Happy Birthday, Johnny Gill!
The New Jack Swing era brought music many joys. With its emergence, the world also met singer Johnny Gill. The sixth member of New Edition turns 49 today (May 22).
Of course, you can't mention Johnny Gill without his work as part of one of the most popular boy bands of the '80s. Gill wasn't in New Edition during the "Candy Girl" and "Cool It Now" days, though. The New Edition members were grown men by the time Gill came around in the late '80s. Although the new lineup didn't meet its early career success, New Edition with Gill's presence did well commercially. Heartbreak, the first New Edition album featuring Gill, went gold, and singles like "Can You Stand the Rain" fared well on the charts.
But Gill eventually did what grown up members of boy bands do: he kickstarted a solo career. While some members splintered into Bell Biv Devoe and Bobby Brown was doing Bobby Brown things, Gill was making his own run at the charts. His self-titled 1990 album went double platinum, and sexual jams like "Rub You the Right Way" and "My, My My" glided into the Billboard Top 10. Sometimes all you need is a second chance; the New Edition days and commercial success came after his first two albums -- his 1983 self-titled album and Perfect Combination with Stacy Lattisaw -- tanked.
After experiencing a later success as a member of the supergroup LSG, which included Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat (LevertSweatGill), Gill regrouped with New Edition co-stars Brown and Ralph Tresvant to form Heads of State. The trio is still touring.
Watch Johnny Gill's "Behind Closed Doors" Video
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