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Boyz II Men

According to no less an authority than the RIAA, Boyz II Men are the most commercially successful R&B group of all time. They sold ludicrous numbers of records and were involved in three of the longest-running number one pop singles in history, and they did it as a unit of equals. In fact, their four-part harmonies blended so smoothly that most of the general public would be hard-pressed to name any of the group's individual members. And that's no reflection on their skill as singers; Boyz II Men were among the first male R&B artists to adopt the sort of hyper-technical melodic embellishments that were popularized by virtuosic divas like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Their early music was indebted to new jack swing, but the group quickly found their forté in lush, soulful ballads, where their harmonies could be showcased to greatest effect. Boyz II Men may never duplicate their incredible run of success during the first half of the '90s, but that's a near-impossible task for anyone, even with the broad-based appeal of their clean-cut romantic image.

Boyz II Men were formed in 1988 at Philadelphia's High School of the Creative and Performing Arts. Founding members Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson had been singing together for several years, but had trouble keeping a group together simply due to members graduating. Things finally stabilized when they hooked up with Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and bass vocalist Michael McCary; calling themselves Unique Attraction, the quintet performed a well-received Valentine's Day show for their school and developed a repertoire that leaned heavily on New Edition songs (one of which, "Boys to Men," gave them their name). Their big break came in 1989, when they snuck backstage at a Bell Biv DeVoe concert and wowed group member Michael Bivins (also formerly of New Edition, and a budding music entrepreneur) with an a cappella version of New Edition's "Can You Stand the Rain." Bivins offered them a deal right there, but Nelson would not stick around to be part of it; personality conflicts led to his departure soon after (he later resurfaced as a member of Az Yet).

Down to a quartet, Boyz II Men entered the studio to record their debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, for the legendary Motown Records. Backed by the new jack production then in vogue, they dubbed their sound "hip-hop doo wop," though as a vocal harmony group they were more indebted to R&B of the '60s and '70s. Cooleyhighharmony was released in 1991, and its first single, the uptempo dance track "Motownphilly," rocketed up the charts, going Top Five pop and number one R&B on its way to platinum sales. The a cappella ballad "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," a cover of a song from the film Cooley High, also hit the pop Top Five and topped the R&B charts, and went gold. Meanwhile, the album won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Boyz II Men joined MC Hammer's Too Legit to Quit tour in 1992, but tragedy struck when tour manager Khalil Roundtree was shot and killed in Chicago; the group rededicated "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" to him.

The tragedy notwithstanding, Boyz II Men had had an extremely auspicious beginning to their career. Still, nothing could have foreshadowed the group's Midas touch over the next few years. Briefly entering the studio in between concert gigs, Boyz II Men cut a smooth Babyface ballad called "End of the Road" for the soundtrack of the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang. Released as a single, it became not just a blockbuster, but one of the biggest hits in history; it spent 13 weeks at number one on the pop charts, an incredible run that broke the record of 11 weeks Elvis Presley had held ever since 1956 with the double-sided single "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog." "End of the Road" won a slew of awards and cemented Boyz II Men's star status beyond any doubt; while crafting their next album during 1993, the group released a couple of placeholders: a Top Five cover of the Five Satins doo wop classic "In the Still of the Nite," from the TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream, and the holiday album Christmas Interpretations. (Also that year, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" broke "End of the Road"'s record with 14 weeks at number one.)

The post-"End of the Road" buzz helped make Boyz II Men's next album, II, an instant smash when it arrived in 1994, even though it didn't include "End of the Road." Produced by the likes of Babyface and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, rather than Bivins (who wanted to concentrate on developing new artists), II debuted at number one on its way to sales of over 12 million copies. The first single, "I'll Make Love to You" (also penned by Babyface), raced up the charts and wound up tying Houston's short-lived record, with 14 weeks of its own at number one -- a staggering feat in itself, made all the more amazing by the fact that the group had already set the record once. Moreover, the follow-up single, "On Bended Knee," actually replaced "I'll Make Love to You" at number one for a six-week run of its own; only Elvis and the Beatles had ever replaced themselves at number one. "Thank You" was a relative flop, not quite making the pop Top 20, but "Water Runs Dry" returned them to the Top Five, falling one slot short of number one. Boyz II Men spent much of 1995 touring the U.S. and beyond in support of II, and also opened their own recording studio. They spent some time recording collaborations with other artists: Wanya Morris duetted with Brandy on the hit "Brokenhearted," and the whole group sang on Michael Jackson's "History" and LL Cool J's "Hey Lover." The biggest one, however, was a song done with Mariah Carey called "One Sweet Day." Featuring two of the biggest chart powerhouses in the industry, "One Sweet Day" was virtually a guaranteed blockbuster, and it went on to spend 16 weeks at number one on the pop charts, debuting there in December 1995; it was the third such record-setting single of Boyz II Men's career.

Over the group's objections, Motown released a piece of cash-in product titled The Remix Collection in late 1995; in retaliation, Boyz signed a distribution deal with Sony, not Motown, for their new vanity label, Stonecreek. It was the beginning of a souring relationship that only worsened upon the release of Boyz II Men's next album, Evolution, in 1997. The record started out strong, debuting at number one and sending "4 Seasons of Loneliness" to the same position on the singles charts; its Top Ten follow-up, "A Song for Mama," gave Boyz II Men their record-setting seventh platinum single. However, Motown was unable to throw its full promotional muscle behind the record (perhaps because of their transition to a new label president), meaning that Evolution didn't have nearly the shelf life of II, selling only two million copies. It didn't help that critics were less than enthusiastic, questioning the album's title since the music itself was more of the same. The group was also forced to postpone parts of their supporting tour when Wanya Morris developed a benign polyp on his vocal cords. He recovered fully, though, and in early 1999, amid major record company mergers, the group got their contract transferred from Motown to Universal.

For their next album, Boyz II Men assumed greater control over songwriting and production, handling a greater share of each by themselves. The resulting record, Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, was released in 2000, and while it received better reviews than Evolution, it continued the group's downward commercial slide, only going gold and producing a smaller-scale hit in "Pass You By." The group subsequently signed with Arista Records. In summer 2002, Boyz II Men kept with their sophisticated approach for the aptly titled release Full Circle. Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to problems with scoliosis. In 2004, the remaining members released Throwback, an album filled with covers of their favorite songs. Their 2006 effort, The Remedy, was initially only available in Japan until a year later when it was released through the band's official website. Their tribute album, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA, was also released in 2007. It featured production from American Idol judge Randy Jackson plus an a cappella version of their own Motown hit "End of the Road." Two years later Jackson was back as producer of their third all-covers album, Love. Another release for Japan, Covered: Winter, consisted of Japanese pop covers. Twenty, issued in 2011, offered a set of new material and a collection of re-recordings. Three years later, the trio returned with Collide, their 11th proper studio album. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Better Half (Single)

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Track List: Diamond Eyes (Single)

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Track List: I Can't Make You Love Me (Radio Single)

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Track List: Losing Sleep (Single)

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Track List: More Than You'll Ever Know (Single)

Comments

shippy29
happy holidays to all the boys to men
shippy29
feeling very loved right now love to all my family and friends i am sooo blessed to have you in my life dont wait to the water runs dry to tell someone you love them PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL
Love love love this song
Love this song.long live Boys2Men !
murphy2838
Did u guys sing " ONE SWEET DAY " with MARIAH CAREY
catinhat.cd
Good morning G BABY
shippy29
ALL IS FORGIVEN DAD I KNOW YOU LOVED ME YOUR TREE YOU PUT UP FOR ME IS LIT FOR YOU THIS MOENING RIP DADDY OOPS
shippy29
SONG MAKES ME CRY AND MISS MY DADDY
catinhat.cd
G.....baby i need that too
catinhat.cd
G.BABY you believe that liar over me told didnt cheat.
shippy29
THANX BOYS TO MEN
shippy29
BE NICE TO EONE TREAT AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED ANIMALS HAVE SOULS TOO
shippy29
LOVE MY MAMA MY MOM IS STILL W ME THANK GOD I TELL HER I LOVE HER E DAY DONT WAIT TO TELL PEOPLE HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM LOVE JULIE SHIPPY SHIPPY 29
shippy29
WT IN SHIP NOR REALLY SUNNY AND BUURRR MAKES YOU WONDER LOVE G BABY GBABY BE NICE TO BE WORTH
shippy29
who is this cat in hat gut I NEEEED HIS NUMBER MY HOUSE IS A MESS LOVE IT
catinhat.cd
Just want bad freely love, taste y.ou this hunger that sexy body mix with mine's oooooh,baby ready eat that pear or passion. ..that between legs stroking. Freak damn body
I want you baby
Smh crazy song its all gud thou
This song alrite but I love mama song
Sitting at the foot of Moms hospital bed thinking of all her goodness. Her Body is broken but her spirit is Intact. Praising God and Thank you God for my Mama!!
I left . In Ne walking. Anybody home
shippy29
you drive me crazy sometimes but i still loving you more e day
shippy29
had fun calm down now chill going away at 12 be back around 2 will talk when i get home asap want to beauiful for you oops or try to alittle beautiful i do my best for you you know i love you pook love me
shippy29
i want someone to always tell me the truth i will baby and be faithful i wil hoby
shippy29
sounds good baby all i ever dreamed want to stay home take care my man
Its so natural....Y o u belong to me and I belong to you!!!!��
I want a friend not just a lover
I always listen to boys 2 men love them
catinhat.cd
Obviously we have thing's do prepare for holidays. You in a new home get in holiday spirit baby.....you be around me have do all holiday stuffs,hot chocolate, shopping, kiss, hug,
One sweet day. Love love love it.
kelzfargo1
Love you guys this my jam
one sweet day
Love it!!!!
Same here babe!
dont read this because this actually works. you will be kissed by your lover on the nearest friday. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. now that you are reading this dont stop. post this on 5 songs in 143 minuites. then press f6 and your lovers name will appear in big letters. this is so scary it actually worksdont read this because this actually works
catinhat.cd
Our history just start in the long run,I'll always be around.
I want a friend not jus a lover
Love their songs. beautiful <3
hardyar249
Rip to my great grandma Mary your love well carry
On I miss you. So much
Love this
avald65
Was the song "Down on Bended Knee" about a bl**job?
catinhat.cd
My love still strong for you,but i know you have babies too take care,shoppin g for holidays, i love you and can't be selfish with your time.
I love boys 2 men down on bended knees.. so beautiful...
I love this type of music now the music is ok but these artist dont tlk about love no more its sad ...I miss them and their music
Awsome song
catinhat.cd
Each day my love grow stronger for you ,,you know me:togethern e s s
I m crying grandma
Love you so sweet
catinhat.cd
I'm going to Cook me something, while doing that play something we both like
catinhat.cd
If heaven await you let me be there before you .
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