Boyz II Men burst on the scene in 1991 with their debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, which sold 5 million copies. The Philadephia-based quartet--Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, and Michael McCary--caught the eye and ear of New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe member, Michael Bivins. He brought them to the attention of Motown Records President and CEO, Jheryl Busby and the rest, as they say, is history.
"End of the Road", one of my all-time favorites by Boyz II Men, spent a record 13 weeks as #1 on the Billboard charts.
We broke our own record twice," said Shawn in an interview with Ebony magazine in November of last year. "End of the Road was No. 1 for 13 weeks, which broke Elvis Presley's record [on the Billboard Hot 100 chart]. Then Whitney Houston trumped us with 'I Will Always Love You' for 14 weeks, but we tied her with "I'll Make Love to You.' Then we beat all of them with 'One Sweet Day', which remained at the top spot for 16 weeks.Often compared to Jodeci, the Bad Boys of R&B, Boyz II Men stayed true to themselves and what worked for them. They were a modern, funkier version of The Temptations and the Miracles when they first hit the music scene. They are credited as reviving the "boy band" era that had not been seen since New Edition. R&B groups Blackstreet, Soul For Real, Shai, All-4-One, Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, and Az Yet (which included former B2M member and co-founder Marc Nelson) were all influenced by them. Even the pop groups like the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and 98 Degrees sighted Boyz II Men as their influences.
As far as them now being a trio, it's not clear on what happened to fourth member, Michael McCary. He left the group in 2003 supposedly due to back problems caused by scoliosis. He is noticeably not on the reunion album. Nathan Morris explains in an Ebony exclusive interview,
We reached out to see if we could work out our differences," said Nathan. "It would have been the perfect scenario. We wanted him here, but it [didn't happen].No one knows if Michael will be present for the Hollywood Walk of Fame presentation tomorrow or not. However, we are glad to see the group get the recognition they deserve. Congrats to them!
*Quotes courtesy of Margena Christian for Ebony Magazine.