born on 7/11/1957 in New York City, NY, United States
Alias John "Jellybean" Benitez
John Benitez (born November 7, 1957), also known as Jellybean, is an American drummer, guitarist, songwriter, DJ, remixer and music producer of Puerto Rican descent. He has produced and remixed artists such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and the Pointer Sisters. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked him as the 99th most successful dance artist of all-time.
Benitez's parents moved from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s to the South Bronx section of New York City. His mother raised Benitez and a younger sibling as a single mother. He grew up enjoying music, usually listening to his sister's record collection. His sister Debbie, nicknamed him Jellybean as his initials are J.B. and from the expression "Know what I mean, Jellybean?" Benitez attended De Witt Clinton and John F. Kennedy High Schools, but did not graduate.
He relocated to Manhattan in 1975, attending disco nightclubs, which sparked his interest in becoming a disc jockey (DJ). He worked at a nightclub called Experiment 4 & Electric Circus. In 1980 Benitez enrolled and attended Bronx Community College, where he studied Marketing and Sales Promotion. Benitez worked as a DJ at Electric Circus, Hurrah, Xenon, Paradise Garage and Studio 54. In 1981, he was hired as the resident DJ at Funhouse. He hosted a weekend dance radio show at WKTU.
Benitez started to remix singles, such as Jimmy Spicer's "The Bubble Bunch," Rocker's Revenge's "Walking on Sunshine," Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" and Stephen Bray of the group Breakfast Club. Benitez met Bray's bandmate at the time, Madonna. A two-year romance developed. Benitez became involved with remixing Madonna's self-titled debut album in 1983, including the singles "Everybody", "Borderline", and "Lucky Star." He also produced "Holiday."
Benitez produced Whitney Houston's Top ten hit "Love Will Save the Day" from her second album Whitney. He remixed songs for many other artists including Sting, Hall & Oates, George Benson, Shalamar, Jocelyn Brown, Patti Austin, Bobby O, Sheena Easton, Talking Heads, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham, John Waite, The Pointer Sisters, Debbie Harry, a-ha, Michael Jackson, Huey Lewis and the News and Paul McCartney.
Benitez scored two 1980s US pop hits released under the Jellybean name: "Sidewalk Talk" (US #18), written by Madonna and featuring Catherine Buchanan; and "Who Found Who" (US #16), featuring Elisa Fiorillo. Nine recordings placed in the Top Ten of the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, including three number ones. Other vocalists who have performed on a Jellybean release include Adele Bertei, Richard Darbyshire and Niki Haris. His 1984 cover of Babe Ruth's "The Mexican" (for which he recruited original singer, Janita Haan) is regarded as a pivotal moment in the electro-hip hop underground scene, and was his first number-one single on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
He was successful in the United Kingdom as an artist in his own right. His hits there included:- "Sidewalk Talk" (UK #47, 1986) ; "The Real Thing" (UK #13, 1987) featuring Steven Dante; "Who Found Who" (UK #10, 1988) with Elisa Fiorillo; "Jingo" (UK #13, 1988) and "Just a Mirage" (UK #13, 1988) with vocals by Adele Bertei.
Benitez continues to deejay globally. He owns Jellybean Productions, Jellybean Soul and Jellybean Music Group. In 1995, he founded the now-defunct H.O.L.A. recording label (House of Latin Artists) which developed hip hop and R&B music by bilingual artists and released recordings in both English and Spanish. Voices of Theory signed with this label. On September 19, 2005, Benitez was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.
Benitez is now the executive producer of Studio 54 Radio, which is heard exclusively on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Channel 54). Studio 54 Radio launched August 15, 2011. It features 1970s and 1980s classic dance from Jellybean's personal collection and the vaults and collections of Studio 54 insiders.
- Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force "Planet Rock"
- Agent Sumo "Why?"
- A-ha "Cry Wolf"
- A-ha "I've Been Losing You"
- Alphaville "Jet Set"
- Ana "Shy Boys"
- Bandolero "Paris Latino"
- The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
- Billy Idol "Eyes Without A Face"
- Billy Idol "Flesh For Fantasy"
- Billy Joel "Tell Her About It"
- Bonnie Tyler "Holding Out for a Hero"
- Breakfast Club "Right On Track"
- Cher "A Different Kind of Love Song"
- Cher "Believe"
- Dan Hartman "I Can Dream About You"
- David Bowie "Blue Jean"
- Denise Williams "Let's Hear It For the Boy"
- Donna Summer "Eyes"
- Donna Summer "I'm Free"
- Earth, Wind & Fire "Magnetic"
- Fleetwood Mac "Everywhere"
- Fleetwood Mac "Little Lies"
- Fleetwood Mac "Seven Wonders"
- General Public "Tenderness"
- George Benson "20/20"
- Hall & Oates "Adult Education"
- Hall & Oates "Say It Isn't So"
- Hall & Oates "Talking All Night"
- Huey Lewis and the News "Back in Time"
- Huey Lewis and the News "The Power of Love"
- Huey Lewis and the News "Heart and Soul"
- Irene Cara "Flashdance... What a Feeling"
- James Ingram & Michael McDonald (singer) "Ya Mo B There"
- Jermaine Jackson "Dynamite"
- Joe Jackson (musician) "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)"
- Jose Feliciano "Feliz Navidad (song)"
- Madonna "Borderline"
- Madonna "Burning Up"
- Madonna "Dress You Up"
- Madonna "Gambler"
- Madonna "Holiday"
- Madonna "Like a Virgin"
- Madonna "Lucky Star"
- Madonna "Material Girl"
- Madonna "Physical Attraction"
- Madonna "Spotlight"
- Michael Sembello "Maniac"
- New Order "Confusion"
- Ollie & Jerry "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us"
- Ollie & Jerry "Electric Boogaloo"
- Pat Benatar "[Invincible(Theme From The Legend Of Billie Jean)]"
- Pat Benatar "Love Is a Battlefield"
- Paul McCartney "Ode to a Koala Bear"
- Paul McCartney "So Bad"
- Paul McCartney Michael Jackson "Say Say Say"
- Paul McCartney Michael Jackson "The Man"
- Peter Tosh "Johnny B. Goode"
- The Pointer Sisters "Automatic"
- The Pointer Sisters "Jump (for My Love)"
- The Romantics "Talking in Your Sleep"
- Santana "Say It Again"
- Shakira "Objection"
- Shalamar "Dancing in the Sheets"
- Sting "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"
- Talking Heads "Making Flippy Floppy"
- Talking Heads "(Nothing But) Flowers"
- Talking Heads "Slippery People"
- Taylor Dayne "Original Sin"
- USA for Africa "We Are the World"
- Wang Chung "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
- Whitney Houston "How Will I Know""
- Whitney Houston "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
- Whitney Houston "So Emotional"
- ZZ Top "Velcro Fly"
- Wotupski!?! 1984
- Just Visiting This Planet 1987
- Jellybean Rocks The House 1988
- Spillin' The Beans 1990
- A Celebration in Sound 2010
|1987||"Who Found Who" (featuring Elisa Fiorillo)||16||–||3||46||95||–||–||–||21||10||Just Visiting This Planet|
|"The Real Thing" (featuring Steven Dante)||82||49||1||–||22||33||–||–||21||13|
|1988||"Just A Mirage" (featuring Adele Bertei)||–||–||4||–||87||–||–||–||27||13|
|"Coming Back For More" (featuring Richard Darbyshire)||–||–||9||50||–||–||–||–||–||41||Jellybean Rocks The House!|
|1991||"What's It Gonna Be" (featuring Niki Haris)||90||–||2||–||–||–||–||–||–||98||Spillin' The Beans|
|"Spillin' The Beans"||–||–||5||–||–||–||–||–||–||—|
|2006||"New York House" (featuring Marlon D.)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||—||singles only|
|2008||"Secrets & Lies" (featuring Carla Prather) (promo only)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||—|
|2009||"You Bring Me Joy" (featuring Su Su Bobien) (promo only)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||—||
A Celebration in Sound
(as "3 Amigos" with Marlon D. & Mena Keys)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
Motion Picture / Television
Benitez composed the theme song to The Ricki Lake Show and The Charles Perez Show. He produced motion pictures and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy for his role as an Executive Producer for HBO's For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story starring Andy Garcia. He served as music supervisor and created and mixed tunes for many soundtracks.
Among the motion pictures for which he served as Music Supervisor are:
- Carlito's Way
- Mi Vida Loca
- Get Carter
- The Shadow
- The Principal
Among the motion picture soundtracks for which he created and mixed tunes are:
- Back to the Future
- Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
- Krush Groove
- Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
- The Shadow
- Top Gun
- List of club DJs
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- List of house music artists
-  Archived October 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists : Page 1". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- "Internet Radio". Cyberjamz.com. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
- 1979 interview with Jellybean Benitez on YouTube
- "jellybean | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- "Studio 54 - Ultimate Classic Dance - SiriusXM Radio". SiriusXM.
- "B-Movie - A Letter From Afar (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
- "Jellybean – US Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Jellybean – US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Jellybean – US Dance Club Songs Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Jellybean – German Chart". Charts.de. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "The Official Charts Company – John Benitez". The Official Charts Company. April 4, 2014.
- Aletti, Vince (1998). "The Disco Files 1973–1978". Djhistory.com. ISBN 978-0-9561896-0-8
- Bego, Mark (1984). "Michae!". Pinnacle Books. ISBN 978-052342-2343
- Black, Johnny (2006). "Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits and Classic Cuts" Thunder Bay Press. ISBN 978-1592-236510
- Bennet, James (2005). "100 Best-Selling Albums". Barnes & Noble. ISBN 9780760779347
- Brewster, Bill & Broughton, Frank (1999). "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 0-7553-1398-4
- Bronson, Fred (2003). "The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits". Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
- Cheren, Mel (2000). "My Life and the Paradise Garage/Keep on Dancin'". 24 Hours for Life. ISBN 978-0967899404
- Doyle, William & Failde, Augusto (1997). "Latino Success". Simon & Schuster ISBN 0684833425
- Du Noyer, Paul (2003). "The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music: From Rock, Pop, Jazz, Blues, and Hip Hop to Classical, Country, Folk, World and More". Watson Guptill ISBN 978-0823078691
- Gambaccini, Paul & Rice, Tim & Rice, Jonathan (1990). "British Hit Albums 4th Edition". Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 978-0851123974
- Gambaccini, Paul & Rice, Tim & Rice, Jonathan (1990). " Hits of the 80s". Guinness Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-85112-398-8
- Gap, The (2006). "Individuals: Portraits from the Gap Collection". Melcher Media. ISBN 978-1595910158
- Gruen, John (1992). "Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography". Fireside Books. ISBN 978-0671781507
- Haden-Guest, Anthony (1997) The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night. New York: William Morrow and Company, ISBN 978-0-688-16098-2
- King, Norman (1992). "Madonna: The Book". William Morrow and Company ISBN 978-0688119164
- Lawrence, Tim (2016) Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983.Duke University Press ISBN 978-0-8223-6202-9
- Lawrence, Tim (2004) Love Saves the Day: A History of Dance Music Culture 1970–1979. ISBN 0-8223-3198-5
- Mahler, Jonathan (2007). "The Bronx is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for Soul of the City". Picador. ISBN 0312427026
- McMullan, Patrick (2003). "So80s: A Photographic Diary of a Decade. Powerhouse Cultural Entertainment Incorporated. ISBN 978-1576871874
- Reighley, Kurt (2000). "Looking for the Perfect Beat: The Art and Culture of the Dj". Pocket Books. ISBN 9780671038694
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 140. ISBN 1-904994-10-5
- Rodgers, Nile (2011). "Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny". Random House Publishing. ISBN 978-0385529655
- Rolling Stones Magazine (1997). "Madonna, The Rolling Stones Files". Hyperion Books. ISBN 9780786881543
- Shapiro, Peter (2007). "Turn the Beat Around: The History of Disco". Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0571219230
- Sussman, Elisabeth (1997). "Keith Haring". Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0821224663
- Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2007). "Madonna: An Intimate Biography". Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1416583462
- Warhol, Andy and Pat Hackett (1989) "The Andy Warhol Diaries" New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-51426-8
- Wilson, Mary & Romanowski, Patricia (1990). "SUPREME FAITH Someday We'll Be Together". Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0060162900
- Whitburn, Joel (1995). "Billboard Hot 100 Charts – The Eighties (Record Research Series)". Record Research. ISBN 978-0898200799
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). "Hot Dance Disco 1974–2003". Billboard Books. ISBN 0-89820-156-X
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). "Hot R&B Songs 1942–2010: 6th Edition". Record Research. ISBN 978-0-89820-186-4
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). "Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard's Top Pop Singles 1955–2010". Record Research. ISBN 978-0898201901
- Whitburn, Joel (2010). "The Billboard Book of Top 40Hits, 9th Edition: Complete Chart Information about America's Most Popular Songs and Artists, 1955–2009". Billboard Books. ISBN 978-0823085545
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). "Top Pop Singles 1955–2010". Record Research. ISBN 978-0898201888
- Warhol, Andy & Hackett, Pat (1988). "Andy Warhol's Party Book". Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-517-56698-2
- John Benitez Biography
- CNN Erin Burnett OutFront Remembering the disco queen, Donna Summer Dead at 63
- Los Angeles Times Donna Summer: The sonic seduction lives on in today's beats
- Miami New Times Jellybean Benitez's Five Classic Diva jams, Playing the Vagabond This Saturday
- Miami New Times Club Review: Jellybean Benitez at the Vagabond, August 30
- New York Daily News Spinning Latino Jellybean Benitez Fulfills His Dream
- Red Bull Music Academy Nightclubbing: The Funhouse
- The New York Times Review/Film: Carlito's Way; The Triumph of Atmosphere Over Detail in Spanish Harlem
- The New York Times The Pop Life
- The New York Times Got to Boogie on the Disco 'Round: Studio 54 Radio on SiriusXM
- The New York Times Memories of Donna's Disco Nights
- The Village Voice Big Night
- WORLD JOURNAL 音樂家劉東風
- Lisa Karlin 1979 Interview with Jellybean Benitez on YouTube