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Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe

The group was started by Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Bobby Brown in 1978 while living at the Orchard Park housing projects (or what the group calls them popularly as "The Bricks") in the Roxbury district of Boston, Massachusetts. They would soon meet a young local group manager/choreographer named Brook Payne, whom would give them the name, "New Edition", afterwards, Bell would soon bring in his best friend, Ralph Tresvant in on the act and would soon become their lead singer, then Payne would then round out the line-up by bringing in his nephew, Ronnie DeVoe. The group would perform all around Massachusetts and would eventually land a spot at a talent show which ran by Maurice Starr, where the first prize was $500.00 and a recording contract. New Edition came in 2nd place, but Starr decided to bring the group to his studio the following day and would record their debut album, Candy Girl featuring the hits, Is This The End, Popcorn Love, Jealous Girl and the title track, which went to #1 in 1983, then due financial reasons, NE parted company with Starr in 1984; Starr responded by promptly creating the group New Kids on the Block, essentially New Edition with Caucasian teenagers. After the suit the boys would still receive success from singles such as "Cool It Now", "Mr. Telephone Man", and "Count Me Out". Around 1986, Bobby Brown was voted out of the group, due to behavioral problems during concerts, and therefore went on to pursue a solo career in 1987; he did not find success in his solo ventures though, until 1988. Brown was replaced by former solo child star Johnny Gill who would become an official member that same year. The group's sound also evolved at this time from bubblegum pop-styled R&B to smoother, more adult music. The new material, primarily produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, had a strong new jack swing feel. The first album recorded with Gill, Heart Break, had numerous R&B hits, including "If It Isn't Love", "Can You Stand The Rain", "N.E. Heart Break", and "Boys To Men" (which later lent its name to the Philadelphia-based super group Boyz II Men). (source:  Wikipedia)




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