Popular boyband New Edition has recently made a comeback and is touring again. The group Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael “Mike” Bivins, Ronnie Devoe, and Johnny Gill have been together since the ’80s and joined Tamron Hall to talk about their long journey to success.
New Edition has been known for being pioneers of music and the inspiration for many other boybands.
Hall mentioned the group’s AMA performance, where popular Korean boyband BTS was seen trying to keep up with New Edition’s choreography.
” I think I knew from the beginning. As much rehearsals we used to do, as many shows as we used to do, talent show to talent show to talent show. It was just something that I knew that… it could happen for us,” Brown said, “Watching soul train just further… and being on soul train just further instilled a meaningful confirmation that we were gonna make it.”
The group was formed when all the members were very young, and their work ethic, even as children, impressed many.
“You were babies with the work ethic of grown men. Where did that come from?” asked Hall.
Bivins credits much of their work ethic to Brooke Payne and Travis Gresham, who guided them and pushed them to be greater.
“They wanted us to be stars in talent shows. In talent shows, you win money, ten dollars, popularity in your projects, but they had another vision for us. So, every day after school from like four to seven, we would be in Brooke’s living room or Bob’s living room or Ricky’s living room, and we would rehearse other people’s songs,” said Bivins.
He also joked that you couldn’t tell them they weren’t the Jacksons during those times, a group that was a great inspiration for them.
Eventually, the group even went on to top the Billboard charts and surpassed Michael Jackson. An achievement Hall praised them for during the interview.
“We didn’t really understand the charts then. We were just little boys getting into the industry figuring it all out,” said Tresvant.
The group eventually went separate ways to pursue other projects but, is now doing a 30 city tour.
Gill said he’s very excited to see his fans once again after many years.
“When we are in the rehearsals, we don’t drink water or Gatorade or that stuff. We just got a whole room full of Bengay… it’s not pretty,” joked Gill since the members are no longer teens and are now in their 50s.
Gill joined the group shortly after Brown left, a transition that was difficult for the entire group.
“It was a lot of pressure just proving that I was worthy and that I belong here. It was like going through that whole process where even still today it’s been 39 years, but still for me and it’s still it’s like the new guy,” said Gill.
The group never officially disbanded, but Bivins says he believes their break was necessary for further growth and success.
“We kind of just followed the the the plan. There were some rocky steps in front of us that we didn’t know why we were going this way, why it was happening this way, but I think Ronnie said it best, Tammy. Years ago, everything with us was supposed to happen to heighten the group. Remember, our idols were the Jacksons, our idols were the Temptations our idols were Blue Magic, but they never had five-in-one, and that’s what you get out of the concert, even though you come in to see the New Edition brand you get to see all of this great talent when it stands alone,” said Bivins.
The group has begun its tour and will be visiting 30 cities.
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