Jesse Johnson

Funk guitarist and R&B songwriter Jesse Johnson was an original member of The Time, often working alongside the group's mentor, Prince, to co-write hit singles like "The Bird" and "Jungle Love." Born on June 1, 1960, in Rock Island, IL, he relocated to Minneapolis in 1981 and joined the Time that same year. After appearing in 1984's blockbuster film Purple Rain, Johnson left the Time's lineup and launched a solo career, releasing the debut album Jesse Johnson's Revue one year later. The album's three singles — "Be Your Man," "Can You Help Me," and "I Want My Girl" — all became Top 10 hits on Billboard's Hot R&B chart. His follow-up release, 1986's Shockadelica, fared even better, with the lead single "Crazay" climbing to Number 2. Although 1988's Every Shade of Love failed to match its predecessors' success, Johnson began rebranding himself as a producer, working with up-and-coming superstars like Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul during the final stretch of the '80s before joining the reunited Time in 1990.

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