Former NFL Player Drops the Football and Picks Up the Mic

Marcus McClinton

By Andrea Watson

Running across the football field and stage was routine for 26-year-old former NFL player Marcus McClinton, until he decided to pursue only music.

“I’ve been doing music all my life. I had a goal to be a professional football player and my goal was also to be a R&B star, to take both of my dreams to the top,” McClinton told the Defender.

After dealing with multiple injuries, McClinton left the New England Patriots to work towards his goal of becoming a famous singer. He has done music since he was seven, he said. He received an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky and was able to play football there. In 2009 graduated and signed a free-agent contract with the New England Patriots.

Originally, McClinton posted an album online, “A Moment of Silence,” but removed it. He was faced with the decision to perform solo or with others and he chose others.

Harmonious Dynasty is a Chicago band consisting of a pianist, guitarist, drummer and bassist. Just like McClinton shared the field with his former teammates, he now enjoys sharing the stage with band members.

“A band brings more to the table. You’ll never do a song the same way with a band…it’s a complete show instead of all eyes on me,” he said.

Of the 12 songs on the album, he continued to work diligently on one. “Stay Right There” is the song he and his band are promoting and hope to get on the radio soon.

Old school names such as Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye have influenced McClinton’s style, he said. He also loved Jagged Edge and R. Kelly growing up, he said. The singer/writer/producer said he is young, but life experiences have forced him to grow up quicker than most.

“I embody the young mature man and the old soul,” he said.

“I’ve always been a little more mature than my friends or the people around me. I’ve been going through a lot of old man stuff. I’ve been through a lot to be a 26-year-old man.”

His mother has played a huge role in his success and McClinton said she has always been an important part of his support system.

“She’ll pray for me. That’s how it has always been…she’ll say a prayer right there on the phone and [it] automatically makes me feel better and want to continue on,” he said.

McClinton was raised in Chicago.

As a young boy, watching his mother struggle with life’s roadblocks, his goal was always to move his mother out of “the hood,” he said. But, as an adult he realizes a new house is not the only solution to her happiness.

“That would make me happy but I believe that my mother is happy because she sees me working towards a goal and not falling into the traps of the city,” McClinton said.

Visit marcusmcclinton.com

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