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Paul Joseph-Boudreau Grettenberger is 25 year old Singer/songwriter from Lansing MI. Before He was adopted at age 9, He was raise in Detroit, MI by his step-mom and dad. After hooking Paul's birth mom, Linda, on a number of drugs and impregnating her at least 4 times, Paul's dad Maurice and step mom Tanya convence Linda to surrender to them custudy of her children. The environment in which he was placed was awful. His parents locked him and his siblings upstairs for 9 years starving them sometimes for 3, 4 days telling them things like “if you’re good, you’ll get to eat again.”They were taken hospital to hospital and told they had cystic fibrosis and a number of other ailments. They were put on a number of medications which they didn't need all so their parents could collect a check from the government. On top of this, Toothpaste and toilet water were steady diet. Paul himself, not being potty trained often went 6-7 days in the same diaper.Children in the Jackson household often endured Drunken beatings by Maurice with 2x4s on the rear, back or face. They were also subject to spending up to 48 consecutive hours sometimes standing in a corner. this and other horrid things were used as punishment.
Having seen his birth-mom before, Paul prayed every single day that she'd come save him. Paul often asked his dad when he would see her again. this was always met with a violent outburst that ultimately ended with him telling Paul "If you ask again, you will never see her." So, afraid for the worse, he supressed his feelings and stopped asking.
After the beatings and starving’s and everyday near death experiences, he was placed with 2 white lesbians in Lansing, MI who later on adopted him, Mary Boudreau and Susan Grettenberger.
From a young age he knew he would be great. Paulie G as they called him was very well liked among his peers and tried his hardest to ensure everyone around him was happy. No matter what he did however, he couldn't help feeling empty inside. The longing for his mother was real. He had wanted nothing more since she left him but to see her face, and this seemed like part of some sick joke- that God gave him 2 moms instead of his own. again fearing the worse, and ultimately hurting those around him he supressed these thoughts by writing poems and songs and tried to move forward.
Mary and Susan encouraged him to excel in academics. Although it was known that Paul and his brother Effrem were both extremely gifted, music was never considered more than a hobby in the Grettenberger household. Early on Paul proved to have a strong work ethic but didn't really take well to the classroom setting. He entered the work force as a bagger at a grocery store when her was 14 years old. At 15 he got his 1st real part time Job at Panera Bread as a Dishwasher. Paul found he was a natural people pleaser and had multiple decent paying jobs by the time he was 17. Despite the success, No matter how accomplished he became in school, and work life, he was never satisfied.
Paul found life on the stage. Through the composition of music and movement, and production of art, Paul was able to create an outlet for his supressed anger and rage and sorrow, the same emotions that lead most to suicide, or bullying, or simply alienation. That's where he decided his mark would be made.
“It started with my parents saying it wasn't possible and ended with me wanting to be happy. I have had such a tragic life, and above anything just felt i deserved for my dreams to come true. Instead of succumbing to a mundane life, I got impatient and started chasing greatness. There was no teacher, or classroom or seminar, that I could attend that could teach me to be great. My outlet was music. I wanted to make a way for other people like me to do what they wanted for a living.”
And that he did.
After finally meeting his birth family and finding out the tragic events surrounding his birth mom's death, at 19 Paul decided to dedicate his music career to the life of Linda Saffold, his birth mother.
"so that even in death, she would be remembered as I her son remember her" Taking the name she gave him, Joseph, Jay-B Saffold was born.
The road to success however was met with much turmoil. Jay B had talent no doubt, but a long list of financial decisions starting with a formal education left him flat broke. “At times I really had to choose...I went 3 months eating Grits and Ramen Noodles, bills went unpaid, creditors calling …opportunity comes once and I never want to miss it.”
Mary and Susan also adopted Jay-B's Brother Effrem, and 2 cousins, Ashley and Antonio. Mary and Susan did everything possible to provide their children the keys to success. Those keys however came with a price. With very little support from family It was and still remains a long up-hill battle to acquire the funds necessary for proper exposure
"I decided when i was 19 i was going to do this, do it hard and never quit no matter what"
Well its 2014 and through trial and error this Independent recording artist has traveled around the states doing what he loves. Though, his pockets seem significantly thinner than floss Mr Saffold has started over 4 businesses from the ground up including a record label and a non-profit. He writes and performs his own music and remains an advocate and living example of how the performing arts can save lives.
This is One Man W/ A big Dream. The X factor is here.