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Grammy winner tells DU: ‘I’m family now’

Victoria Hardy/Courtbouillon

PJ Morton in DU Humanities office

NEW ORLEANS (April 30, 2021) – Three-time Grammy winner PJ Morton says he’s now DU family as he plans the next steps in his year-long residency at Dillard.

“I’m family; once I connect, I’m family forever,” Morton said in a recent interview.

With the winner of the DU/Morton Records Inaugural Talent Showcase selected April 17, the next steps will include producing a single released by Morton Records for senior Sharandall Lewis and preparing for the master class, through which Morton will introduce Dillard students to experts in the music industry. He has also selected three students for internships.

He’ll wrap these additional Dillard-related activities to his already full plate of creating solo music, running a music studio and performing with Maroon 5. Morton won this third Grammy this spring for his “Gospel According to PJ” album. And Maroon 5, which is touring, is about to release a new album, “Jordi,” as a tribute to the band’s late manager Jordan Feinstein, who died of a pulmonary embolism at 40 in 2017. The album, which will feature the Megan Thee Stallion collaboration “Beautiful Mistakes,” is set to drop June 11.

Lewis won the second round of the showcase April 17 when she bested 10 other contestants. A group of 28 students started out in the first round on April 3, which livestreamed on Morton’s YouTube channel and got nearly 5,000 views.

Morton, a New Orleans native and graduate of Morehouse College, said Humanities Chairman Cortheal Clark was instrumental in the residency coming about. Morton said he saw a need at Dillard and wanted to be around his people.

“I believe graduates going back and helping HBCUs is a part of what keeps them alive,” he said. “I would love to see ‘DU’s Got Talent’ to continue to grow and become something amazing,” he added.

Morton said his master class will include experts discussing publishing, engineering, law, and songwriting.

“Students should look at it as an impactful conference,” said Morton.

​(Victoria Hardy contributed to this report.)

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Grammy winner tells DU: ‘I’m family now’