This year marks New Edition’s 40th anniversary in the music business (Photo Credit: Black Promoters Collective, LLC).
Pioneering boy band New Edition continue to make a mark in the industry during their 40th year in the entertainment business.
The sextet, which includes Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant, kicked off 2023 with a performance of group and solo hits on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”
They then filled arenas on their Legacy Tour, which commemorated the four decades since they released the “Candy Girl” single and album on Streetwise Records.
Bivins released a hit documentary on his life called “The Hustle of @617MikeBiv” and announced an accompanying soundtrack which features New Edition spinoff group Bell Biv DeVoe, Rev. Run and many others.
New Edition honored The Spinners by singing some of their classic tunes at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
And on Nov. 6, the boys from Boston and Washington, D.C. made a major announcement via social media that the group will embark on an intimate Las Vegas residency form Feb.28-March 9, 2024.
The supergroup will perform six shows at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
Heading into their 40th anniversary, New Edition had expressed an interest to go on tour and do a Las Vegas residency.
But at the time, group members said that they did not like the offers that they had received for a residency.
Now, tickets for their residency will go on sale on Nov. 10 at 10 A.M. PST.
Those that attended New Edition’s “Legacy Tour” in 2023 gave it rave reviews because the group performed many songs not included in their past setlists like “With You All the Way,” “Lost in Love,” “A Little Bit of Love (Is All it Takes)” and “I’m Still in Love With You.”
The group continues to fill concert venues despite not having an album since the “One Love” project in 2004 on Bad Boy Entertainment.
That fact has many calling them the Maze featuring Frankie Beverly of their era because Maze continues to sell out shows despite not having an album release since the band’s “Back to the Basics” album in 1993.
Nevertheless, group members continue to make their impact in the recording studio, releasing solo singles, albums and spin-of group albums.
Since their biopic miniseries “The New Edition Story” on BET, Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD) released their latest album, “Three Stripes” in 2017 which featured the hit songs “Run” and “I’m Betta.”
Brown released his own BET biopic miniseries entitled “The Bobby Brown Story” in 2018.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Bell Biv DeVoe had been in talks to drop a biopic on BET to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the “Poison” album that dropped in 1990.
Gill released the album “Game Changer II” in 2019.
Tresvant released a single called “All Mine” with Gill in 2020.
He also took over a national radio show called “Love and R&B” for Radio One when fellow crooner Al B. Sure had to step down because of health concerns.
Brown dropped the single “Like Bobby” in 2018 on Interscope Records to coincide with the release of his miniseries.
And he has found success in a different arena with Bobby Brown Foods.
New Edition began performing in Boston talent shows just to make some extra money for activities like going to the movies.
After impressing audiences at a talent show, songwriter/producer Maurice Starr brought New Edition into the studio to record the single “Candy Girl,” which became a major number one hit for the group.
For a time, Michael Jackson sat in second place on the charts looking up to the youngsters that many saw as a new edition of the Jackson Five.
When the group first begin touring off their hit record, icon Madonna and rap pioneer Kurtis Blow actually served as opening acts for New Edition.
Unfortunately, the touring did not lead to money and the group bitterly parted ways with Starr and Streetwise.
The group, unknowingly, then signed a production deal with Jump & Shoot Productions, which had their own deal with MCA Records to release their next few albums.
However, production deals are often viewed as slave deals in the music industry.
Therefore, New Edition found themselves again in a deal that did not produce riches for the group members.
To rid themselves of the production deal, New Edition had to take a loan from MCA that put them in debt but allowed the group to sign directly to the label.
Signing to MCA also gave the members the opportunity to make solo albums for the label as Brown discovered when the four other original members voted him out of the group because of his volatile onstage and offstage behavior.
The group continued as a quartet until their “Heartbreak” album in 1988, which introduced Gill as a New Edition member.
Prior to New Edition, Gill made some noise in R&B circles as a solo artist and Stacy Lattisaw’s go-to duet partner.
After the success of the “Heartbreak” album, Gill went back to his solo career, Tresvant dropped a solo album and the remaining members dropped a classic album as BBD.
In 1996, all six members came back together to release the album “Home Again” and to go on an accompanying tour.
However, missed appearances and erratic behavior onstage led to chaos on tour and more debt.
Since the early 2000s, New Edition has come back to tour on a regular basis, even seeing their audience get a little younger thanks to the success of the biopic.