John P. Kee was born the 15th out of 16 children in Durham, North Carolina. At an early age he began to develop his musical talent both instrumentally and vocally. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and at 14, he and his brothers Wayne and Al moved to California where he began attending the Yuba College Conservatory School of Music in Marysville, CA. During this time, he began playing with various groups such as Cameo and Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds. After having a hard time adjusting in California, he left and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina only to find himself living in a part of the city known for its violence and drug activities. After watching one of his friends being murdered in a drug deal gone bad, he rededicated his life back to God during a visitation to a revival meeting.