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B  O  Y  Z     I  I    M  E  N

 

Formed 1988, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wanya "Squirt" Morris (b. July 29, 1974), voc.;
Michael "Bass" McCary (b. Dec. 16, 1972), voc.;
Shawn "Slim" Stockman (b. Sep. 26, 1973), voc.;
Nathan "Alex Vanderpool" Morris (b. June 18, 1972), voc.

The teenaged hip-hop/harmony quartet Boyz II Men became an overnight sensation in 1991 upon release of its three-million-selling debut album. With nostalgic nods to Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies vocal groups -- from the Blue Notes to the OíJays -- the Boyzí first hit, "Motownphilly," climbed to #3 on the pop charts (#4 R&B). The groupís musical and visual style was described by ROLLING STONE as "distinctive, nonthreatening, and video friendly."

The group met and began singing their sugary sweet harmonies together at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia. In 1989 they gained an important fan in Michael Bivins (of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe), who helped them land their record deal. The quartetís massive success in turn helped breathe new life into Motown Records, which had fared poorly through the Eighties.

Cooleyhighharmony is divided into a dance side and a ballads side. Followup singles from the album included "Itís So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" (#2 pop, #1 R&B, 1991) and "Uhh Ahh" (#16 pop, #1 R&B, 1991). In 1992 the group toured with Hammer. The group returned in 1994 with the seven-million-selling smash II (#1 pop, 1994) and became the third act in the rock era to succeed itself on the singles chart at #1 (after Elvis Presley and the Beatles), with the hits "Iíll Make Love to You" and "On Bended Knee."

1991 -- Cooleyhighharmony (Motown)
1994 -- II


 

 

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