At 16, a stunningly beautiful and vocally talented CLAUDETTE ORTIZ, was discovered by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonda becoming the third and only female member of City High. The hot young trio quickly took the world by storm with their poignantly conscious debut single, “What Would You Do.” The Grammy nominated group described as a “refreshingly innovative mix of R&B, Soul and a smattering of Hip-Hop” by Vibe magazine consisted of Claudette, Ryan Toby and Ryan Pardo.
City High quickly became known as the group with the provocative lyrics, pulsating beats and great vocal harmonies. “What Would You Do," depicted a young woman fallen on hard times, desperate to feed her kids and ultimately deciding to sleep with a man for money. Dealing with real life situations, the song begs for the listener to answer, What Would You Do? Needless to say, the single with its in your face, true to life lyrics shot up the R&B/Pop charts both domestically and internationally and became the group’s first Grammy nominated single. But, it was not until their follow up single, "Caramel," and Claudette’s duet with Wyclef, "Two Wrongs," hit the airwaves that audiences and industries everywhere began to hone in on the Caribbean beauty’s ability to play the guitar and her vocal prowess.
As the music soared the Willingboro, NJ native’s profile soared. Press developed an insatiable appetite for the self-taught, sultry voiced musician. Mesmerized with CLAUDETTE’s beauty, Maxim named her a sex symbol in their Hot 100 issue. Blender called her “the sexiest woman in hip-hop.” Vanity Fair included her in their top 12 artists to watch. The New York Times chronicled the tutelage of Andre’ Leon Talley, an editor at large for Vogue, as he introduced CLAUDETTE to the fashion world in Paris.
Then it all stopped. The group disbanded. CLAUDETTE, now faced with fewer life choices, worked as a chef during the morning, cleaned houses during the day and pursued songwriting at night. Guided by her steadfast moral compass, CLAUDETTE had her own answer to the question: “What Would You Do” she chose the hardships that came along with honest work while trying to earn enough money to care for her family. Desperate, humiliated and on her last dime, she decided to join Air Force Reserves. However, the day before her appointment to sign in, she got a call from TV One’s producer of the reality show, R&B Divas, LA.
Whisking off to Los Angeles with the intentions of making this platform the catalyst for her career revival CLAUDETTE again becomes the last member added to the cast. The show stars six divas: documenting their professional careers, friendships and personal lives as they play, work and struggle to get their careers back on track. R&B Divas: LA, has become TV One's most viewed network show, ever.
CLAUDETTE aims to inspire others by the hard choices she has been forced to make describing herself with one word: enduring. "It is not about how fast you finish, but rather giving it your all and fighting until the end.”
While filming for the reality series, CLAUDETTE remains steadfast in her position to never be “there” again. Continuing to use God as her guide, she’s in the studio recording her solo album and exploring film and additional television opportunities.
Complex magazine named her as “1 of 10 Sexy R&B Singers Who Should Make a Comeback,” CLAUDETTE is currently doing just that!