In Boston, Massachusetts it was the year 1978 when five young boys came together to create one of the greatest music groups to ever exist in music. Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Bobby Brown and Michael Bivins were kids who aspired to reach super star status and create soulful music. This young group is known as New Edition. New Edition’s major inspiration was the timeless group The Jackson 5, which influenced New Edition’s first hit single in 1983 titled “Candy Girl“. The upbeat, spunky debut song hit the airwaves and became an overnight success, a lot of people found lead singer Ralph Tresvant’s voice to resemble a young Michael Jackson at the time. The songs catchy, charming hook “Candy girl, you are my world, you look so sweet…you’re a special treat” really kept the adolescent vibe of the song, but even adults could relate to the soulful vibrancy instilled in Tresvant’s voice. Ralph’s voice captivated the perfect innocent tone to sell the song and make it timeless. After Candy Girl, Ralph, Ronnie, Ricky, Bobby and Mike created other numerous enduring hits in early to mid 80’s such as: Cool It Now, Popcorn Love, Lost In Love and the smooth, sincere R&B hit Mr. Telephone Man. In 1985, New Edition found themselves at a cross roads. Bad boy of the group Bobby Brown created havoc within the rising group. New Edition had a squeaky clean image that Bobby Brown was rebelling against. At the time, Brown was misbehaving, going against the clean image the R&B was working so hard to maintain. There was major conflict over Brown’s defiant actions, also Bobby felt the group was underpaid and there were also disputes about Ralph Tresvant’s rapidly growing popularity. Due to high rising tensions, Bobby Brown was forced to leave New Edition. Soon after leaving New Edition, Brown signed a contract with MCA Records, and in 1986 released his first solo album titled “King of Stage” which wasn’t Brown’s first successful album, but created a classic hit which in a way was the jump start of a promising solo career. The first single was called “Girlfriend.” The album that skyrocketed Bobby’s career and introduced him as a house hold name was his “Don’t Be Cruel” album which released in 1988, with funky soul tracks including: Don’t Be Cruel, My Prerogative, Roni, Rock Wit’cha and the megahit “Every Little Step I Take” which was written and produced by legendary singer/songwriter Babyface. In 1987, Johnny Gill was recruited by Michael Bivins to replace Bobby Brown in the group. In 1988, the same year “Don’t Be Cruel” released, New Edition released one of their biggest hits to date “If It Isn’t Love.” If It Isn’t Love was a mid tempo track that made fans dance but also made fans relate to vulnerability and love. If It Isn’t Love was the first track that really showed New Edition’s range and really displayed the evolution of New Edition. Johnny Gill’s vocal’s were a perfect fit for the group, and was perfect for the group’s next chapter. Also, in 1988 New Edition released the emotional ballad “Can You Stand the Rain” which was a song that tested the strength of love and relationships, saying that relationships can be easy when there’s always sunshine, but the ultimate question is…can you stand through the hardships? Can you stand the rain? The soulful song really revealed the maturity and growth within the group and between Gill’s passionate lead vocals, and Tresvant’s soothing vocals on the pre-hook there’s no way this expressive classic could fail. In 1988, New Edition also released everlasting hits such as: N.E Heartbreak and You’re Not My Kind of Girl. After a collection of hits during the span of 1988-1989, NE decided to split up to work on solo projects. In 1990, Ronnie, Ricky and Mike created a R&B/Hip Hop group called Bel Biv DeVoe which they released three hit songs “Poison“, “Do Me!“and “When Will I See You Smile Again?”. Ralph Tresvant released four songs that same year titled: “ Do What I Gotta Do”, “Stone Cold Gentleman”, “Rated R”, and his biggest hit “Sensitivity.” In 1991, Tresvant released a classic upbeat party number called “Yo Baby Yo!” which was featured in the original turn up movie “House Party 2” starring rap duo Kid N’ Play. In 1990, Johnny Gill released four R&B songs as well, which were called: Rub You the Right Way, Giving My All To You, Fairweather Friend, and one of his biggest hits the sexy slow ballad “My, My, My“. In 1992, Gill also had a featured song in a motion picture called “There U Go“. There U Go was featured in the romantic movie “Boomerang” which starred Eddie Murphy and Robin Givens. Even though each group member had a successful solo career, the group members missed the magic they created together, so in 1996 New Edition reunited and released their sixth album titled “Home Again“. Ronnie, Ralph, Ricky, Mike, Bobby and Johnny all came together to create another timeless soul album. “Home Again” showed the growth over the years, how being both together and apart made them a stronger unit. The album birthed 4 hit singles, “Hit Me Off“, “You Don’t Have to Worry“, “I’m Still In Love With You” and “Home Again“. This album was highly anticipated by NE fans, and NE surely did not disappoint. In 2004, the ageless group signed with Bad Boy Records and released an unexpected album called “One Love“. The album was truly for the grown and sexy, and the first single from the album titled “Hot Tonight” displayed that. The catchy, flirtatious track took over the airwaves and even created a new generation of fan’s for New Edition. In recent years, New Edition has been touring tremendously and has not lost one vibrant step. The group still sounds amazing and NE is that kind of music group that will literally have an eternal impact on the music world. In 2014, Johnny Gill released a romantic song called “This One’s For Me” which features his fellow group members, Gill’s song created a new popularity for NE. In 2016, Bel Biv DeVoe released a contemporary song called “Run” which samples Notorious B.I.G’s “Hypnotize” . On this day, January 23, 2017 New Edition received their Hollywood Star. The group went through a roller coaster during the height of their career, but through those crazy, troubling times they gained clarity, and a long-lasting brotherhood. New Edition is more than just another boy band, they are the kings of the bands. New Kids On the Block, Boyz 2 Men, N’Sync, Jodeci, Dru Hill, Day 26 would of never existed if it weren’t for New Edition. New Edition went from being aspiring singers, to becoming legends who have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now that’s the perfect example of watching artistry evolve. Don’t forget to check out New Edition’s 3 part mini-series “The New Edition Story” premiering on BET tomorrow, January 24, 2017 at 9pm. Which New Edition song is your favorite? Share your thoughts below!
Check out B.W.A’s New Edition Tribute Video-mix below!
“Cool It Now”- New Edition
“If It Isn’t Love- New Edition
“Can You Stand The Rain”- New Edition
“N.E Heartbreak” – New Edition
“Hit Me Off”- New Edition
“I’m Still In Love With You”- New Edition
“Hot Tonight”- New Edition
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