By LaToya Henry | Special to NNPA

Coco Jones during an interview | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Coco Jones during an interview | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The early years

There’s no doubt about it, up-and-coming R&B artist Coco Jones is the next big thing. Not only does she have the hottest R&B song out right now, but she’s also hella talented with her gorgeous looks, sexy body, and soulful voice. Born Courtney Michaela Jones, some might recognize the singer from her earlier years being on Disney’s Let it Shine. Now, Ms. Jones is on Def Jam’s record label and is well on her way to the top.

Bring back that old-school R&B sound

Jones has gained a lot of attention for her revival of old-school R&B and viral covers. From the outfit to the live instruments and dope artistry, Def Jam’s recording artist performed covers like Real Love by Mary J Blige and Brandy’s Full Moon on REVOLT’s “The Link Up.” She explained what draws her to these classics and how she adds her own spin. “I love these songs. I always try to match the energy of the artist.”

ICU #1 on Billboard

The Tennessee native reflects on one of the biggest highlights of her musical career. “Seeing ICU go #1 on Billboard was a huge highlight for me. When my team called and told me that ICU was #1, I was in shock. There was a moment where I had no words.” The recording artist gives a lot of credit to her mom. With the biggest smile, Jones stated “When I have a great accomplishment, I always call my mom.”

The song ICU has skyrocketed Jones’ career. In July, Justin Timberlake teamed up with Coco on the remix. This collaboration took the essence of the song to another level. “I heard Justin Timberlake liked the song ICU and wanted to support me, so he jumped on it.”

Coco the Actor

With the SAG-AFTRA on strike, the Bel-Air star who plays the character Hilary, was appreciative as we skipped over questions related to acting.

Once the strike is over, we’ll be back with a second interview.

Lessons Learned

In this competitive industry, particularly for Black women, Jones reflects on a few lessons she learned along the way and advice for talent looking for stardom. “The hardest thing in my career was not taking on a quick opportunity.”

The entertainer also credits Beyonce as a person who inspired her when it comes to crafting stage presence and connecting to the audience.

Sunday Night Lights

On Sunday night – and with Coco Jones as the headliner – hundreds of people filled downtown Dallas’ Echo Lounge with an all-ladies line up, including Ebony Riley and S!MONE.

The city of Dallas showed major love to Def Jam’s recording artist as she hit the stage dancing (with background dancers) in a 2-pc glittery gold outfit and singing a song from her What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe) album – Caliber. The crowd was in awe as they sung every song word for word and patiently waited to hear the lyrics from Jones’ R&B hit, ICU:

Something ‘bout your hands on my body
Feels better than any man I ever met

Coco Jones continues to demonstrate artistry, not just a singer or actress, but a true entertainer that is here for the long term.

Coco, WE C U!

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), known as the Black Press of America, is the federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers in the United States.