Johnny Gill is one of the most iconic R&B singers of all time. He rose to fame as a member of New Edition, the group that paved the way for many boy bands in the 1980s and 1990s. He also had a successful solo career, with hits like “My, My, My”, “Rub You the Right Way” and “There U Go”. In this blog post, we will explore his musical journey, his influences and his legacy.
Johnny Gill was born in Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1966. He grew up in a musical family, with his father being a minister and his mother being a singer. He started singing at a young age, joining his brothers in a gospel group called Wings of Faith. He also sang in his church choir and learned to play piano, guitar and drums.
He was discovered by singer Stacy Lattisaw, who invited him to perform with her on tour. They recorded a duet album together, called Perfect Combination, which was released in 1984. The album was a success, reaching number 37 on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the R&B chart. It also spawned the hit singles “Perfect Combination” and “Block Party”.
In 1987, Johnny Gill joined New Edition, replacing Bobby Brown who had left the group to pursue a solo career. He brought a new sound and style to the group, with his powerful and soulful voice. He also co-wrote some of the songs for their album Heart Break, which was released in 1988. The album was a huge hit, selling over four million copies and producing five top ten R&B singles, including “If It Isn’t Love”, “Can You Stand the Rain” and “N.E. Heart Break”.
In 1990, Johnny Gill released his self-titled solo album, which was his most successful to date. It reached number one on the R&B chart and number eight on the Billboard 200. It also earned him a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. The album featured some of his most popular songs, such as “My, My, My”, “Rub You the Right Way” and “Wrap My Body Tight”. The album also showcased his versatility as a singer, as he sang in different genres like pop, rock and gospel.
In 1996, Johnny Gill reunited with New Edition for their album Home Again, which was another commercial and critical success. The album sold over two million copies and spawned the hits “Hit Me Off”, “I’m Still in Love with You” and “You Don’t Have to Worry”. The group also embarked on a sold-out tour that year.
In 2004, Johnny Gill formed a supergroup with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat, called LSG. They released two albums together, Levert.Sweat.Gill and LSG2, which both reached the top five on the R&B chart. They also had several hit singles, such as “My Body”, “Curious” and “Door #1”.
In 2011, Johnny Gill released his sixth solo album, Still Winning, which marked his return to the music scene after a hiatus. The album received positive reviews from critics and fans alike, and featured guest appearances from Eddie Levert, Jaheim and Kelly Price. The album also included the single “In the Mood”, which won him a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Song of the Year.
In 2014, Johnny Gill reunited with New Edition once again for their 30th anniversary tour. The tour was a huge success, drawing large crowds across the country. The group also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.
In 2019, Johnny Gill released his seventh solo album, Game Changer II, which was a sequel to his 2014 album Game Changer. The album featured collaborations with Ralph Tresvant, Sheila E., New Edition and more. The album also spawned the hit single “Soul of a Woman”, which topped the Adult R&B Songs chart for four weeks.
Johnny Gill is one of the most influential and respected R&B singers of all time. He has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and has won numerous awards and accolades for his music. He has also inspired many artists who followed him, such as Usher, Brian McKnight and Tank. He is truly a game changer in the music industry.