By Lea Michelle Cash –
Having sold more than 60 million albums and holding the title for the most successful R&B group of all time, winning four Grammys, nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards and three Billboard Awards, Boyz II Men, the powerful balladeers gathered together this month to be awarded the city of Hollywood’s highest honor—the 2,456th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
What a way to bring in the new year many fans kept shouting on the 7,000 block of Hollywood Blvd near other Motown greats like, Steve Wonder, The Supremes and Temptations
who previously have been awarded stars—regarding the rags to riches story that began 20 years ago, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a group of young teens who loved old school R&B music.
The teens managed to go backstage at a Bell Biv DeVoe concert and they performed a cappella version of New Edition’s “Can You Stop the Rain” to Michael Bivins who was looking to sign new artists to his budding record label Biv Ten Records under the wings of Motown Records. In 1989, Michael Bivins produced their first album.
Through a series of ups and downs, highs and lows, the harmonizing quartet which featured all four members, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman, Wayna Morris and Nathan Morris as leads stayed together and weathered the storms as they climbed the charts as Motown artists even beating out Elvis in record sells. In 2003, due to health reasons, McCary left the group as a performer but remained a founding member.
Bivins, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Babyface were present at the Walk of Fame celebration, along with many lifelong friends who were there in the beginning when they were teens. Terry Lewis said, “These guys are music. These guys love music and they’re passionate about it. They can sing anything under the sun.”
As the ceremony progressed and each member of the group individually took their moment to deliver remarks, in the middle of their statements they got emotional recalling their 20-year journey toward success and stardom. Shawn Stockman said, “I can’t explain how happy, I am. This is one of the happiest days of my life and I thank all of my fans who we affectionately call soldiers.” Wayna Morris added, “It is the best feeling in the world to be standing here together in front of everybody and be appreciated.”
In the last few years, the talented team have released several albums: “Love” (2009) and “Twenty” (2011) dedicated to celebrating twenty years, which is climbing the charts to date.
The popular R&B group as a trio continues to dazzle fans with sold out concerts across the country and around the world. Known for their timeless classics, End of the Road, On Bended Knee, Motownphilly, and One Sweet Day, Boyz II Men will continue to bring joy and vitality using their outstanding vocal talents in spreading true R&B music to their fans.
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