YouTube’s Prince Friend Interviews the Magnificent Shelby J



Shelby J.’s debut album titled "10" honors the ten years she performed with Prince.

Press Release

Tampa, FL, Feb 16, 2019 — To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, YouTube’s Prince’s Friend has a sweet treat in store for his viewers with the release a special two-part interview with an extraordinary woman from the Prince alumni camp– singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and social activist, Shelby J.

Shelby Johnson is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina and has been gracing stages around the world with a number of notable musical phenoms over the past 20 years. None have been more legendary though than Prince Rogers Nelson who dubbed her as “Shelby J.” in 2006.

Shelby’s musical career started in 1994 singing background vocals for the hit group Groove Theory. In 2000 she became the lone female member of D’Angelo’s band, “The Soultronics” performing with him in the highly acclaimed “Voodoo Tour” alongside close friend and Grammy Award winning R&B sensation Anthony Hamilton. In early 2003, Shelby collaborated, performed and toured with jazz trumpeting great, Roy Hargrove (Verve Records) and is the featured vocalist and co-writer of the tune “How I Know,” on his Grammy nominated CD “The RH Factor.” That same year Shelby became the voice of Kmart’s National “Right Here, Right Now” ad campaign. Thanks to Shelby’s soulful vocals, this is one of the most successful & recognizable retail ad campaigns for the company to date.

In addition to touring and recording with D’Angelo, Hamilton, and Hargrove, Shelby also had the honor of working with Mary J. Blige, Santana, and bassist Larry Graham. In 2006, it was Graham — of Sly & the Family Stone — who asked her to to perform at Prince’s 3121 Club in Las Vegas. Shelby joined the New Power Generation that year and began touring with Prince worldwide. Shelby didn’t expect to tour so long with him, but the superstar became a mentor and big brother to her. As Shelby told journalist Tina Firesheet in 2013, “I’m gonna ride with him until the wheels fall off.”

And that she did. Shelby J. went on to sing co-lead on Chelsea Rogers, from Prince’s album Planet Earth, and contributed her voice to other tracks such as Future Soul Song, Future Baby Mama, Mr. Goodnight, and Colonized Mind. She also performed on stage with Prince during his 2007 Super Bowl Halftime show, deemed the best Halftime show in history by many.

The Prince’s Friend two-part video interview with Shelby J. is available to watch now at YouTube:

Kari Campano
Prince’s Friend
Tampa, FL