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Johnny Gill Filtered

Source: Earl Gibson III / Getty

Born in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 1966, Johnny Gill began his career singing gospel in his father’s church, as part of the family gospel group, Wings of Faith.

Johnny Gill’s fame took another leap when, in 1987, he became lead singer for New Edition, a popular 1980s boy band that already had a string of hits. Gill’s deep, distinctive voice helped the group forge a more mature sound, which proved timely as the group members were nearing their twenties and were no longer boys. The group’s 1987 album, Heart Break, featured a more adult sound and included the hit singles “Can You Stand the Rain” (which went to No. 1 on the R&B charts), “N.E. Heartbreak” and “Boys to Men.”

Signing with Motown Records as a solo artist, Gill reached his full potential when his second self-titled album was released in 1990. The album was the first to be produced by the top two R&B producing duos of that time: L.A. Reid and Babyface, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album blasted onto the music scene, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 R&B Albums (and the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart). Johnny Gillalso contained four singles that powered onto the R&B and Pop Singles charts: “My, My, My,” a signature Gill ballad that reached No. 1 on the R&B chart and the Top 10 on the Pop chart; “Wrap My Body Tight”; “Fairweather Friend” and “Rub You the Right Way.”

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