Fame. The term itself contains the word ‘me’, and it’s no surprise that many entertainers and musicians become focused on themselves as they pursue the spotlight. But what happens when fame becomes a destructive enemy rather than a desired destiny? That’s the question that Montell Jordan attempts to answer in his latest book, “Becoming Unfamous: The Journey From How We Do It To How He Do It”.
Perhaps Montell Jordan isn’t a household name on the level of a Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston, but his signature hit song is. “This is How We Do It” could be considered the song that best signifies the 90s, and Montell uses the example of the song’s popularity to examine his own rise to fame, and how decisions he made during that time impacted his life. Raw and authentic, Jordan doesn’t hide anything from his readers. He is honest about his struggles with relationships, self-image and ego, and he unearths the reality that while he was at the height of fame, he was sinking into desperate times in his relationships with God, his wife and his friends. Jordan makes it clear that he had to release and reject the person fame made him out to be. Writing about his decision to leave R&B and enter full-time ministry, he asserts, “I had to die; I also had to order the hit.”
Jordan also hits hard regarding the hypocrisy that sometimes infects the faith community when dealing with artists in the entertainment or ‘secular’ arena. “There are a lot of musicians, artists, writers, producers, actors, and entertainers who love the Lord,” Jordan writes, but he admits they often are shamed into hiding their faith by judgmental church members. While acknowledging that he and his wife endured church hurt, he never points a finger of judgment back at the church itself. Now a leader of the worship team at Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia, Jordan clearly has the heart of a pastor, even as he relates his desire to better leverage his influence outside the church walls.
“Becoming Unfamous” is highly recommended for musicians, aspiring artists, and worship leaders who need to know that fame can be a dangerous thing to seek outside of the will of God, and that restoration is possible for the people who have been broken and bruised in the spotlight. Montell Jordan’s story may have started with a hit song, but it has turned into a powerful example of grace and restoration.
You can purchase this book and learn more about Montell Jordan’s music and ministry at his website.