Happy Birthday, Claudette Ortiz!
City High unfortunately became one of the many short-lived R&B groups in the genre's history. In the 2000s, the trio was propelled by a strong female lead, Claudette Ortiz. She was just a teenager back then, coming out out Willingboro, N.J. Ortiz, now an actress who's trying to put together a solo album, turns 34 years old today.
The group was notable for how they mixed bluesy storytelling with urban dynamics. It was a formula that should've been effective for multiple hits, but the trio's lone smash was "What Would You Do?," a vivid account of poverty and motherhood. City High would score another hit with Eve's help on "Caramel," but the single wasn't as acclaimed.
They eventually fell victim to intra-group tensions. Before forming City High, Ortiz had a relationship with Robby Pardlo. Once they broke up, she began dating then married fellow member Ryan Toby in 2004. Three years later, the two got divorced.
Ortiz attempted a solo career with mixed success. She finagled her way into the Billboard Hot 100 with the Mase-featured track "Can't Get Enough." That was back in 2006, and Ortiz is still working on putting out a debut project.
She even considered joining the U.S Air Force Reserves at one point, but she experienced a short career renewal when TV One called her to be featured in the reality show R&B Divas: L.A. Ortiz left after two seasons and is now getting ready to star in Tyler Perry's latest stage play, Madea on the Run.
Watch City High's "What Would You Do?" Video
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