Cortez began singing at the age of five in church and worked the Texas gospel circuit with his family, The Cortez Singers. Later on, John P. Kee, adopted him as a spiritual son and began mentoring him. For a while, Cortez sang with Kee’s V.I.P. Mass Choir and sang a solo on the CD, Live at the Fellowship, in 2001. He later made guest shots on recordings by Kurt Carr, Bishop Paul S. Morton and Pastor Gregg Patrick & the Bridge Project.
Then, circa 2006,Blacksmoke Media Worldwide CEO, Kerry Douglas, discovered Cortez and recruited him to sing the lead single, The Blood,” from James Fortune’s sophomore CD, The Transformation. The traditional styled song was a showcase for Cortez’ vast vocal range and gave Fortune his first Top 20 national radio hit. He has since recorded on all of Fortune’s subsequent CDs. His volcanic vocals, alongside those of Shawn McLemore, ushered Fortune’s track “I Believe” to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart for 14 weeks and earned them coveted TV performances on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” and BET’s “Sunday Best” programs.