Singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney has had the kind of career that most young artists dream for themselves. Ask the New York-born artist to recall some of the highlights and he’ll tell you about meeting two U.S. presidents (Barack Obama and George W. Bush), playing to thousands of devoted fans in Tokyo (where he watched the non-English-speaking audience sing along to every word), and meeting his musical heroes Stevie Wonder and Craig David.
All that was done before the release of his 2018 single “Better With You,” his first new music since his well-received 2014 album In Technicolor. It premiered on PAPER Magazine then climbed Spotify’s US and Global viral charts. The press and performance swiftly came afterwards from Z100 with Elvis Duran, Paste Magazine, MTV, SiriusXM, Billboard, Huffington Post, and V Magazine. The success thus far has helped McCartney reconnect with a feeling that he hadn’t had before with his music: the freedom to write as he wishes, everything from his perspective.
The turning point from boy band pop star to serious working artist began when McCartney co-wrote the Grammy Award-winning single “Bleeding Love” with Ryan Tedder, performed by Leona Lewis. An international mega-hit, “Bleeding Love” won a Grammy Award for “Record of the Year,” reached No. 1 in 35 countries. and became the best-selling single of 2008 worldwide.
McCartney’s next single “Wasted” reveals more of thoughtful yet self-deprecating side of him that often lay dormant in his earlier, “cleaner” years. The most exciting part is that his fans are coming along for the ride. “It’s nice to be able to talk about things that the fans are also going through,” he says. “I think they feel connected to me because we did basically grow up together. When I was 16, they were in high school with braces on just like me, and now here we are; they’re playing my song at their wedding.”