The Masked Singer Season 8 Episode 2 featured two performances from Panther, as well as his unmasking. The celebrity behind the costume had the panelists stumped despite having a distinctive clue in his clue package: He said he was able to attend his own funeral when everyone thought he died. But what was he referring to? Here’s a closer look at the man behind Panther on The Masked Singer and his funeral clues.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 8 Episode 2.]
Who is the Panther on ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 8?
Panther performed during The Masked Singer Season 8‘s Vegas Night. He opened his act with a rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” showing off a trained R&B-style singing voice that left judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger in awe. Still, they couldn’t quite nail down the celebrity’s identity, guessing names like Billy Porter, Andre Drummond, and Lamar Odom. They became even more confused when Panther deepened and added a growl to his voice for a Battle Royale rendition of “Born to Be Wild” alongside Harp, who has yet to be unmasked.
In the end, The Masked Singer Season 8’s Panther turned out to be singer-songwriter Montell Jordan, who is most famous for his 1995 hit “This Is How We Do It.” Jordan released a few more hits throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s before retiring from the music industry to become a pastor and worship leader. However, he still performs at various shows.
Montell Jordan’s Panther clues on ‘The Masked Singer’ included attending his own funeral — here’s why
Jordan’s clues as Panther on The Masked Singer were all over the place, including a basketball, defense signs, references to Beyoncé, a cane, and a globe. He also shared in his clue package video that everyone once thought he was dead, including his family. Panther said he was able to attend his own funeral and see how others remembered him, which showed him that he needed to leave a greater legacy.
All of this is a reference to Jordan’s death hoax in 2012. That year, a number of celebrities, including Eddie Murphy and Mariah Carey, became the subjects of online rumors about their deaths. As Young Hollywood reported, rumors stated that Jordan, 43 years old at the time, had been found dead in Atlanta. His name trended on social media sites as fans and friends paid their respects to the singer. Many people praised him for “This Is How We Do It.”
Jordan, now 53, took to Twitter to clear up the rumors.
“Sorry to disappoint … But I’m a new daddy and still got a lot of living to do! My son just told me I can’t be dead because I’m sitting here talking to him,” he wrote, per Young Hollywood. “I can’t be dead. I don’t have an album coming out this week. It kinda sucks to have to be dead to trend. I’m gonna play a family game now. Please don’t kill me again.”
Montell Jordan says the death hoax was ‘eye-opening’ for him
Though the death hoax was frustrating, Jordan revealed to Hollywood Life after his Masked Singer unmasking that it gave him an epiphany. He called it an “eye-opening” situation because he realized he wanted people to know him for more than just “This Is How We Do It.”
“That was a heart-opening moment for me that if that was it for me, if it were not hoax, what would happen in the world was there’d be a series of people posting saying, the guy that did ‘This Is How We Do It’ died. That, for me, was not enough to me. To me, that was not a life well lived for me being remembered in that way,” he said. “I’m a husband, I’m a father, I’m a grandfather or big papa, I’m a leader, I’m a speaker. All of these things led me to do the things that I’m doing now. I did not want people to think, ‘He’s the guy that sings this song.’ I’m so much more than that.”
New episodes of The Masked Singer air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.