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Johnny Gill

Reunited With New Edition

Provocative, Gill's second album for Motown, came out in 1993. Again Motown went all out with production and marketing. Gill did the same. "I tried to give the best vocal performance on each song," he told Billboard. "I think that's what people expect of me." Unfortunately expectations did not translate into sales and the album barely reached RIAA gold status (sales of 500,000 or more). The first single, "The Floor," made it to number 11 on the charts, and three others reached the top fifty. Not a bad showing, but for Gill it was a big disappointment after the incredible success of his previous album.

For the next several years, Gill collaborated with numerous artists, did countless performances, and made several television appearances. Meanwhile, the members of New Edition were thinking about getting back together. It finally happened in 1986 and both Gill and Brown joined the other four members in the studio to record Home Again. The album went double-platinum and landed at number one on both Billboard's R&B and top 200 charts. The first single, the sexy "Hit Me Off," went to number one on the R&B and dance charts. The album also spawned a mega-tour. Despite much-publicized rumors about clashing egos on the tour, Gill told The Jamaica Observer, "We have our ups and downs and all of that stuff but we're family. I couldn't think of any other group that I'd rather be with."

Just months after Home Again came out, Gill released Let's Get the Mood Right, his fifth solo album, and his third on the Motown label. Featuring styles from New Jack to classic R&B to gospel, the album went to number seven on the R&B charts and produced several Gill classics, including the title track, "Love in an Elevator," and "It's Your Body." The latter was written and produced by Gill. He also played bass on many of the tracks. Though it did not sear across the charts as Johnny Gill had, the album pulled in a lot of praise from music critics. The Indianapolis Recorder called Gill "the most passionate balladeer of his generation." The Cincinnati Post wrote "this disc is the first time in memory that Gill's material rates high enough to take full advantage of his wonderful pipes."

At a Glance...

Born on May 22, 1966, in Washington, DC.

Career: Singer, 1983–. Recorded with Atlantic Records, 1983-86, and Motown Records, 1987–. Member of New Edition, MCA Records, 1988-2002, and Bad Boy Records, 2002–; member of LSG, Motown Records, 1997–.

Addresses: Record company—Motown Records, 1755 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY, 10019. Home— Los Angeles, CA.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJohnny Gill Biography - Graduated From Gospel To R, Scored A String Of Chart-topping Hits, Reunited With New Edition