It’s been more than 40 years since the super group, New Edition came on the seen as a teen pop group sensation with hits like “Candy Girl,” “Can You Stand The Rain” and “You’re Not My Kind Of Girl.” It’s hard to believe that Ronnie DeVoe is turning 50 (yes, 50) in 2017.
DeVoe was the second-to-last member to join New Edition (Johnny Gill being the last) after being brought in by his uncle and the group’s choreographer, Brooke Payne. In 1981, the group took second place at a talent show which caught the eye of record producer, Maurice Starr, who signed them to his Streetwise record label. New Edition went on to become the biggest-selling boy band group from the mid to late 1980s.
After New Edition’s 1990 breakup, Devoe and fellow New Edition members, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins, formed the R&B/hip-hop group, Bell Biv DeVoe. Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 debut album, Poison, sold more than 5 million copies and garnered five hit singles such as “Poison” and “B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?”.
“It is a great blessing to know that as New Edition we were trend setters,” DeVoe remembers. “And then in 1989 when word got out that NE were going their separate ways but Michael Bivens, Ricky Bell and Ronnie Devoe were getting together to form a group. We were trend setters.
We took music in another direction. And a lot of hip hop and R&B has been building off of that. It’s a sense of accomplishment to know that we were there, along with a couple other groups before the record industry took that shift. But you can definitely see the influence in the (hip hop/R&B) genre today. No matter what club we go to around the country…18 + or 35+, we hear it in the club and it bang today like it banged 20 years ago. It’s a real blessing.”
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