Whatever Happened to: Jesse Powell

I get compared to a lot of people – and I agree with NONE of the comparisons.

For the record, I do not look like:

– Kirk Franklin (I’m not that scrawny, am I?)
– Nas (I’m flattered to be compared to one of the greats, but his face is too chubby)
– and especially Chris Rock and his 23,408 teeth.

And I don’t think I look like Jesse Powell, either.


Come on, y’all remember Jesse, R&B heartthrob from the mid 90s. Sort of like Tevin Campbell, but not as creepy.

*He even had a couple of sisters who sang. You get extra credit if you can recall them.

His self-titled debut was released back in 1996. The most notable song from that album was that joint “Gloria,” which honestly, I had totally forgotten about until recently.

He really made a name for himself with his second album, ‘Bout It. That’s when he released “You”, which had the ladies swoonin’. All the dudes were singing that at talent shows across the country. Even a hater like myself recognized that it was a hit. What’s funny is that the wife pointed out that “You” was also on Jesse’s ill-fated debut. Since she was the only person on Earth who bought his first album, no one noticed.

I actually liked the title track “Bout It, Bout It” more than “You.” Remember when it was cool to say “bout it?” Ugh.

Jesse’s third album, creatively titled JP, featured “Something In the Past.” For some reason, no one remembers that song, even though they played it on BET’s Midnight Love every single night in late 2001. Poor Midnight Love – things got so bad near the end of their run that they were reduced to playing Kanye’s videos. Seriously, they were playing 50 Cent regularly since no one was releasing R&B any more. 21 Questions was a long way from watching a nude D’Angelo wailing at the top of his lungs.


And finally, Jesse, marketing genius, released Jesse in ’03. At least that’s what Wikipedia says – I have no memory of that album. I’m sure you don’t either.

Should he come back? Eh, I don’t think the world is missing him. I’m not sure he even wants to come back – it takes hours to keep that S-curl nicely moistened, you know.

The dude was talented though, and we certainly need more people talent. I bet I know what his comeback album would be named – My Name Is Jesse Powell

*Those Powell sisters were named Trina & Tamara. They had a silly little club song in ’99 called “What’d Come Here For?” You get the gold star if you remembered that.



  1. Jesse Powell was NEVER a heartthrob in my opinion. He seemed to be too wimpy to me like Tevin Campbell. One of those men i would have to slap from time to time for whining too much.

    • BS! If you were from the ‘Gloria” period, you would get it! Jesse Powell was fantastic!

      • Amen! I could listen to him all day. Half of the crap they play now is auto tune, he was a real singer. Just like after 7. We want our grown folks music back!

        • Wynette Alberty-Murrow February 4, 2017 at 2:57 pm

          Amen Alexia!
          Will the real singers…soul singers stand up.

        • Yessssssss

          • .Jesse Powell, SOUL SOULFUL!!! 💕A Authentic Genuine Talent! 💕GOOD LOVE Come In All Sizes And Packages And So Do Good Music Especially Love Songs! 😎BIG UP To MUSICAL TALENT JESSE POWEL!!! 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽 GOOD LOOKING! CHARMING! THE BROTHER CAN SING AND DANCE!!! 💕 I SUPPORT HIS COMEBACK IF HE SO CHOOSES!!! 💕 IM A JESSE POWELL FAN ALL THE WAY BABY!!! 💕🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 I PRAY ALL IS WELL WITH HIM AND FAMILY!!! 😎 We Love You Jesse! ❤️ BLESSINGS 🙏🏾😎

        • Amen! He is one of my favorite singers! His voice is clear, flawless. I miss him.

        • Say That! The 90′ s was the last era with the greatest hits. There may be a few good artist now,but nothing compares to the 90′ s. There are no more groups, only single artist. Really no more greats!

        • Yes. I was at a concert with him and Chante Moore at Constitution Hall. He did the cover to Lady in my Life… Amazing!!! I’ve known him for years and I keep asking him to remake that song.

          • Well Please Let Him Know That A Fan Of His By The Name Of “Candis Denise” Really Miss Hearing Him…And Pray That He Will Come Out With New Music Soon!!😘

          • Yes if you are a friend of his tell him his voice is missed so much. Tell him he doesn’t even have to go to the studio now, he can sing to us from his house b/c of Covid. Tell him we are going stir crazy during Quarantine and he can bless us with that voice.

        • So true very good singer him and Tevin Campbell some of this garbage they listen to today is just that garbage we need our R&B back

        • If you like what you see song was ❤️

      • I still listen to Jesse Powell to this day! I wish he’d come out with something new.

      • Yeah let’s keep it💯 the man was amazing his music is well missed . and if you didn’t like jessie powell then you don’t know how to appreciate good music when you hear it.

        • Yeah let’s keep it💯 jessie powell put some amazing cd’s out and l love his looks,style, and voice. The man’s bad . Jessie get back in the studio and do what god blessed you to do.

    • Jesse Powell is one of the most talented singer I have ever heard and he was fine I am one of his biggest fans the man can sing the range in his voice is wow I wish he would come back show some of new r&b singers how its done

    • JP has a voice that until you hear hear it in concert, wont realize how genuine it really is. I’ve heard him several times since we’re from the same city. I hope wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, he still sings while he does it!!

    • Merch!…😮😱Dont be talkin about Tevin Campbell!😤😤

    • I don’t care what anyone says he could sing and I love looking at him face teeth mouth on point love watching him singing you!mmmm yes he should come back with something hot because let’s face it he can sing!

    • I loved jesse powell even saw him perform twice
      This guy is,” something in the past” 😄
      That needs to cone back
      Hes an awesome singer and performer
      I remember his sisters tina and trina too
      Whete ever you are Jesse Powel please come. Back and grace us with you lyrics
      Im looking for
      Youuuuuuuuu you you you 😆

    • Beverly S. Vance July 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      I’ve always loved Jesse Powell!!! His voice is gorgeous! Those who are musically inclined knows that man has vocals, up, down, and across the boards. There’s more to music than Rap & Hip Hop. Michael J., the Stylistics, Prince and many others have a wide range of vocals and high octave voices. Are they called women??? Also, I’ve never known anyone who likes every single song on a CD. I will always listen to Jesse, and if he popped up today I’d would be on him, and his music. Jesse, I’m still a big fan where ever you are!!!!

      • Thank you for standing up for Jessee. I actually knew him and he and his sisters could sing beautifully, in elementary school. In my younger years, his family lived across the street from my cousins. Like most kids in the 80’s we played all day. Then we ended up attending the same high school but I didn’t make the connection. Yet, Jessee would sing everyday!!!! We had an area outside our gym where everyone hung out and that boy could sing. His voice is even better in person. It was after his cd came out that I even made the full connection because a mutual classmate was still in touch with him. I’m still a huge fan of his. I really wish he’d come back out and release new music because “real” singers are extinct…….by the way, he was always a cutie!

    • Jesse is hot and super talented I’m looking for my jessey😍😏

    • Still listen. Wondering where his he . That’s was when music was real music. Come out with something Jesse. Fan for life 🌹

    • We had Jesse Powell come to Sarasota Florida in the early 2000’s. for a show. He was so small, we fixed him a big plate of fried chicken, potato salad corn bread and collard greens along with all the cake and pie he could eat. He sounds just like his record in person. We kept in contact with him for a while but he stopped responding. He is a cabinet maker. You should see his work

      • A Cabinet maker? Really? Thought he would be behind the scenes. Like writing, vocals, arranging music….

    • So you like mean men!!!

  2. For the record, Jesse Powell got on my nerves! He could definitely sing, but just wasn’t my style I guess–when I was all of 12 when he was popular.

    “I bet I know what his comeback album would be named – My Name Is Jesse Powell” ahahahahahahahaaaa…

  3. Jesse Powell could sing I dont know about him being a heartthrob but I loved that song You and that was the only song I ever heard by him. This entire article was extremly funny

    • Jesse Powell is a true singer. His vocals can’t be matched at all to any of these non talent singers of today. They need to take some singing lessons from true singers like Jesse Powell.

      • Let’s not forget he was out around the the same time jessie campbell was out singing styles similiar

      • True These young singers dont even sing they talk. Music now has lost substance.
        Jesse Powell was underrated. Pure talent no longer exist. Its a matter of taste.

  4. i certainly disagree with those people who say jesse is too wimpy,i just believe that he is one of the most talented musician ever.. and he seems as a nyc guy.

    • I agree. If youre a fan of just good music & not just who’s popular right now Jesse made some real good music. Some of the hottest R&B artist out right now cant even sing. Chris Brown. Trey Songz and some others sound like trash live. And not only did Jesse Powell sisters sing but his mother sings on Something In The Past. That song this a duet.

    • I agree with you. I’m in love with his smile and his dimple. So sexy.

  5. jesse was bomb point blank period what male singer can sing like him???? nobody . ! aint nobody stuntin on jesse

  6. look for a new cd from jesse in 2011 definetely gonna be a top seller!!!!

  7. Its sad that today’s listeners have no idea of what real music is. That comes from being forced fed all the crap that’s out there today. The fact is today’s producers cant make real music and today’s singers cant sing. Anyone who’s not feeling Jesse Powell, one of the greatest singers of all times needs to admit to themselves they have no clue of what real music is all about.

    • You are soooo correct. I loved his music and adored his skills. There is no one today that can sing (really sing) like Jesse. I can not do Hip Hop, they sound aweful. There is no real musical talent with this generation. True singers are still singing today, (Gladys, Patti, Peabo, OJays, etc).

  8. Jesse Powell had an amazing voice and his songs would not be understood my someone without a GED… Invisible man, Is it Over, I Will be Loving You (the song I got married too) and the list goes on and on… Amazing talent and had he released something right now I would purchase it!

  9. Jessie could sing his ass off. The song, “You” was written and delivered beautifully. I think the timing was off for him to be put in a certain “market” I would like to see a comeback for those of us who are still interested in real R&B….

    • Amen. Love him and his vocal abilities, unlike the mess we are forced to listen to now. They just say whatevers on their mind, there’s nothing to it (same lyrics over and over)

  10. OMG!!! I’m still waiting on NEW music from this artist. Jesse needs to get new label and get out there. We miss him! Today with all this junk I know it’s rough on a playa. Not too many artists can sing like this man. Get pitch and voice. Great songs!

    As far as those that said he came off whining and wimpy. Bull!
    Jesse came across as mature and a first class gentleman. As he said in one of his song…”I’m only one of a few good men that’s left to go around”

    Any of you see him and S-curl, whining, and wimpy hot-ass buns tell him, I’m looking for love.


  11. His voice was amazing! There hasn’t been a artist like him since. Too bad nobody wants to admit he’s dead! RIP JESSE

  12. He had a pretty face, oh Lord, did I say that? Heartthrob, no. His voice was a’iight. A little too heavy on the vibrato, but “You” definitely put him on the map. His sisters had the same high register and I think they sang in some group called Something for the People if memory serves correctly. I saw Jesse in an airport once many many moons ago.

  13. Jesse Powell is a bad ass man, invisible man and something in the past is my favorites. I kind of figured he wouldn’t go far need to get into gospel.

  14. First of all SHOUT OUT TO the Haters . .
    Jessie Powell Is a very talented singer & no one has or ever WILL have a voice like his. And YES I think her should come back because my generation loves him . .

    -His God Daughter

    • I love Jessie and have been trying to find him in concert somewhere.

      • If you do let me know!I’m on serious mission too find him 💙Sexy& Fine as all Hell💙


  15. He was remarkable and i love the song you!! Please come back out

  16. So where is he? In an era where artists can market themselves by using social media, I do not see why he is not pushing himself. That is why Black singers cannot rely on one audience; because Blacks are religious about their expectations. Look what happened to Tevin Campbell, because the Black audience found out he’s gay, they kicked him to the curb; luckily he went into Broadway and still able to do tours outside America. Deborah Cox another great singer has fallen off the R&B chart, but luckily she also does music that appeal to the gay community and so she is able to still book shows and keep relevant. The legendary Jennifer Holliday has confessed that it was her gay fans that supported her the most; because gays are the most faithful supporters an artist can have. Therefore, singers like Jesse need to put stigma aside and do music that appeal to a larger audience. Many people never heard of Jennifer Rush, she is an American who has sold millions in Europe. Randy Crawford has one of the purest and sweetest voices and the Black community has never shown her great support, yet look at her live concerts on YouTube; they always booked out and well supported by Whites, because she didn’t cave in when shunned by Blacks, she went to Europe.

  17. If you really want to hear Jesse Powell sing which he does on every song, but check out the song “All Alone” from his first cd and the song is produced by Stokely of Mint Condition. I turned alit of folks on to this song.

  18. You was on his debut CD and was the hit from that record. Gloria was a nice song but never released as a single. It was rereleased on his second record like no one had heard it before which was dumb. As far as a comeback is concerned he would zoom right to the top of the ladder from a talent perspective. Then again the current generation doesnt know what talent is and for those who liked him they would never hear it anyway so its probably a waste of time. You cant name 5 people currently that even come close to the voice he had,

  19. Too many haters do not know real music when they hear it… i love jesse powell… if he came out with more music i would definitely buy it… too bad they do not make music like they use to… they just rap about anything and it sells…

  20. Gary Indiana pure singer. He was born to do it. With the right music and marketing he would have been a lot bigger. But a true singer no doubt

  21. Where is Jesse Powell ??

  22. Jesse Powell us a rare talent for those who like ‘real’ r&b. Wherever you….stay strong bro.

  23. Jesse Powell is the truth!!!!
    1.something in the past
    3.I wasn’t with it
    4.I can tell
    5.Are you missing my love
    6.Up and down
    7.Bout it bout it

    • Whew! You named all the jams! I used to love the I Wasn’t With It video. Still remember it coming on Planet Groove. I miss Jesse’s music, which is why I “Yahoo’d” him to see if I could find out where he disappeared to. Looking at his record sales on Wikipedia, though, I doubt if he will ever make another cd. Can’t believer how low his numbers were on the charts. You was the highest at #2. Sad because all cds were really nice. I still enjoy them til this day, along with all other old school music. Just can’t get with this new school stuff. Hope Jesse is doing something else he loves, though.

  24. Kristen Bookman May 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    i am years late but I love you for this post. I’m a huge fan of Jesse’s!!! I loved “Bout it” as well and “you’re the one I love” and “you should know”

  25. Jesse Powell was the truth in his era…anybody can make a come back besides it’s cool to take a break from the music and try again tomorrow

  26. I need Jesse Powell in my life, he is too incredible and super pretty, the day I hear a new album I will be a very happy woman!!

  27. The person named “Anonymous” is trying so hard to make Jesse Powell’s image sound great that I believe he is the real Jesse Powell. In fact I’m 100% sure of it! and dont reply to me, I’m not coming back to this website.


    • Miss Mary I am from Gary Indiana Jesse has been and always will be my favorite R&B singer and yes he is fine i just like to know where is he

  29. I love Jesse Powell and anyone who has some negative feedback towards him y’all can kiss my ass. I’m 28 going on 29 I grew up on Jesse’s music. If you know like I know nobody can sing like him.so hate if you want to but Jesse Powell is always going to be my #1 favorite r&b singer.

  30. “I bet I know what his comeback album would be named – ‘My Name Is Jesse Powell’.”

    I’m DONE. LMAO!!

    Where is Jesse though? We do need talent like his nowadays, Lord knows.

  31. His song u & Gloria to me was like a Rembrandt painting because it could never be that,until u allow your heart to paint.and he did just that .I feel in love with my wife who was a recovering drug addict.and his songs minister to my heart.God healed my wife an and with tears rolling down my face I say Masterpiece that u MR Powell WE MISS U

  32. The first time I heard Jessie’s voice was with the group Enchament. I have loved his music every since that day to this day and always will!

  33. Jesse Powell is a beast, goes toe to toe with Kevon Edmonds. FYI “something in the past” is a remake, the group One Way did it originally and it’s a classic.

  34. Does anyone know where 💕Jesse💕 fell off? If so PLEASE go get him so he can finish his cd. It’s overdue.

  35. He show have an episode “Usung” on TvOne. Bet they could find him

  36. Kristofer Mikals May 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I have the debut album….Jesse can blow

  37. Jessie was the man of r&b and I would like to know what apped to my dude.

  38. Love Jesse Powell…had a huge crush on him.I still hear his song “You” in weddings today…Plan on it being one of my main songs whenever that day comes…

  39. Has anyone seen💙Jesse💙?

  40. I love me some Jesse…. He had good music that I still listen to today…you wouldn’t understand..if you have no appreciation for music!!

  41. Jesse Powell is my favourite R&B artist of all times…

    2.I CAN TELL
    6.IS IT OVER
    all this album and I always ask myself that such a good singer how come his was not awarded anything.

    • Oh I’m with you why wasn’t he ever recognized more, I’m almost 50 and when I tell you I listen to one of his songs if not 3-4 everyday. He talented voice was a gift to many and that’s really all that matters. Team “Jesse”

  42. OH MAN. This has to be one of the biggest mysteries in R & B. WHERE IS JESSE POWELL? Seriously. Absolutely no one has seen or heard from him?

    Come out come out, wherever you are, Mr. Powell. Your presence, your sound, your style is sorely needed. A true showman with one of the best voices ever to grace the planet, Jesse didn’t just sing. He SANG from the heart and soul.

    Let’s hope he’s doing well and will bless us with some music soon. 2016 has been devastating in the taking of our legends from Maurice White to Prince to Ali. We need a resurgence of true artists who can really sing. No auto-tune, but actual voice to microphone.

  43. What a miserable lil article and poorly written!…Jessie was a true talent and his greatness is missed!

  44. I love me some Jesse Powell! He can sing his ass off. I would love for him to come back. It could never be enough real soulful/R&B singers….especially cute males.

  45. I miss this brother’s voice,he can just flat out sing. Would love to hear him sing anything. He’s just vocally GIFTED!!!

  46. I love his voice. Come back Jesse, come back. I first heard “You” at work and just fell in love with it.

  47. I’m only 25 and I remember Jessie Powell. I was so in love with him; I bought every cd and he actually signed an autograph cd for me. If u ask me he sings better than some female singers we have today. We need that smooth R&B again, please come back.

  48. Heard YOU on the radio, KJLH Los Angeles Ca. thought it was a woman singing at first. Called the station asking who was that lady belching out that last song? She said that was no lady, that was a man! I went to the record store, juss wanted the single though. I didn’t want to waste money on a illit album. The cashier assured me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. She was right, ‘Bout It album was TIGHT!!! I called to thank her. She replied: I told you. Lol

  49. Wiki has an update open the “career” tab…he’s still in Los Angeles…..I was heartbroken after reading it.


  51. im a plumbing contractor and worked at jessies house in 1999, and heard first hand him singing, it was awesome

  52. You, I ddnt realise, invisible man, after we make love… And my old time favourite… Is it over..! Jesse Powell will never be forgotten, if he can give us one last album will reali appreciate it! His the best of all time!

  53. But seriously. Is Jesse still around? Still amongst us? Can we get an UNSUNG episode on my man? The more I listen to his music, the more I miss his presence in the industry. His range is incredible. These kids need to be SCHOOLED! IJS.

  54. I have been listening to all of Jesse’s songs and I really believe that I am in love with Jesse.

  55. JP was his best album. I could listen to it from beginning to end which is rare for most artist. He did “Something In The Past” which is an old song by a group called One Way. What a lot of people don’t know is his sister’s sung backup & his mother sung the second verse. There was some other family members involved with the music. Very talented guy. Wish I’d had the opportunity to see him in concert.

  56. Jesse Powell was one of the most amazing singers in the 90’s. He was like a more mature Tevin Campbell. I purchased his Debut Album along with 112’s debut album. I played the hell out of his CD. I was one of those kids who read the credits and thank you’s. His first album is what got me hooked onto his sisters Trina and Tamara (I have their album too). I really did like the All You Need video. I liked his sound and I thought he cute/sexy (what can I say, I like the slim guys). When I heard the lyrics of the first song…. Are you looking for love, girl so you need someone to give it to, yeah. I was hooked. Each song seemed to get better. Back in the day, music was like that. Every song had single potential, unlike today’s crap.I loved the background vocal arrangements with his sister. The Gloria/ It’s You that I need remake was perfect. I am surprised they waited until his next album for the single You. Which was a massive hit for him. The album Bout It was probably my least favorite album, but the song Bout it Bout It was nice. You can tell they rushed it and it wasn’t really authentic Jesse. JP was a brilliant Masterpiece. It made me forgive the Bout It album. Once again, him and his sister shine bright on the bkgd vocals. I don’t think there is a song I dislike. I’d be very interested in hearing new music from him or even seeing him in a throwback concert.

  57. My husband and I got married in 2010 and we had “You” as our first dance song. There was no question about it, we both loved that song. I won’t say how old we are but we both graduated high school in the 90’s! Also, I only remember his sister’s from the song they sang with Somthin for the people called “My Love is the Shhh!”. That was also my jam!!! Lol.

  58. Jesse Powell is up there with Michael Jackson. I love Jesse Powell . His music makes you think of who you are in love with and your past loves . If I ever meet a man like Jesse Powell , I would never let him go . He is a heart throb . Bring Back That fantastic music . He’s got IT .

  59. You was on his first CD but people were just fixed on Gloria instead of listening to the entire CD. It was okay for a new artist.

  60. The Song Gloria I Was Formula With And Thought It Was The Original Which Was A Groupe Called The Enchantment. I Heard The Song Several Times Found Out It Wasn’t The Originals But Was This Man Called Jesse Powell lol All I Can Say Is Jesse You Did The D Thing. Now He Is One Of The Selective Few In My Choice Of Music To Listen To. In My Closing, I Say To You Jesse Do A Tour And If In My City I Will Be There.

  61. The brothers music is forever dope and I wish genuinely that everything’s especially well for him these days away from the spotlight

  62. I must say one thing: we just don’t see this level of talent anywhere anymore. Jessie killed it period. I also think the world its self has lost compassion. It is as if the devil has really taken over.Jessie is one of the best. Really difficult songs and octaves.

  63. 10/19/2019 Still bumping his bout it cd in my car. My favorite is You’re the one I love. I also love I know you want me. Sounds great in the Equinox!!

  64. His song If I was a great song, I don’t think it got any radio play but it’s still a great song. Prince had a great song titled With You that got no radio play, but I’m willing to bet that women would love that song.

  65. I’m 27 and I believe we need more of this in this generation and era to be honest. something simplistic beat wise, pure instruments being played and some of the best voices and vocals anyone has to offer these days. “You” is one of my all time favorite songs he absolutely kills it!

  66. Funny thing is, I did a show with Jesse and I have been around and performed with many artists and I can attest, Jesse VOCALLY is one of the best I have ever heard live, and so humble.

  67. I’m listening to Jesse right now! Forever love you, Jessee Powell!

  68. This dude had a range very few male artist have. My favorite JP song is All Alone. His notable songs were ballads with a message. In the nineties you also need some up tempo music to draw attention to your work. You, All Alone, I will be loving you, Is it over, Gloria, and a few others all heart felt music. All I Need is his only up tempo hit and it had know hip hop in it. Oh I bought this album when it came out because of All I need and found You the first time, so the re-release didn’t work on me. That 1st album took me through a heart broke period in life thank God it’s over. I still miss the nineties.

  69. I think he should make a strong come back. Show what ppl in this generation what real singing is about!!!… Hell Jodeci came back… Sisqo came back even though he kinda fell into this generation music!… Jagged edge came back but they suck they don’t sound right they fell for this generation… Case came back… Hell he should do one hell of a good album and show these wanna be rnb artists what singing is really bout!

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