Exclusive: Claudette Ortiz Talks The City High Scandal & R&B Divas

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It was a text from one of the producers of the hit show R&B Divas that stopped 31-year-old Claudette Ortiz in her tracks. The former City High singer had plans to make a living off the military because she had hit rock bottom.

We met Ortiz at the top of the 21st century. Back then, she was a beautiful, svelte 18-year-old chanteuse who partnered with band-mates Ryan Toby and Robbie Pardlo to form the  R&B band - City High, reminiscent of their predecessors The Fugees. It only made sense that Wyclef Jean, 1/3 of the aforementioned band signed City High. Fugees' member Lauryn Hill introduced Ryan Toby to Wyclef after they met on the set of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit in 1992.

City High is best known for their 2001 hit "What Would You Do?" & "Caramel." Their songs featured a raw social awareness that was rare.

Ortiz originally dated one of the group members Robbie Pardlo, but due to his alcoholism and abuse they split. It was when Ortiz married the other male group member Ryan Toby that she  became the controversial member of the trio--fans and spectators accused her of bouncing between group members.

For more on The Scandal, hit the link...

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Comments

  • Lola

    she is a beautiful girl I don’t know what she saw in them because they both are unattractive and have issues..if wyclef was their mentor why didn’t he step and end the dating.. he knows how that goes after the fugee incident.. and where was this girl parents? she was part of a successful group they should have made her focus on her life and having fun not booed up with an addict at 16

    • WOAHNOW

      Well from what I have read over the years she…..”got around” to put it politely, in a big way. The contributed to the hard feelings, the group was doomed from the get go. They put out 2 great songs though

      • Lola

        how was she passed around when she said she was 15 when the group started? unless pedos were passing her around

        • WOAHNOW

          Not pedos but same age guys, maybe you are not that type of girl but lots of girls get down early on

          • Natile Smith

            Hearing and reality are two different things. She dated one guy before the industry and was married to the other for 11 yrs. She is 32 yrs old, where is the passing around?

          • WOAHNOW

            I don’t know and neither do you, I’m just saying what has repeatedly come up. If you think dating some guy or being married means you are not promiscuous then all I can do is LOL

        • kelly

          when the songs was released she was 18..the group started at 15..but she became famous at 18

  • Diana Berry

    This girl is a beautiful girl with low self esteem! She could have gone further and achueved so much more but did not have the confidence to apply herself, then she dates losers who won’t let go of the past because they know she is the best they will ever get; thats how u know her success never peaked!!

    • Yamini

      Girl, you said it all! I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • Petra Rikkets

    This woman has a look that appeals in todays market but she has zero “it” factor. She is not interesting to watch and her voice is just “OK”. Her personality is deadpan and bland. She probably never learned to be free, interesting, or charming because people over reacted to her looks. Even now I am sure most comments will be about her appearance. I don’t think she is any more “depressed” that the other ladies on the show, she is just bland. Chante Moore sleeping is more exciting.

    • Phil J.

      I think its more that its her first time doing something like this and she was unsure of doing it…I’m sure she has a personality but she just has to warm up to having camera’s all up in her face…I don’t believe she has that pretty girl syndrome that a lot of people who are deemed “beautiful” by society have she seems very grounded…and I think the way she grew up had a lot to do with that(sounds like she was from the projects)

      • Petra Rikkets

        Don’t get me wrong, I think she is probably a very cool person but she does not have “star quality” to me. People like that light up in front of a camera they don’t warm up to it.
        Someone tell me:
        1. One memorable/interesting thing she said
        2. The funny thing she did
        3. When she made you want to cry
        She hasn’t done any of these things. She just does not emote at all. But people make excuses because of her looks, that’s not helping her. I think she should use this platform to come out with a hair line for natural hair or other product like skin or yoga/fitness. I think she would be very successful with that and it might wake up her personality.

        • L.Jones

          If you do not like her, that’s fine. But what’s the point of mentioning something negative? What if she read this and it hurt her feelings to the core? She’s already faced homelessness and unemployment, as black people in America do we need more negative criticism from you? I think you should really evaluate your own life and figure out why you think it’s necessary to “emote” hate on blogs to hard working mothers like Claudette/

          • Petra Rikkets

            I did not say I do not like her. I am evaluating her and came to my own conclusion. I feel she should focus on her strengths, she has amazing hair, skin, and seems to be into fitness and it is her look that is most appealing so she might be able to capitalize on it. Perhaps I was a bit harsh about the personality so if she is offended I apologize. But in your post you still couldn’t name one interesting/funny/heartfelt thing she said or did. If you are a fan you should encourage her to be bolder, memorable. You say I am “hating” but if a person is only given flattery how does that help them grow?

          • therealnumber1

            Well during the scene when all the ladies were marrying themselves, she spoke about vowing to know her self worth, that made me cry

          • Natile Smith

            Speak for yourself about her not being interesting or inspiring. Claudette’s story is sad.
            Her vows was memorable.
            Seeing all her cooking with Kelly was memorable
            Listening to her story in interviews is memorable
            Watching the girl talk clips of the ladies is funny.

            Again, you are the one that keep mentioning her looks and assuming that’s all others are concerned about. You seem to be the one that intimidated by her beauty.

          • Petra Rikkets

            Natile you a day late and two dollars short. I was giving MY opinion and actually asked for the views of others. You either did not read the many numerous positive comments about Claudette mention her beauty or you ignored them and focused on my negative post, she IS beautiful and that does not intimidate me but it also does not mean I will ignore her short comings and exaggerate her other abilities. Again, my first comment was said in a harsh and unnecessary manner. I was being overly sarcastic and rude about it. I apologized for that. I do think her affect is flat on the show. I didn’t have to say it so rudely. I have to humble myself when I am being real acid for no good reason.

          • LadieeK

            L.Jones your comment is refreshing to read I think more black women and men should be more positive towards each other and not judge so harshly. Black people are already judged so badly by other ethnic groups we need to be less judgemental.

    • Lola

      she has a nice voice an ok voice is rihanna..

      • Petra Rikkets

        I am gonna leave Miss Ortiz alone because my initial remark was acid.

  • Mrs. 2423

    Maaaan! if she don’t Look like B. Scott…….

    • WOAHNOW

      HAHHAHAHAHA

    • L.Jones

      women putting other women down, clap for yourself.

      • Mrs. 2423

        Actually I’ll take that applause. Thank you.
        Not putting her down by any means. I think B. Scott is very attractive-man OR woman. The resemblance is uncanny. Only a HATER would see hate.

    • Lola

      u mean b. Scott looks like get since he is the one that wants to be a woman

      • Mrs. 2423

        No. I meant it in that order. :)

        • Ms. Egypt

          LMAO! man just stop it….*dyin*

    • Ms. Egypt

      LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Jen

    She looks like Halle Berry with hair, beautiful young woman. I can tell she has been through a lot. I applaud her for trying to pick herself back up