Jeannie Ortega was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York and is of Puerto Rican descent. While attending Brooklyn's High School of the Arts, Ortega's song "Got What It Takes," was placed on the soundtrack for the 2003 comedy Love Don't Cost a Thing, and the song "Future Is Clear" appeared on the TV show soundtrack for That's So Raven!., she was quickly signed with Hollywood Records in 2004 and released her debut single "It's R Time" in October 2005. The song later appeared on the Freedom Writers soundtrack in 2007.
Ortega spent several years on the tween-pop Radio Disney circuit of radio interviews, live mall shows, and other promotional activities as she worked on her debut album in 2005. In 2006 Ortega followed "It's R Time" with the Urban-pop single "Crowded" the single quickly became a mainstream pop hit, eventually peaking in the top twenty-five of the Billboard chart. On September 12, 2006 Ortega's debut album No Place Like BKLYN was released, two weeks later the album entered the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart at number-one. On July 17 Ortega appeared on an episode of One Life to Live.
On July 29, 2006 Nina Sky, Papoose, Quan, Kovas and Eric West were some of the artists who showed up for the release party for Ortega's debut album at Webster Hall in New York City.
In August 2008 Ortega joined Rihanna as the opening act for her world-tour. I admire her so much, Rihanna said of Ortega. She's a sweetheart and she is so grateful to be on tour with me and that's what I love. She's gonna kill it.. Ortega followed that tour with the “Lo Maximo de la Musica National Tour” along side Frankie J, Luis Fonsi, Nina Sky and Orishas.
Following the tour she landed her second major acting role alongside Tristan Wilds in the film “Indelible” which is scheduled for release in 2011.
Ortega is currently working on her second album. She appeared at the Music Unites benefit on March 17, 2010 speaking about her forthcoming album.
In an interview with US Weekly's Ian Drew, Ortega announced the release of a new EP in December 2010 and her second album following in 2011.