One of the most talked about voices in gospel music today belongs to 28-year-old singer, Zacardi Cortez. Over the last half dozen years, Cortez’ big voice and spine-tingling vocal gymnastics have distinguished James Fortune & FIYA’s radio smashes “I Believe” and “The Blood,” and made him one of the most sought-after singers in today’s world of auto-tune stars. In 2012, he enjoyed his first headlining smash with the Top Ten hit “One More Time” (featuring John P. Kee) and now he’s aiming to go all the way to the #1 slot with his new track, “1-on-1,” a goose-bump-inducing track that is currently #4 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart and making an impact on Urban AC radio.
Born September 17, 1985 in Houston, TX, Cortez hails from a singing family of faith. He began singing at the age of five in church and worked the Texas gospel circuit with his family, The Cortez Singers. Later on, John P. Kee, adopted him as a spiritual son and Cortez sang with Kee’s V.I.P. Mass Choir. He’s also performed on albums by Kurt Carr, Bishop Paul S. Morton and Pastor Gregg Patrick.
Then, circa 2006, Worldwide Music, Inc. CEO, Kerry Douglas, discovered Cortez and recruited him to sing the lead single, The Blood,” from James Fortune’s second CD, “The Transformation.” The traditional styled song was a showcase for Cortez’ vast vocal range and gave Fortune his first Top 20 national radio hit. Cortez has since recorded on all of Fortune’s subsequent CDs. His volcanic vocals, alongside those of Shawn McLemore, ushered Fortune’s track “I Believe” to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart for 14 weeks and earned them coveted TV performances on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” and BET’s “Sunday Best” programs.