertainment world, Austin went on to become the Atlanta Bureau Chief for the CNN weekly news program, Real News for Kids and the reporter for the TBS half hour weekly, Feed Your Mind. Austin is also related to Dreamville signee J.i.D

Austin grew up singing in church choirs and wanted to become an actor. He interviewed celebrities as Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, among others, and in 1993, he made his television debut on The Arsenio Hall Show, where he admitted he loved singing and was offered to sing with Arsenio Hall's band.[2]



Austin's first professional credit as a songwriter was the single "Can't Be Wasting My Time" for singer Mona Lisa.

Austin was signed in the mid-late 1990s to RCA Records before being dropped in favor of R&B singer Tyrese Gibson. However, he ended up writing a few songs for him (including the hit "Sweet Lady") as well as writing for other artists.

In 1998, Austin co-wrote the single "Miss You" for Aaliyah's self-titled third studio album (2001). Instead, it was later included on the posthumously released compilation album, I Care 4 U (2002). Austin co-wrote "Just Be a Man About it" for The Heat, third studio album for Toni Braxton.


Austin co-wrote Mariah Carey's hit 2005 singles, "We Belong Together", "Don't Forget About Us", "It's Like That", and "Shake It Off" from her album The Emancipation of Mimi. "We Belong Together" stayed at number one for fourteen non-consecutive weeks, becoming the second longest running number one song in US chart history, behind Carey's 1996 collaboration with Boyz II Men on "One Sweet Day". "We Belong Together" won Grammy's for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. The same year Austin also co-wrote Mary J. Blige's single "Be Without You" from her #1 selling CD The Breakthrough and Monica's single "Everytime Tha Beat Drop" from her album The Makings of Me. He is also featured as a guest artist on Jermaine Dupri's 2005 song, "Gotta Getcha" and has co-written a few songs on Chris Brown's self-titled debut album in 2005, and "Can I Call You" from Marques Houston's debut album MH in 2003.

Austin produced and was featured on the songs "Shortie Like Mine" and "Outta My System," both singles by rapper Bow Wow off his album The Price of Fame. Both of the songs were successful, "Shortie Like Mine" reaching #9, and "Outta My System" reaching #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Austin has confirmed on his Twitter that he is working on Love, Sex & Religion again.

Austin also recently worked on albums by Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, and Whitney Houston.[3]

Austin co-wrote "Still" by Tamia, found on her 2004 release, More, "This Song" By LeToya Luckett, found on her 2006 debut, LeToya, He also co-wrote "My Heart" on Jennifer Hudson's s elf-titled debut album Jennifer Hudson (2008).

In 2007, Austin co-wrote Can't Help but Wait by Trey Songz for his second studio album Trey Day. The song was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Austin continuing his work with Trey Songz in 2009 and would go on to Executive Produce and write on his next album Ready.[4] Austin wrote "One Love" with his musical partner Bryan Michael-Cox. Austin also co-wrote "I Need A Girl" which saw radio success reaching #6 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Song chart.[5]


In 2010, Austin co-wrote the song "Foolin Around" with Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael-Cox for Usher's Grammy award-winning album Raymond vs Raymond. Also, he co-wrote the song "Never Let You Go" for Justin Bieber's debut album My World 2.0. He Executive Produced and sung background vocal on Passion, Pain & Pleasure, fourth studio album of Trey Songz.

On June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA at the ASCAP 23rd annual Rhythm & Soul music awards, Austin received the prestigious award of Song of the Decade for "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey, alongside fellow producer Jermaine Dupri and songwriter Manuel Seal. He is currently a recurring character on the Fox show Star (2016) alongside hip hop legend Queen Latifah.[6]

Solo careerEdit

After achieving success writing for other artists, Austin began work on his full-length debut album Ocean Drive on So So Def/Virgin Records. His first single "Lil' More Love" was released on June 7, 2005.[7] It was followed by the release of "Dope Fiend" on November 29 later that year.[8] While the album's first two singles failed to achieve radio/chart success, the label released a third single "Turn It Up" on July 11, 2006[9] along with a Jadakiss-added version in November.

A fourth single, "Video" featuring UGK was released a year later on July 31, 2007.[10] Following the departure of So So Def Recordings from Virgin Records for Island Def Jam in 2007, the album was pushed back from a February 6, 2007 release to a September 4th release.[10] A final single, the ballad "The One That Got Away" was released in 2008, before the album was eventually shelved.[11]

In 2010, Austin released a digital single "Close Your Eyes."[12]

In 2012, Austin announced the upcoming release of the "Love" EP, part 1 of a three-part release with the subsequent "Sex" and "Religion" EPs to follow. "Love" EP was released on December 12 preceded by the buzz single "What a Feeling" featuring Jermaine Dupri.[13]


Studio albumsEdit

  • 2008: Ocean Drive (Shelved)
  • 2019: Love, Sex, & Religion


  • 2012: Love


Year Single Peak charts Album
2005 "Lil' More Love" Ocean Drive
"Dope Fiend"
2006 "Turn It Up" (featuring Jermaine Dupri) 48
2007 "Video" (featuring DJ Unk)
2008 "The One That Got Away" 94
2011 "Close Your Eyes" Love, Sex, & Religion

Featured singlesEdit

Year Single Artist Chart positions Album
2005 "Gotta Getcha" Jermaine Dupri 60 31 15 Young, Fly & Flashy, Vol. 1
2006 "Shortie Like Mine" Bow Wow (also feat. Chris Brown) 9 9 1 The Price of Fame
"Outta My System" Bow Wow (also feat. T-Pain) 22 12 2
2009 "You Can Get It All" Bow Wow 55 30 9 New Jack City II
2010 "Shawty Wus Up" Dondria (also feat. Diamond) 66 Dondria vs. Phatfffat


  1. ^
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Johnta Austin | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  5. ^
  6. ^ MC Archives Archived 2010-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "iTunes - Music - Lil' More Love - Single by Johnta Austin". iTunes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  8. ^ "iTunes - Music - Dope Fiend (Radio Edit) - Single by Johnta Austin". iTunes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  9. ^ "iTunes - Music - Turn It Up - Single by Johnta Austin". iTunes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - Video - Single by Johnta Austin featuring Unk". iTunes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Johnta Austin - Ocean Drive - Music". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  12. ^ "iTunes - Music - Close Your Eyes - Single by Johnta Austin". iTunes. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  13. ^ "New Music: Johnta Austin – "Love" (EP) - - Hot New R&B Music, Videos, News". Retrieved 2 September 2015.

External linksEdit