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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Twenty

1. Believe

2. So Amazing

3. Put Some Music On

4. Slowly

5. More Than You'll Ever Know

6. I Shoulda Lied

7. Benefit Of A Fool

8. Refuse To Be The Reason

9. One More Dance

10. Will You Be There

11. Flow

12. One Up For Love

13. Motownphilly

14. On Bended Knee

15. Four Seasons Of Loneliness

16. Water Runs Dry

17. A Song For Mama

18. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

19. I'll Make Love To You

20. End Of The Road

21. Not Like You

x

Track List: Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville, Usa

1. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

2. It's The Same Old Song/Reach Out I'll Be There

3. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

4. The Tracks Of My Tears

5. Money (That's What I Want)

6. Easy

7. I Was Made To Love Her

8. All This Love

9. Ribbon In The Sky

11. Got To Be There

12. War

x

Track List: Throwback

1. Let It Whip

2. Let's Stay Together

3. What You Won't Do For Love (feat. MC Lyte)

4. Cutie Pie

5. Close The Door

6. For The Love Of You

7. Sara Smile

8. Human Nature (feat. Claudette Ortiz)

9. Time Will Reveal

10. I Miss You

11. You Make Me Feel Brand New

x

Track List: Full Circle

1. Relax Your Mind (feat. Faith Evans)

2. The Color Of Love

3. Ain't A Thang Wrong (feat. Rob Jackson)

4. Oh Well

5. Whatcha Need

6. On The Road Again

7. Makin' Love (Interlude)

8. Roll Wit Me

9. Right On Time

10. Howz About It

11. That's Why I Love You

12. I'm Ok, You're Ok

13. Luv N U

14. I'll Show You

x

Track List: Nathan, Michael, Shawn, Wanya

1. Beautiful Women

2. Step On Up

3. Good Guy

4. Bounce, Shake, Move, Swing

5. What The Deal

6. I Finally Know

7. Pass You By

8. Dreams

9. I Do

10. Thank You In Advance

11. Never Go Away

12. Lovely

13. Know What You Want

14. Do You Remember

x

Track List: Evolution

1. Doin' Just Fine

2. Never

3. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness

4. Girl In The Life Magazine

5. A Song For Mama

6. Can You Stand The Rain

7. Can't Let Her Go

8. Baby C'mon

9. Come On

10. All Night Long

11. Human II (Don't Turn Your Back On Me)

12. To The Limit

13. Dear God

x

Track List: II

1. Thank You

2. All Around the World

3. You Know

4. Vibin'

5. I Sit Away

6. Jezzebel

7. khalil (interlude)

8. Trying Times

9. I'll Make Love To You

10. On Bended Knee

11. 50 Candles

12. Water Runs Dry

13. Yesterday

x

Track List: Cooleyhighharmony

2. Please Don't Go

3. Lonely Heart

4. This Is My Heart

6. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

7. In The Still Of The Nite (I'll Remember)

9. Under Pressure

11. Little Things

12. Your Love

13. Motownphilly

14. Sympin

15. Uhh Ahh

17. End Of The Road

x

Track List: Better Half (Single)

1. Better Half

x

Track List: Collide

1. Me Myself And I

3. Diamond Eyes

4. Better Half

5. Underwater

6. Believe Us

7. Don't Stop

8. Already Gone

9. As Long As I'm With You

10. Losing Sleep

11. So What

12. Collide

x

Track List: Diamond Eyes (Single)

1. Diamond Eyes

x

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

1. I Can't Make You Love Me

x

Track List: Losing Sleep (Single)

10. Losing Sleep

x

Track List: Love

1. I Can't Make You Love Me

2. Amazed

3. If You Leave Me Now

4. Misty Blue

5. Time After Time

6. Iris

7. Cupid

8. Shining Star

9. In My Life

10. Open Arms

12. Back For Good

x

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

x

Track List: The Best Of Boyz II Men: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection

1. End Of The Road

3. Motownphilly

5. Uhh Ahh

6. I'll Make Love To You

7. Thank You

8. Water Runs Dry

9. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness

10. A Song For Mama

Comments

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Scam a way there Gary...
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Nice��
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Gina boyz ll men so cute I love you too honey miss you too love me see you I love you ok Bebe baby boy yes Okby ��������❤️❤️ � me gina me song me
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Not bad .
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mjthompson0
On Bended Knee story here...1999 in Kroger in the BBQ sauce aisle, this song came on through their system, I was grooving to it, caught the eye of an out of my league young lady also grooving to it, she came over gave me her name and number with no conversation , called her, had a nice, fun, no drama April-June fling, then we both faded off to the rest of our lives. Still think about that chick to this day, obviously.
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mjthompson0
On Bended Knee story here...1999 in Kroger in the BBQ sauce aisle, this song came on through their system, I was grooving to it, caught the eye of an out of my league young lady also grooving to it, she came over gave me her name and number with no conversation , called her, had a nice, fun, no drama April-June fling, then we both faded off to the rest of our lives. Still think about that chick to this day, obviously.
Report as inappropriate
mjthompson0
On Bended Knee story here...1999 in Kroger in the BBQ sauce aisle, this song came on through their system, I was grooving to it, caught the eye of an out of my league young lady also grooving to it, she came over gave me her name and number with no conversation , called her, had a nice, fun, no drama April-June fling, then we both faded off to the rest of our lives. Still think about that chick to this day, obviously.
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R.I.P family love you always and forever thank u for making this hit
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R.I.P Mommy 1982- April 2004 I love you
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hmmmm
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heavymetal35 9
❤❤❤❤❤
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nettaree83
Boyz Men
Boyz Men
Boyz Men
Boyz Men
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priscillawha l e y
Only the Isley Brothers can sing this. Love you Boys two Men. Leave it too the Isley thank you Priscilla
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Think about Stephanie from full house
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VIBIN!!!!!!
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A SONG FOR MAMA . R.I.P MOM MISSING YOU LIKE CRAZY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOM UNTIL GOD CALLS ME HOME A BIG HUG N KISS FOR YOU TO HEAVEN LOBE YOU MOM :'(
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icabalzeta
role model for new generation
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love them
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lucaselms
Best Quartet of all time!!
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On Bended Knee ... I think if he comes on Bended Knee just maybe
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Great song..My Mom is the Queen... Amazing Woman...
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Motownphilly . . . . . . T h i s is the song.....
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I would like a heads I want it with you mimi
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Yessssss... Sing It!!!!!!
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Oh yesssss! Take me down memory lane ☺️
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rahirah123
Doin Just Fine.
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The Motown legends,the end of the road...
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This is my father's favorite song. It's really funny to see such a serious person like my dad to see listening this song in his Land Cruiser 200 while his driving to solve his problems with a gun in his door pocket.
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mrsdocurban
Take the first step, it's the hardest step to take., but I know you can do it!! I believe in you!!! Please Jesus give him the strength to take that first step
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Theresa youe
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I love this song cause every time mother's day comes around that I always let my mom listen to this song and every time she hears it she starts to cry
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THIS SONG IS OVER TWENTY YEARS OLD, AND IT STILL MAKES ME CRY. A BEAUTIFUL SONG, THANKS MIMI & BOYS TO MEN
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End Of The Road ... Good things come to the end of the road that's life ...
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Boyz II Men, they are the very best. I saw them in LV two years ago, and I was amazed and entertained. I could see them again and again!!
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A Song For Mama ... R.I.P MOM
:'(
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sheffield57
Nite❤️
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End Of The Road ... :(
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Mane bring the 90's back classic afta classic hits afta hits it don't get no better than this
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nettaree83
Boys the time can call
Boys the time can call
Boys the time can call
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This is such a beautiful song I want to dedicate it to my life long childhood Best Friend, Scooter Clark! He was my guardian angel I truly miss You!
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Raised on it! RnB forever
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I'll make love to you ....
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Love me some BoyZ II Men music !
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alayawhite_4 0 3
I Miss A'la Ja'Rai My Baby Girl
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Love and miss you momma
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There will be one day ,a sweet day again @
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Michael Harrison I miss you so much! I love you �� one sweet day I will see you again!
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I love this song by boys to men
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loving these remixed versions here on Pandora...Ye s
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♡♡♡♡♡♡Boyz
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