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Having grown up touring the gospel circuit with his family band, the Cortez Family, Zacardi was mentored on the road by John P. Kee. After an appearance on Kee's 2005 release, Live at the Fellowship, Cortez joined Fortune's FIYA, singing lead on their 2007 album The Transformation, and its Top 20 single "The Blood." With Cortez up-front, FIYA would top the gospel charts with singles like "I Believe" and "Let Your Power Fall." The stage was set for a solo career, which began in 2012 with The Introduction, released by the Black Smoke Music label. The LP cracked the Billboard 200 and climbed to number two on the gospel charts. 2014's Reloaded yielded the single "God Held Me (Together)," which enjoyed a 12-week run atop the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart. More hits followed, including 2016's "YDIA," 2018's "Oh How I Love You," and 2019's Kerry Douglas-assisted "You Don't Know." In 2022, Cortez issued a live rendition of "You've Been Good to Me," the lead cut from his jubilant 2022 live album Imprint (Live in Memphis). Along with his studio output, Cortez made appearances on major platforms including The Stellar Awards, Black Music Honors, P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Reunion Tour, and BET’s Sunday Best. ~ David Jeffries & James Christopher Monger