1 minute read

Johnny Gill

Completed Two Decades Of Music Making

In 1997 Gill joined forces with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat to form LSG. The trio's first album, Levert-Sweat-Gill, led by the hit single "My Body," went double-platinum and landed at the number two spot on the R&B charts, number four on the pop. The group's second effort, LSG2, released in 2003, took the third and sixth spots respectively. The same year Motown released The Best of Johnny Gill.

Gill also turned his talents to the stage, appearing in several gospel-tinged musicals including Listen to Your Woman, Will a Real Man Please Stand Up, and A Fool for Love. However, New Edition was never far from his heart. When the group began touring again in 2000, Gill was there. During 2002 New Edition appeared at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) music awards, where they met urban music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. He signed the quintet to his Bad Boy Records label and in 2004 New Edition released One Love. Gill was featured prominently on several tracks, prompting a St. Louis Post-Dispatch music reviewer to write, "[Gill] remains the group's ace." Fans were thrilled with the band's return to recording and pushed the record to the top of the charts. Reflecting on the album's success, Gill told Jet, "I think we were one of the first groups of our generation to do what we've done, be successful and then spin out and do our own thing and then come back. Most groups can't make it that far."

Working full-time as a solo artist and with two popular bands kept Gill busy. "It's tough, very tough but I enjoy it and that's the challenge," Gill told The Jamaica Observer. "You get to work with different personalities and when you are around people that are talented it also keeps your creative juices flowing and that inspires me." Yet despite his prolific creativity, real stardom has eluded him. He has never won a Grammy and his name is largely unknown outside of his R&B fan base. Nonetheless, he viewed his career as a success. "This year makes 20 years," he told The Jamaica Observer in 2003. "And a lot of people have come and gone and [the fact that I'm still around] for me, that's a blessing within itself and I just look forward to another 20 years of doing what I'm doing and what I enjoy doing the most."

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