After success and then struggle, R&B legends New Edition finally enjoy a victory lap

Six men in duster-length coats, hats and sunglasses

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It was 1997, and New Edition, the most gifted vocal group since the Jackson 5, was imploding.

For Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Johnny Gill, the “Home Again” reunion tour was supposed to be a victory lap. Since making their 1983 debut with their wide-eyed bubblegum jam “ Candy Girl ,” the young singers from Boston’s tough Orchard Park projects had beaten the odds to sell over 20 million records worldwide, highlighted by their self-titled breakthrough (1984), the dramatic “All for Love” (1985) and the landmark Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-produced “Heart Break” (1988). (Gill, from Washington, D.C., joined the group in 1987.)

After scoring their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with 1996’s “Home Again” and a string of solo successes, New Edition was ready for its coronation as R&B icons. Instead, the 1997 shows were a full-blown disaster.

Brown, who’d married pop superstar Whitney Houston in 1992 and whose issues with drugs and alcohol and run-ins with the law made him the subject of tabloid headlines and the butt of late-night jokes, had suffered a heart attack just two weeks before the tour kicked off. During the course of the tour, each New Edition member traveled on a separate bus. At one show in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Brown, DeVoe and their entourages got into a fight, onstage. Security teams for the two camps pulled guns on each other.

Toward the end of the tour, Tresvant had had enough. “F— it,” he told his childhood friends. “I ain’t doing no more shows.” The concerts left New Edition in debt. Gill summed up the entire experience to one interviewer: “It’s been hell, absolute hell.”

new edition tour history

Nearly 25 years later, New Edition are in a Chicago rehearsal space, and this time around the mood is considerably lighter. The men, now in their 50s, are in high spirits, and a genuine sense of brotherhood abounds. There’s good reason: New Edition’s 30-city “Culture” tour — featuring the Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson and ’90s R&B stars Jodeci, and coming to Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena on Sunday — has been filling large venues with fans spanning generations and races.

The last time all six members performed together on an extended bill was in 2014. “We didn’t know if New Edition performing together was ever going to happen again,” says Tresvant, the group’s smooth-singing lead vocalist. “I believe that motivated people to come out and make sure they got the chance to see all six members out there.”

“The fans who grew up with us are really happy to come out and celebrate,” says Bell, who is also a member of New Edition’s ’90s hip-hop-fueled spinoff trio Bell Biv DeVoe.

Five young teenagers stand in front of a chain-link fence in the 1980s.

Brown, who was kicked out of New Edition in 1985 over his constant showboating and missed performances before emerging as a solo star with his 7-million-selling “Don’t Be Cruel,” is hopeful that the group’s days of infighting are behind them.

“With the ‘Home Again’ tour everybody thought they were the star,” says Brown from his Los Angeles home. “We definitely dealt with each other totally differently back then. We were a lot younger and there wasn’t a lot of [unity]. We left our egos at the door this time.”

Brown seems particularly happy to be reunited with his friends in New Edition. You could say Brown, who’s been drug free for nearly 20 years and sober from alcohol for over a year, is just happy to be alive. Between 2012 and 2020, the singer lost his ex-wife Houston , the couple’s 22-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown , and his 28-year-old son, Bobby Brown Jr., all to drug-related deaths.

“This tour has been therapeutic for me,” says Brown. “We pray a lot. We talk a lot.”

Says Bell, who overcame his own battles with drug addiction, “To see Bobby out there doing his joints ... it’s been beautiful, man.”

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The group — all are now married, some even with adult children — credit longtime manager, choreographer and “7th member” Brooke Payne with getting them back into fighting shape for the tour. “Oh, man, Brooke is still kicking us in the ass everyday,” laughs Brown. “Muscle memory is one thing, but being 53 years old and still trying to dance like you’re 20 is really difficult.

“We know that ticket prices are high,” he adds, “which is why it’s been so surprising to us that people are actually taking the time to pay homage to New Edition.”

Joe Hadley, the band’s booking agent at CAA, who helped sign New Edition last year to a worldwide representation deal encompassing touring, film, television, composing and literature, notes the success of the tour has caught the attention of concert promoters who traditionally lean heavily on classic rock acts as arena attractions.

“[Promoters] are starting to understand that there are [middle-age] Black music fans with disposable income,” says Hadley. “You have Black artists who are global superstars, but maybe haven’t toured in a while. There are going to be artists from different eras, like a Missy Elliott, that we will see tour again in the near future. It’s a really exciting space.”

Yet despite all the good will, New Edition has a few scores to settle. “There were times we were taken advantage of,” DeVoe says, about the group’s battles with the music industry. “Now we are making sure our budgets are right. We are paying attention to every penny that’s coming in, damn near to the concession stands. Even if we don’t have a piece of it, we are trying to understand it, because of the things that we’ve been through in our careers.”

new edition tour history

Tresvant, Brown, Bell, DeVoe and Bivins were first discovered as kids by local songwriter and producer Maurice Starr, at a 1982 Boston-area talent show. Back then, New Edition dreamed only of following in the footsteps of their musical heroes. “We were coming after the Temptations and the Jackson 5,” recalls Tresvant. “These were the people we looked up to. In our era, the hip-hop era, New Edition was the first on the block.”

After the group returned from their first national tour, they were dropped back off at the projects with each member pocketing $1.87 apiece. Starr and New Edition’s label Streetwise Records claimed touring expenses were to blame. The boys promptly hired a lawyer and got released from their contract.

New Edition’s 1984 self-titled album for MCA Records was an even bigger success, going double platinum. They had a top five pop single, “Cool It Now.” New Edition was now a legit arena draw, selling out venues such as Madison Square Garden.

But once again, the money wasn’t adding up. New Edition soon discovered that they were not signed to MCA, but rather to their management’s production company Jump & Shoot. Each member had to borrow $100,000 from MCA to extricate themselves from yet another duplicitous deal.

“As far as New Edition is concerned, that’s never going to happen again,” insists DeVoe.

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When it came time to find a team to organize the new tour, the group went with the African American-owned company the Black Promoters Collective — which has overseen productions for H.E.R., Cardi B and Stevie Wonder — over larger conglomerates such as Live Nation and AEG Presents.

“We are uniquely positioned to work with BIPOC artists,” BPC’s co-partner Shelby Joyner said, “because we are from similar spaces and places as the talent we seek as partners.”

“For Black folks, New Edition has been at the forefront of our lives for a very long time,” says Cori Murray, deputy editor at Essence magazine. The group is scheduled to be one of the headliners at this summer’s Essence Fest at New Orleans’ Caesars Superdome.

Six men in matching suits and hats

New Edition admit they haven’t always received the respect they felt due. During their success in the ’80s, a culture-shifting moment when hip-hop was just beginning to take hold of Middle America and Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna were jockeying for pop supremacy on MTV, the teen act was often treated as an afterthought by white mainstream entertainment outlets.

“In 1983, there was no one else like us on TV or on the radio that our community could really relate to,” says Bell. “We weren’t really thinking about crossing over.”

Following Brown’s departure in late ’85, the addition of powerhouse vocalist Johnny Gill gave the group a more mature, dynamic range. New Edition’s evolution from teen-zine favorites to respected artists can be heard on “Heart Break,” now regarded as part of the new jack swing canon.

Meanwhile, New Edition became the prototype for such mammoth (white) boy bands as New Kids on the Block (also discovered and marketed by Starr), the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, as well as multiplatinum R&B vocal groups such as Boyz II Men (who got their name from a New Edition song before being signed by budding music mogul Bivins), Dru Hill and Jagged Edge.

“But none of them can compete with New Edition,” Bell says in a rare moment of chest-beating. “We have the best of R&B, the best of hip-hop, the best of pop … all of that combined in one group.”

new edition tour history

Watching New Edition perform its catalog of favorites (“ Jealous Girl ,” “Cool It Now,” “ Mr. Telephone Man ,” “Can You Stand the Rain,” “If It Isn’t Love,” “ Hit Me Off ”) and solo material by Brown (“My Prerogative”), Tresvant (“ Sensitivity ”), Bell Biv Devoe (“ Poison ”) and Gill (“ My, My, My ”) can be revelatory, a living reminder of the connection between Black ’50s doo-wop (New Edition used to cover the Penguins’ classic “Earth Angel”) and today’s airtight K-pop a la BTS.

New Edition remains the only vocal group in music history in which every member has scored a platinum or multiplatinum album. So why has it taken this long for them to capitalize on their legacy? While race has certainly played a factor, DeVoe says a big part of the blame was due to the group’s penchant for getting in their own way.

“At times we’ve played theaters [for] 4,000 fans and we had to have a support act just for that,” he admits of the act’s down period. “Some of the [issues] that we went through minimized the magnitude of what New Edition could do.”

In 2017, the group co-produced the BET scripted miniseries “The New Edition Story,” a three-part dramatization of their soap-operatic run that drew huge ratings and warm reviews. (One writer called it “the best black TV biopic” since the 1992 ABC series “The Jacksons: An American Dream.”)

Yet in 2018, the group had to scrap a much-anticipated tour over a business dispute that boiled over into public view. Tresvant and Gill reportedly trademarked the group’s name without the others’ consent. In an Instagram post, Brown cropped Tresvant out of an early ’80s throwback photo of New Edition. Tresvant responded to his ex bandmates in a 50th birthday shoutout to fans: “This year is the start of Me, Myself, and Mines… NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!”

Subsequently, Devoe, Brown, Bell and Biv formed RBRM (Ronnie Bobby Ricky Mike) and launched their own tour. Tresvant and Gill hit the road as a duo. “We built the name and Johnny walked into the name,” Bivins snapped on the Breakfast Club radio show.

As with most New Edition fights, the group chalks it up to miscommunication and the matter has since been resolved. “We never really talked about it,” says Tresvant. “That was the problem.”

new edition tour history

Sometimes New Edition just needs to be reminded of their far-reaching impact. “You don’t ever really feel like you’ve made it until you look at the eyes of the guys that came up under you,” says Tresvant. “For the first time in New Edition’s career, we are finally feeling like we are in that spot.”

In addition to the current tour, New Edition is recording tracks for what they hope will be an upcoming reunion album, and there are plans for a Las Vegas residency later this year.

Meanwhile, in May, A&E will air a two-part documentary, “Biography: Bobby Brown,” that will serve as a lead-in to a 12-episode reality series, “Bobby Brown: Every Little Step.”

And if DeVoe has his way, New Edition will be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2023, just in time for the group’s 40th anniversary. “We are definitely going to hit that home run at some point,” he says. “I’m speaking that one into existence.”

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New Edition

A biography of the pioneering New Jack Swing R&B group

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New Edition is an all-male R&B group that formed in Boston in the early 1980s. The group spearheaded the boy band movement that endured throughout the '80s and '90s, and they're widely recognized as pioneers of the New Jack Swing R&B/hip-hop subgenre.

The group is made up of members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant. Gill is not an original member.

The boys who would become known as New Edition grew up in Boston.  Bobby Brown , Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell, who knew each other from school and living in the same housing projects, formed a vocal group in the late 1970s. Two friends, Travis Pettus and Corey Rackley, were briefly members. They met local manager and choreographer Brooke Payne while performing at a talent show in Roxbury, Mass. The group auditioned for Payne, who thought the quintet was like a new edition of the Jackson 5 , and he renamed them New Edition.

Pettus and Rackley left the group and were replaced by another neighborhood friend, Ralph Tresvant, and Payne's nephew Ronnie DeVoe.

New Edition caught their break in 1982 when they were discovered at a talent show at Boston's Strand Theatre by music producer and songwriter Maurice Starr. The group ended up taking second place, but Starr was impressed and offered them a deal on his label Streetwise Records. The next day they started working on what would become their debut album, Candy Girl .

Early Career

Their 1983 debut was both a critical and commercial success. Candy Girl  sold over a million copies and the title track was No. 1 hit the U.S. and U.K. They subsequently embarked on a major tour to promote the album.

After the tour wrapped and the boys returned home they each received a check for the measly amount of $1.87. Starr explained that tour expenses prevented them from being paid more. In 1984 they split with Starr and sued his label. New Edition won the lawsuit and they scored a recording deal with MCA Records following a bidding war with several other major labels.

Their self-titled second album, which was released in 1984, was even more successful than their first. It eventually sold over 2 million copies and generated multiple singles, including "Cool It Now" and the Top 5 hit "Mr. Telephone Man."

Their third effort,  All for Love , was released in 1985. Though not nearly as successful as  New Edition , it still went platinum and yielded the hit singles "Count Me Out," "A Little Bit of Love (Is All It Takes)" and "With You All the Way."

Membership Shuffle

New Edition voted member Bobby Brown out in 1986, reportedly due to personality differences, and the group continued as a quartet. Brown embarked on a solo career.

Despite the shakeup, they continued to be successful. After recording a cover of the 1954 Penguins ' hit "Earth Angel" for the soundtrack to "The Karate Kid, Part II," they were inspired to record  Under the Blue Moon , a compilation of doo-wop covers.

In 1987 Johnny Gill was brought into the group.

Their fifth album,  Heart Break , was released in 1988. It marked New Edition's departure from kiddie-pop and their entry into a smoother, stronger, more mature sound that resonated with critics and fans. It went on to sell more than 2 million copies in the U.S. Soon after they kicked off a tour with former member Bobby Brown, who now had a successful career as a solo artist, as their opening act.

With Bobby Brown experiencing substantial solo success, the boys of New Edition felt inspired to pursue side projects and they temporarily broke up.

Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe formed the trio Bell Biv DeVoe. Their 1990 debut album,  Poison , which served as a fixture of the New Jack Swing movement, sold more than 4 million copies.

Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill each released solo albums and enjoyed platinum success.

The group reunited at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards when all six members, including Bobby Brown, performed a remix of the Bell Biv DeVoe song "Word to the Mutha!"

1996 Reunion

New Edition had promised fans they'd get back together, so in 1996 they released  Home Again . Bobby Brown was officially back in the group, making New Edition a sextet for the first time, and the album sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.

The reunion was short-lived, however. During their promotional tour, ​the group broke out into a fight onstage when Brown decided to lengthen his solo set. Brown and Bivins left the tour, and Bell, DeVoe, Gill, and Tresvant finished it as a quartet.

After the tour was over, New Edition's future was more uncertain than ever before.

Solo pursuits followed New Edition's second breakup and they eventually reunited sans Bobby Brown in 2002. Sean "Diddy" Combs, CEO of Bad Boy Records, signed the group to his label.

One Love  was issued in 2004. It debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 but continued to decline. New Edition eventually asked to be released from their contract with Bad Boy due to creative differences.

In 2005 New Edition performed at BET's 25th Anniversary Special. Bobby Brown joined the group for a performance of "Mr. Telephone Man," and it was later announced that he'd reconciled with the group and planned to rejoin them in future concerts.

New Edition announced a world tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2012. That same year they received the Soul Train Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In 2015 BET announced a three-night scripted miniseries about the group that would air sometime in 2016. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, and their original choreographer and longtime manager, Brooke Payne, signed on as co-producers.

Popular Songs:

  • "Can You Stand the Rain"  Download/Purchase
  • "If It Isn't Love"  Download/Purchase
  • "Cool It Now"  Download/Purchase
  • "Candy Girl"  Download/Purchase
  • "Mr. Telephone Man"  Download/Purchase
  • "Still In Love"  Download/Purchase
  • "Boys to Men" Download/Purchase

Discography:

  • Candy Girl  (1983)
  • New Edition  (1984)
  • All for Love  (1985)
  • Under the Blue Moon  (1986)
  • Heart Break  (1988)
  • Home Again  (1996)
  • One Love  (2004)
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New Edition are a band hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, United States who formed in 1978. Since their debut, they have released seven studio albums and are generally considered to be one of the world's first true boy-bands.

The group was formed by a group of five friends who all lived in the Orchard Park housing projects in Boston, Massachusetts. Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Travis Pettus and Corey Rackley all came together in 1978 and soon after their formation they were performing at local talent shows and anywhere else that would have them. Soon after their first live show they met Brooke Payne, a choreographer who was branching out into management. He saw something in the band so he had them audition for him a couple of days after first meeting them, and was so impressed with what he saw that he became their manager. He also named them New Edition as he saw them as an updated version of The Jackson 5, but it still wasn't enough for Rackley or Pettus.

They left the group shortly after it was named, but were shortly replaced by Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe, respectively. Over the next couple of years, the band continued to perform live and make demos until their big break in 1982, where they were seen live by the singer/producer Maurice Starr. Starr was so impressed with the band that he took them into his personal recording studio and cut their debut album “Candy Girl” right there and then. The album was released in 1983, and it's title track was a big hit, topping the Billboard R&B Chart and the U.K singles chart (the first ever number one single in the U.K to contain rapping as well!).

While the band did get a big break thanks to Starr, it also turned out that Starr was meddling with their finances. Meaning that after a hugely successful nation-wide tour, the band each received a pay-check worth the princely sum of $1.87 for their efforts. The band parted ways with Starr and signed a record deal with MCA Records, leading to their commercial peak with their self-titled second album and its singles “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”. Ever since then, the band have remained a huge influence on modern R&B, as their hip-hop inflected chart pop paved the way for New Jack Swing acts like Boyz 2 Men. They're a band whose influence can be felt on the pop charts to this very day, and they remain an unmissable live act to boot. For that, they come highly recommended.

Live reviews

NEW EDITION (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny) performed like they were in their 20's (AMAZING!). I was dancing the whole time and did not sit down once. It was the best concert I have been too in a very long time. I was singing along to every song (singles from Bobby, Ralph, Johnny, BBD and New Edition). You have to go see them -- I would go again... it's worth every penny! I love them because..."EVERY LITTLE STEP" I took made me realized that, I am "STILL IN LOVE" with them because they are "DOPE!" and they know how to "RUB YOU THE RIGHT WAY"; they are not "STONE COLD GENTLEMAN"! AWESOME CONCERT!

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Emra114’s profile image

New Edition knows how to put on a show! No matter which one is your favorite, they each have their time to shine. They interact with the crowd and make you feel like you are the only one in attendance. Once you'be experienced a New Edition concert you will be hooked and want to see them again & again & again! Their shows are definitely worth every penny. They NEVER disappoint!

kenya-green-1’s profile image

Man this show was great! Them boys from Boston and one from D.C. had us older folks groovin' and the balcony rocking....literally! It was like a NE mixtape. They came out together, then split off into singles and group, the back together again. It was a journey thru time as they started with 5, went to 4, then back to 5, and finally to all 6!!! #NE4Life #all6

armandmc’s profile image

The new edition concert was excellent . It had been 25 years since I saw them first, this show was stunning . Their presentation was for the fans. The men are in great shape with exception of BB, but he kept up. I will see them again when they are in the city. The venue was great, the DJ during intermission was kicking. Love, love.

myka-craig’s profile image

New Edition was great last night in Charlotte N.C. They all still got it from the singing to the dancing . It was worth my time and money to go and see them and I would go see them again. I love New Edition.Been a fan since they came out with Candy Girl - that's been over thirty something yrs.

teresa-lindsay-johns’s profile image

It was the best nite in along time for me !!!! Felt like i was 13 all over again,last time i got to see new edition was around 1983 @ madison square garden been a fan for 33 yrs. Can only hope they will return to augusta ga real soon because the fan base is definitely here.☺

Ecbrown1971’s profile image

I REALLY ENJOYED THE SHOW BABYFACE WAS AMAZING.. HOW EVER NEW EDDTION PERFORMANCE WOULD HAVE BEEN EXTORDNARY

IF BOBBY BROWN WAS THERE. EVERYONE WANTED TO SEE BOBBY BROWN SO WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I RWALIZE THAT HE WASN'T THERE WE WERE READY TO GO HOME..

lyeila-mabon’s profile image

Great show!!! All was missing was Bobby!

I would do it again if they come to town again!! The Sands Bethlehem is also great place to see a concert!! Big enough but you still feel like your part of show! The energy of shown was also awesome!!

Darkman42’s profile image

Show was good but the show at the Primm, NV. Was better. We love NE however and will see them anywhere in California and Nevada. Always better without Bobbie! We have loved NE from day one, grew up with them and they are our favorite group

colette-coco-smith-g’s profile image

New Edition was great. It was great to listen to nice old school music again. I was very satisfied with New Edition as well as Babyface. Overall it was a excellent show. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.

smoothjazze37’s profile image

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The Dig - Greater Boston's Alternative News Source

FROM AROUND THE WAY TO AROUND THE WORLD

Written by G. VALENTINO BALL Posted January 18, 2017 Filed Under: FEATURES , Interviews , MUSIC , Non-fiction

The history behind the New Edition Story

BY G. VALENTINO BALL AND KILLERBOOMBOX

New Edition is home again. At the Boston preview of the miniseries about the R&B group’s genre-changing career—the New Edition Story , airing for three nights on BET later this month—the vibe is more like a family reunion than a movie screening. The camaraderie is fitting, seeing as group members Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie Bell move through the crowd greeting actual friends, cousins, and aunts who are here to preview the dramatic TV version of a saga   they know first-hand (remaining members Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill were absent from the homecoming stop on the promotional tour).

To make things official, Mayor Marty Walsh is present to honor the group’s 33-year-long career and to declare the eighth of January “New Edition Day.” The boys from the Orchard Park projects in Roxbury have done good. The day before the series debuts, all six members will be in Los Angeles to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Respect for New Edition should be born from more than simply hometown pride. Likewise, it’s important to look past its teen heartthrob beginnings. In the bigger picture of contemporary pop music, New Edition is the bridge between the classic Motown R&B of your parents and the hip-hop generation. From its breakout 1983 hit “Candy Girl” to the megahits of the collective and their subsequent spinoff smashes like “Poison,” members of the band were the lifeblood fueling a burgeoning hybrid genre’s pop music takeover.

Notably, they didn’t just do it collectively. Long before side projects and solo careers for everyone in popular groups became the norm, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph, and Johnny separated and still dominated charts throughout the ’90s, like Wu-Tang Clan with dance steps. Solo projects from Tresvant and Gill were mature for the grown and sexy crowd, while Brown’s chart-topping releases plus projects from the remaining trio Bell Biv Devoe served as a one-two punch that wedded rap and R&B once and for all. Along with that was the run that Bivins had as the mogul behind Another Bad Creation, 702, and one of the best-selling acts of all time, Boyz II Men. And don’t forget that their nascent career was a crib sheet for original producer Maurice Starr to reference for his next Boston export, New Kids On The Block.

The BET miniseries covers the gamut, from turmoil to triumph. It’s all here. From New Edition’s start in Orchard Park outside of Dudley Square to the bandmates voting resident bad boy Brown out of the group to their reunions over time. This is not another hack job like the Lifetime biopics disgracing Whitney Houston and Aaliyah. Rather, the New Edition Story is a classy production that will inspire hometown pride on par with the recent N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton .

Having grown up in Boston while New Edition was making its mark, I lunged at the opportunity to connect with members of the group, as well as key players from behind the scenes of their career and the upcoming BET series, for a more detailed glimpse of one of the most prolific family trees in music history, in Boston or anyplace else.

FIRST EDITION

RICKY BELL (founding member): When we started off singing, we just wanted to make the girls scream and make a little money. That’s as far as our ideas went. And now 33 something years later, we’re making a movie about our story. It’s like, wow … how do you even plan for something like that?

STEPHEN HILL (president of programming, BET): I was in college radio in Providence when [New Edition manager] Maurice Starr brought us “Candy Girl.” I believe it was the summer of ’83. He said, “They’re out of Boston and they are going to be big.” I’m a huge Jackson 5 fan. So I was like, “Got it. Understand what this is.”

GEESPIN (Hub radio personality, current assistant program director/music director Power 105.1 in NY): When hip-hop was just getting started moving, they were the boy band that was moving with it. They were in [Def Jam founder Russell Simmons’ biopic] Krush Groove. Promoters wouldn’t book hip-hop shows but they would put New Edition on there to kind of balance it out. They had the Motown soul but they had the streets.

RICKY BELL: We were given our name by [choreographer and original manager] Brooke Payne … that was the reasoning behind it. We were going to be a New Edition to the industry … and at the time we didn’t really know how far, how deep that meaning goes.

STEPHEN HILL: The city helped raise them. The city in the form of Brooke [Payne] and their mothers, the support that happened in the talent night community was really important to their growth.

GEESPIN: If you look at their early videos, they were wearing what the streets were wearing. They would dress up and do that stuff but they were all … in front of what everyone else was doing.

RICKY BELL: We had the Temptations and the Jacksons, and we grew up when hip-hop first started. It was a good time for music and a good time for us to be inspired.

YOUNG LEGENDS

BROOKE PAYNE (choreographer and original manager): They always spoke about not having their accolades. My reply was always, It’s coming . It’s in God’s time .

STEPHEN HILL: [People in Boston] wrapped their arms around New Edition when they came up.

GEESPIN: If you look at the legendary R&B groups of all time, New Edition is in that conversation. The Jacksons obviously had the biggest superstar in the world. But if you break out the individual careers, they were all successful. Bobby had a huge career. Johnny had a great career. BBD had a great career. Ralph had success. None of those other bands can say that.

RONNIE DEVOE: You get to see [Bobby Brown]. Then Johnny, Ralph, and Bell Biv Devoe. Then we wrap this thing back around and you get the [1996 album] Home Again where we posse back up. Even still around that time when they mentioned who’s who in the industry, New Edition wasn’t at the top of people’s tongues as far as just accomplishments and being groundbreaking.

STEPHEN HILL: We had a great relationship when I was program director and morning personality at WILD [in Roxbury]. Keep in mind the station is literally 200 yards from where they grew up. BBD came and played their music for us first. They were just finishing the [final New Edition tour for the 1989 album] N.E. Heartbreak . They brought the “Word to the Mutha!” remix video back here … Bobby [Brown] would come to the station with “Don’t Be Cruel.”

BOSTON STRENGTH

GEESPIN: We are from Boston so we kind of get it … But what I’ve come to realize is that other people do get it. You don’t always know if the rest of the world is with you on this.

RICKY BELL: Today, I don’t really know where that inspiration is coming from for a lot of new artists … I don’t think even half of them know our music or history or anything like that. We’re not offended by it, it’s just that when we were growing up, our parents introduced us to great music. I would hope that this movie does shed a lot of new light in telling our story, what we meant to the music business …

We want to share our stories as well, not to be recognized as far as who did this … What’s really important to us is to share that experience and hope that it will inspire and teach anyone following after us. The do’s and the don’ts and what can be accomplished if you work hard and stick to it.

MICHAEL BIVINS (founding member): [Boston attitude has] been a part of our resilience because even to this day, we still striving for some stuff … We’ve been a little bit overlooked … what we do is we take it out on that stage. The music community, that’s our home right there. We feel like as long as we’re putting people in the seats and we’re on stage and we’re doing our music, nothing else really matters.

GEESPIN: Bobby influenced Usher, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and all of that generation. And BBD completely changed the game. They broke out of this thing when no one else thought they could do it to have arguably the biggest record of them all. “Poison” will go down as one of the top 20 records of all time.

STEPHEN HILL: This is a story not just about New Edition but about Boston.

MICHAEL BIVINS: This movie is like the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Patriots, or the Bruins winning a championship.

RICKY BELL: It’s crazy because we started the process about 10 years ago … Even though it took a while, at the same time it seems like it’s happening so fast. So there’s a part of you that’s so hands-on, you want everything to come off right … you want people to see you in the right light. But at some point, you kind of just have to let go and just have to trust the process, trust the directors and actors … and just enjoy it … this moment only comes once in a lifetime if you’re lucky.

MICHAEL BIVINS: [Bobby Brown] was a little hesitant in the beginning [of the movie planning] … He came aboard a little later. Sometimes you have that dynamic that holds things up … Ten years ago, we were with Paramount and we were going for a two-hour movie. By [Brown] not being there and pushing that through, it allowed us 10 years later to go back to BET and stretch it out two more nights—so instead of two hours, we’re getting six. That’s one of those hurdles where you be like, Man, I was a little mad at you then but I ain’t mad at you now … Once again, a trip-up turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

BROOKE PAYNE: It’s an honor for me to see them as kids and now as grown men with children themselves, one of them with a grandchild. Some of us in life are chosen. These guys are chosen to live the life that they lived. There’s a part in the movie where I got fired. That back then didn’t bother me, because what was more important at the time was that they continue. If I never came back again that was fine because I would have seen that grow. They are something that kids can look up to and that’s what I am proud of most.

STEPHEN HILL: It’s not [a story of] them against each other but it’s how the music business took care of five very talented but very impressionable kids who didn’t know the business well. So it was how that really fractured them and broke them apart but their brotherhood was strong and brought them back together.

RONNIE DEVOE: Whitney Houston had a movie, one night. Aaliyah had a movie, one night. We look at some of our idols. The Jacksons, two nights. The Temptations, two nights. New Edition is three nights because of the depth and the history that we have. So we feel like, we had to wait for our just due and to kind of be a part of that tribe. It’s a sweet situation, better late than never, and we are happy that it’s finally coming around.

new edition tour history

G. VALENTINO BALL

Greg is the co-founder of KillerBoomBox and a music journalist who has written for publications ranging from the Boston Metro to XXL magazine.

new edition tour history

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The Boston R&B group found incredible success in the 1980s and beyond with hits like “Candy Girl” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”

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New Edition photo by Paul Natkin and WireImage

One of the most successful R&B groups in history, New Edition’s incredible career has seen saw them progress from teenybopper boy band to revered legends. With the band going on hiatus at several points, its various members enjoyed even more success with solo careers and offshoots.

New Edition formed in 1978, when childhood friends from the Orchard Park housing project in Roxbury, Boston, started a vocal group. Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Corey Rackney and Travis Pettus were in the original line-up, though Rackley was replaced by Ralph Tresvant before the local manager and choreographer Brooke Payne took the group under his wing, giving them their name to signify they were a “new edition” of Jackson 5 . Travis Pettus then left, and Payne installed his nephew Ronnie DeVoe as a replacement.

With their first permanent line-up in place, New Edition began entering talent contests, and it was at one of these, at Boston’s Strand Theater, that they received their first big break. Though they came in second place, their performance of the Jackson 5’s ‘The Love You See’ left local producer and impresario Maurice Starr so impressed that he invited them to his studio the next day to record a demo for what would become their debut album, Candy Girl .

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Released in 1983 on Starr’s own Streetwise Records – while the members were all aged between 13 and 15 – Candy Girl proved a success. There were hit R&B singles in the shape of ‘Is This The End’ and ‘Popcorn Love’, but it was the album’s infectious title track which proved the biggest smash, racing to No.1 on both the American R&B and UK singles charts. To promote the album, the boys embarked on a major concert tour, though when they were dropped off at their homes in the projects, they were each given a cheque in the amount of $1.87 for their troubles. Starr told them that the tour budget and expenses had taken up all of their money, leading the group to sack their manager and enlist lawyers Steven and Martin Machat to help release them from their Streetwise contract. Starr lost the case, though he would go on to have an astronomical impact with his next project, teenage boy band New Kids On The Block.

Now free agents, with further help from the Machats’ law firm New Edition secured a contract with MCA, for whom they released their self-titled sophomore effort in 1984. Lead single ‘Cool It Now’ proved an even bigger success than its predecessors as it reached Top 5 in the charts. Further hits, including the Ray Parker, Jr-penned ‘Mr Telephone Man’, propelled the album up to No.6 in the charts.

Further legal problems occurred when the group learned that they were actually signed to a subsidiary of MCA, Jump And Shoot. In an effort to extract themselves, all five members took out a $100,000 loan from MCA to end the deal. Though they scored a new, long-term deal with MCA and finally found themselves the major label contract that they craved, the group would have to tour and record almost continually in order to pay off their debts.

The group’s third album, 1985’s All For Love , found them growing up quickly, as their voices deepened and the music began moving away from the bubble-gum pop of their previous efforts. Though it would reach platinum sales and spawn the hits ‘Count Me Out’ and ‘A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)’, the album sold less than expected. Meanwhile, lead singer Bobby Brown was becoming disenchanted with the group’s image; Christmas All Over The World , a holiday EP released later that year, became his final recording with the group before he left.

With Brown now pursuing a solo career away from the band, the remaining members recorded a covers album in the shape of 1986’s Under The Blue Moon . A collection of doo-wop numbers from the 50s and 60s, it would yield them another hit single with their take on The Penguins’ ‘Earth Angel’. With rumours circulating that Ralph Tresvant was about to follow Bobby Brown into a solo career, a bid to stabilise the band saw them enlist a new member in the shape of Johnny Gill , a friend who had been struggling as a solo artist.

Aware that Brown had enjoyed massive solo success pursuing the hip-hop-influenced New Jack Swing style on his second album, Don’t Be Cruel , New Edition were Keen to follow suit. Looking to update their sound, the group enlisted Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis – the red-hot production duo who had just masterminded Janet Jackson ’s Control album – to follow a similar path on their fifth studio effort, 1988’s Heart Break . Featuring several R&B hits such as ‘Can’t Stand The Rain’, it went on to become their highest-selling album to date. Keen to stretch their wings and pursue other projects, the band agreed to put New Edition on hiatus in 1989, and the following year saw multiple releases from its members. Ralph Tresvant’s big-selling self-titled album featured the Jam- and Lewis-penned hit ‘Sensitivity’, while Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe re-launched themselves as Bel Biv DeBoe and employed The Bomb Squad to oversee their seminal, triple-platinum debut album, Poison . The Public Enemy producers added a tough hip-hop edge to their sound, and the title track became a huge worldwide hit. Newest band member Johnny Gill also re-launched his solo career with considerable success with his 1990 self-titled album featuring the hit single ‘Rub You The Right Way’.

Having achieved commercial success away from New Edition, the group reunited for a sixth album, 1996’s Home Again , with Bobby Brown back on board. Driven by the headline-making return of Brown, the album proved a triumph, becoming the most successful of their career, debuting at No.1 in the charts and yielding the hit singles ‘Hit Me Off’ (which topped the R&B charts) and ‘I’m Still In Love With You’. The group headed off on tour to support the album in 1997, but any spirit of camaraderie was short-lived as old personality clashes resurfaced.

Following the tour, the members resumed their previous projects, only reuniting again in 2002. Without Bobby Brown – and now without a label after their long-term deal with MCA expired – they embarked on a small-scale tour that took in clubs, casinos and arenas. Present at one of the shows was P Diddy, who agreed to sign the group to his Bad Boy Records label, for whom they released One Love , in 2002. Proof that their popularity had not waned, it debuted at No.12 in the charts, though a dispute over money led the group to leave the label.

New Edition group carried on regardless, touring on the legacy and festival circuit. In 2012, their incredible career was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Soul Train Music Awards, with all six members – including Bobby Brown – appearing on stage to collect it. Further recognition of their impact on the music industry came in 2015 when it was announced that BET would make a three-night mini-series about the group, which aired in January 2017. Five of the band’s members were involved in its production, with Johnny Gill, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, Michael Bevins and Ralph Tresvant all signed up as co-producers.

Words: Paul Bowler

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New Edition coming to Memphis with Charlie Wilson and Jodeci: What to expect at the show

new edition tour history

The Culture Tour — headlined by New Edition and featuring Charlie Wilson and Jodeci — rolls into Memphis’ FedExForum on Sunday night for one of the more anticipated R&B packages in recent memory. 

Announced late last year and having commenced in mid-February, the 30-date nationwide tour, presented by the Black Promoters Collective, has been a rousing success among fans hungry for unapologetically nostalgic post-pandemic entertainment.  

Here are four things to know before you go. 

The lineup: New Edition + Charlie Wilson + Jodeci

Formed in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1978, New Edition — Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant — began an African American boy band modeled after the Jackson 5. The group broke out nationally in 1982 with the release of the infectious single “Candy Girl,” launching a seven-year run of hits from “Mr. Telephone Man” to "Can You Stand the Rain."  

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Brown left the band in 1985 for a solo career with vocalist Johnny Gill eventually joining up as his replacement. After the group split in 1989, the various members would find considerable success as solo acts and as part of Bell Biv DeVoe.

Starting in the mid-'90s, New Edition would reunite in various permutations, and over the course of a 45-year career, the band has sold some 20 million albums. 

New Edition has a fairly long history performing in Memphis, dating back to their debut in the Bluff City in 1985, where the then-teenagers appeared at the Orpheum. Three years later the group — minus Brown and with Gill taking his place — headlined a show at the Mid-South Coliseum. 

It would be nearly a decade before the reunited version of the group — playing as a six-man lineup with both Brown and Gill — brought their Home Again tour back to the Mid-South Coliseum. Although versions of New Edition — usually without Brown — have appeared in the region three more times in the 2000s (in 2002 at Sam's Town Casino in Tunica and in 2012 and 2014 at Landers Center in Southaven), this will be the first local concert featuring the full six-man New Edition lineup in a quarter century. 

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Charlie Wilson, aka “Uncle Charlie,” finds his way onto The Culture Tour’s middle slot. The veteran Oklahoma-bred singer has been on the scene since forming R&B group The Gap Band in the late 1960s with his brothers. In recent years, the 13-time Grammy nominee has also become a touchstone for the hip-hop generation, collaborating with Kanye West, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg. 

Openers Jodeci, known as “The Bad Boys of R&B,” became one of R&B's great vocal groups in the '90s. The North Carolina combo produced a string of chart-topping radio hits, while members K-Ci and JoJo also had hits as a duo. 

The Culture Tour earns critics' praise 

Critics who’ve caught The Culture Tour have been uniform in their praise of both the production and performances — not just those of New Edition, but Jodeci and Charlie Wilson as well. 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s review of the tour stop at city’s State Farm Arena, observed that the concert felt less like an arena tour and more “like (a) sold-out house party.” The AJC’s Ryon Horne noted that it “was rare to see anyone sitting throughout the show, as grown and sexy fans soaked up tracks that ruled the airways for over three decades.”

Headliners New Edition have garnered the most praise. Covering a homecoming concert in their native New England, Boston Globe critic Maura Johnston hailed the group’s TD Garden performance as a “fast-paced, hook-filled set, powering through 25 tracks from their amassed catalogs over about an hour and a half. The six members cycled on and off stage as songs and costume changes demanded, their dance moves backed up by a boisterous crew who kept the energy level feisty or languorous, depending on each song’s mood.”

Billboard reporter Mark Elibert concluded his review of the Madison Square Garden stop on the tour noting that if the MSG gig was “any indication of how electrifying this tour is, fans waiting in the… remaining cities ... are in for a special night.”

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The setlist: New Edition, Jodeci, Charlie Wilson play the hits

One of the reasons audiences have been so enthused is that the acts are unabashedly focusing on the hits and fan favorites. None of the acts have new albums to promote or are looking to dig too deep into their catalog, but rather serving up familiar and much-loved classics.

Jodeci’s 11-song setlist covers all their signature songs from the ‘'90s (“Forever My Lady,” “Stay,” “Cry for You”), while Charlie Wilson offers a mix of material from his recent solo resurgence (“There Goes My Baby,” “I’m Blessed”), as well as some of his early Gap Band favorites (“Party Train,” “Humpin’”). 

New Edition’s brisk 26-song set not only packs the best from the group’s catalog — all the way back to 1982’s "Candy Girl" through to 1988's smash "If It Isn’t Love" and even 1995’s comeback single “Hit me Off — they also incorporate songs from their various solo and post-New Edition projects.

This includes bangers from Brown (“My Prerogative,” “Every Little Step”), Gill (“Rub You The Right Way”), and Tresvant (“Sensitivity”), as well as Bell Biv DeVoe (“Poison,” “Do Me!”). The group has even been doing some throwback covers, including The Floaters “Float On” and David Oliver’s “Love TKO.” 

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Are tickets still available for Memphis show?

Given the strong bill and buzz, tickets for the New Edition: The Culture Tour concert at FedExForum have sold well, but some good seats still remain.

A few Diamond Premium front section tickets are available, which will set you back $529.50 per seat. A handful of Gold Premium tickets can be purchased for $379.50.

Most of what can be had at this point, however, are upper level seats for $79.50.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com .

The Culture Tour, featuring New Edition, Charlie Wilson and Jodeci

7 p.m. Sunday at FedExForum, 191 Beale St.

Tickets: $79.50 to $529.50, Ticketmaster.com  

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Exactly how big was New Edition 40 years ago?

Put it this way — at one point, the Boston-born boy band’s opening act, after rocketing to stardom with their debut single “Candy Girl,” was none other than the Material Girl.

“ Madonna actually opened up for New Edition at Roseland Ballroom in New York City,” Ronnie DeVoe told The Post.

“For her to open up for us and [then] see her take off worldwide and just knowing that we were right there at the beginning — it was a special time in our lives,” bandmate Ricky Bell added.

Four decades after New Edition’s 1983 debut album, also titled “Candy Girl,” was released — the same month as Madonna’s self-titled debut, to be exact — the guy group is still packing arenas on their Legacy Tour that hits Prudential Center in Newark, NJ this Sunday. (The Black Promoters Collective-backed tour returns to the area at Long Island’s UBS Arena on Apr. 20.)

New Edition

The classic act — rounded out by Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown , Michael Bivins and Johnny Gill — is having a midlife moment, thanks to the enduring swoon effect of bubblegum bops such as “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man,” as well as grown-and-sexy slow jams in the smooth style of  “Can You Stand the Rain.”

And though they are all now in their mid-50s, they still sing “Candy Girl” with the same boyish enthusiasm that they brought to the sweetest of R&B-pop confections when it was released on Feb. 24, 1983.

“The first time we heard it on the radio in Boston, we all basically ran out of our house up and down the street just screaming … looking crazy,” recalled DeVoe, 55. “But outside of Bobby — he’ll tell you that he knew that we were gonna have superstardom — we would have never imagined that that moment would turn into 40 years of being able to do something that you love to do.”

New Edition circa 1983.

Certainly, they’ve come a long way since getting their baby-faced croon on, during the making of the “Candy Girl” album.

“I remember recording ‘Jealous Girl’ — singing my part on there— and I was so nervous, my voice was shaking,” said Bell, 55. “And Maurice [Starr, their producer] was like, ‘Man, sounds like you’re crying! So I’m gonna leave it just like that.’ That’s really me nervous singing on that song, but it seemed to work out.”

Now, though, busting those synchronized dance moves night after night comes with a post-concert cost.

“A lot more massages after the show, a whole lot more rubbing on the knees with certain ointments,” said DeVoe. “But we wouldn’t trade any of the stuff that we have to go through off the stage for that feeling that we get when we’re on.”

New Edition's "Candy Girl" album

Just don’t expect them to crush “Candy Girl” and other NE classics quite the same way as they did before their voices changed.

“The key of the song might not be in A — it might be a little bit more like M, O or P,” said DeVoe with a laugh. “We gotta lower ’em a little bit, because it’s a challenge to hit those notes that we did when we were 12 and 13 years of age.

“But,” he added, “[we bring] the same energy that we sang them with back in the day when we see the faces of the people that are standing on their feet from the start of the show to the end.”

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New Edition Celebrates 40 Years Of Music Greatness…Together

Part 1 of 2: Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny detail the legacy of brotherhood while adding to their GOAT status. | Cover shot and photos by Karl Ferguson Jr.

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Welcome to The Mothership, home of New Edition . For close to two months while N.E. has been touring close to three dozen cities as part of the Legacy Tour , the great, big, dressing room in every arena has served as inner sanctum for the legendary collective.

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There’s a wardrobe rack with several jackets for each member and an adjoining room that houses more parts of their outfits. That space is highlighted by various colored leather coats (each member has their name embroidered in coat to distinguish which coat belongs to who) and matching hats. In the hallway, Aaron Hall from Guy is walking by greeting people. A few feet away from the dressing room, two women are steaming New Edition’s shirts. Further down the hall, past Keith Sweat’s dressing room and the catering area, are a gaggle of MILFS and Aunties who undoubtedly favored themselves as Candy Girls back in the ’80s. The ladies are waiting patiently to gaze upon the former teen idols while various hits and beloved album cuts from N.E.’s catalog like “Delicious” play.

One by one, N.E. flows in. First Ricky Bell, 10 minutes later Bobby Brown and his friend, former Def Jam A&R Bimmy Antney. Mike Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant come next, Johnny Gill is running a little behind.

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It was early 1983, a year before classic culture films “Breakin” and “Beat Street” would both hit theaters. Young Black kids got a to see a reflection of themselves in the form of five adolescent boys from Boston (famously, Johnny Gill wouldn’t join the group until almost a half of a decade later, as Bobby Brown left, soaring as a solo artist) appearing on their TV screens. It was the video for “Candy Girl” and New Edition literally entered our TV screens poppin’ down New York CIty subway stairs from the platform to the streets. They looked like every kid from the hood from themes to the clothes. Instead of rappin’ though, they hit us with a signature melody that would last the test of time. The song wouldn’t end, however, without the kids dropping rhymes. R&B and Hip-Hop, N.E. has always been about encompassing Black culture as whole.

“It was important to honor New Edition because so many people don’t understand that their roots began 40 years ago in Hip-Hop clubs,” details Rocky Bucano, Executive Director of the Board of Trustees of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum. “Their first shows when they were out there touring the first song ‘Candy Girl,’ those first club dates were all Hip-Hop clubs. So they’d perform with Run-DMC and Whodini, Force MDs and other groups that were coming out and prevalent at that time. Sal Abbatiello from the Disco Fever, which is one of the first clubs that they performed at, was there. So it was a great night overall, and we appreciate New Edition.”

From 1983-1985, New Edition operated like a well-oiled machine, dropping albums every year, going multiplatinum, touring non-stop (a young Madonna opened up for them early in their career) and becoming iconic with not just monster hit records like “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Count Me Out,” but being heralded for the way they delivered live. Accolades that still ring supreme today. No other group of their time back then or even now can see them on the stage with their precision dance move synchronization. Things were moving so fast and constant for them in the ’80s, they all agree it was “a blur.” 1988, though, was the year that solidified New Edition as legends. No more “boy band,” these were grown men now, gaining independence and a newfound sound and looks.

Bobby Brown changed the game with “Don’t Be Cruel,” while N.E.’s revamped lineup introduced a fresh dynamic to the group with Johnny Gill’s signature power vocals. Too much talent under one family tree. No fair.

In the 35 years since Johnny debuted on the classic N.E. Heartbreak (naysayers who had any reservations about J.G. joining the group ate pounds of crow after hearing “Boys To Men”), New Edition have all established themselves individually with classic songs and albums. With this as a feat no other group can boast, NE will tell you—thankfully for them and their “NE4LifeErs” fans—they all discovered what a blessing unity is. They all realized that together—all six—not only are they a multi-generational, transcending unstoppable force as performers, but they really are happier personally.

As all six members filed into the Mothership this spring to sit down with VIBE, the smiles and laughs didn’t stop. Brotherhood over everything. Here, they reflect on their 40 years in the game, tell us what they think about being called “The GOATS,” and reveal the one honor they feel they deserve.

Bobby Brown: The last two weeks of the show. It’s been hype. It’s been a job, it’s been grueling. But at the same time, it’s been good to be out with your brothers, just enjoying the people coming out and seeing “The Legacy….”

One of the things that I enjoy about seeing you guys on stage is that—you know, we hear about when y’all were kids, there used to be arguments on stage—now I see nothing but smiles and laughs while you guys perform. It’s like y’all might have your little inside jokes— still getting the songs off and stuff—where everybody just looks extremely pleased to be on stage together.

Ricky Bell: Yeah. We’ve been through so much together. You know, at some point we’ve been through situations and challenges that we didn’t always have the answer to figure it out. It was only the grace of God that kept bringing us back together. And throughout all of those times, you just learn to accept and appreciate each other at another level that you wouldn’t have comprehended earlier on in your relationship. Now, we can just enjoy each other.

We have families and they’re friends and they’re all close. So this is bigger than our relationship with each other. It’s bigger than and more important than even the music and performing.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ronnie DeVoe aka RBDJr (@bigrondevoe)

Yeah. It’s beautiful. I’ve seen family members; wives and kids backstage. 40 years guys. We definitely wanted to do this VIBE cover and commemorate four decades of an institution of America, Black culture, R&B culture and Hip-Hop culture. When you think about the legacy of New Edition and being together for 40 years through thick and thin, what are two of the things that you all are most proud of?

Ronnie DeVoe: Ah man. Some of the impact that we had on the culture itself. For us, groups like the Temptations, The Jacksons, Blue Magic, groups like that were the pinnacle of success. We were coming up, rehearsing. We would sit on the floor in somebody’s living room at the time. And my uncle would tell us to close our eyes and we’d sit Indian style. We’d listen to the Jackson Five live album with our eyes closed, just ingesting the feeling of being in front of thousands of people and what that felt like. For us to come out in ’83 and really look like everybody on just about every block across America and even across the world… There’s so many people that we ran into throughout this 40 years of celebration that have told us a story about how we inspired them to be a better businessman or a better MC or that singer. Or we inspired them to pick up a briefcase and make sure that they’re handling a distribution deal the correct way.

So I think the impact that we left on a generation and maybe even a couple generations of entertainers and power brokers in this industry just feels amazing. Like when they say “the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” That New Edition tree spreads far and wide and it feels good to see the reflection of that.

Do you all embrace the term “The GOATS”? People such as myself, all of us “NE4LifeErs,” we consider you all to be the absolute greatest group of all time. How do you accept that?

Ralph Tresvant: At the same time, we ain’t never been one of those groups that tap ourselves on the back. We just always feel like there’s more work to be done. And there’s so many that came before us that inspired us. We see them as so huge that we never really quite saw ourselves in those shoes. This year or these last few tours and the numbers that have been coming out and the love that’s been shown—being inducted into museums, our [life] story was told was hugely successful— that’s kind of starting to etch in our heads, well maybe we’ve reached a level of success that we’ve been waiting to get. When you’re putting in the work and you’re doing all that hard stuff behind the scenes and going through issues with each other, we don’t quite see or feel the impact that we think the other groups have made on us. So I think this is the first go around that we’re starting to realize that we might be stepping into a slot that we’ve always wanted. So if that’s what’s called “Greatest of All Time” or just one of the greatest, that’s good for us.

Johnny Gill: There’s one major accomplishment that I think we deserve that I feel would seal it all to me, and that would be The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [induction]. I think that’s when I would probably began to go, okay, I can believe it now.

It’s wild that you guys are not in there. There’s so many artists from Black culture that need to be in there. We need our own Hip-Hop and R&B Hall of Fames. I’m happy they have the Universal Hip-Hop Museum though. They just honored you guys a few minutes ago. One of the things that has been special about New Edition is that you have always celebrated Hip-Hop in your music. I tell everybody, if you listen to what this generation of rap artists are doing right now, all they doing is taking from the Poison album blueprint. BBD brought R&B and Hip-Hop together for an entire LP and made it fly. New Edition were there when Hip-Hop really started to explode. You gotta tell us what it was like being apart of “Krush Groove.”

Michael Bivins: You know what bro? What’s interesting Sha?

We only was on set for like 20 minutes.

That’s crazy! (Laughs)

Michael Bivins: We told them we had to go somewhere else. So they just said, “Just do what y’all do.” And we said, well what is our scene? “We haven’t figured it out yet.” We were apart of the talent show. I think we lost too, right? Didn’t the Fat Boys win?

Ralph Tresvant: No, we won.

Yeah, y’all won and made the Fat Boys cry. (Laughs)

Ricky Bell: Right.

Michael Bivins: But at the end, we did take it?

New Edition: Yeah.

Michael Bivins: Okay, good. I ain’t seen it in a minute.

At a certain time Hip-Hop and R&B were really competitive. Ice Cube saying “you can New Jack Swing on my nuts.” Even Q-Tip once said “I know I’d be the man if I cold yanked the plug on R&B.” But New Edition always blended in Hip-Hop with what y’all were doing. First of all, so many rappers from Big Daddy Kane, to Phife Dawg have referenced you in their music. You returned that love by having MCs like Heavy D in your videos. You’ve made music with cats like Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J and Biggie. You were on Bad Boy at one point.

Even when you first came out, there was pop locking in your dance routines and rapping on your songs. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, how do y’all feel about being such a big part of Hip-Hop culture even though y’all are singers?

Michael Bivins: Our music videos weren’t really made in our projects. We always made videos in New York City and other places. And if we would’ve made one of the videos off the first album where we came from, it would be no dispute who we are. And the only way they knew we knew flavas, we wore Adidas sweatsuits and superstars. So you knew we was with the culture.

But [New Edition] actually met in a gym. And if the club is the 2:00 AM spot for the drug dealers, then in the afternoon, the gym is the spot for the drug dealers. We were around so much as kids [with our] family members and neighbors. We soaked up so much of it. It’s just that “Candy Girl” was the right music for us to make. So when we got into our own separate stuff, all we really did was tap into who we were the whole time. But the, the blueprint for the New Edition with the suits and the music, we couldn’t have had a better game plan.

But when we got 20 [years old] and they said, “Open the hell up,” all we did was just be who we are.

We didn’t have to go be somebody else. And we never tried to prove that we was from the hood. You know, real recognize real, Sha. You don’t gotta overdo it. Either you got it or you don’t. And I think all that stuff with Heavy D and LL and Puff Daddy and shit, everybody. I think all of them saw something in us that they use in their own room. I think that’s who we are. That’s what we’ve done for the music business. We are like five, six groups in one. Something that not a rock group, a country group, nobody’s ever done. And I’m just happy that each one of of us are living to talk about it. Some of the great groups are missing members or a member. Our blessings are coming.

Building off what you mentioned when you guys got out of your teens, N.E. ventured out on and everybody made classic albums and hits as individual entities. Take me back to that time when you all looked around and saw that Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and BBD were all on fire at the same time. Because the only other people I could think about doing that on a huge scale are on the rapping side. That’s Wu-Tang Clan. Ironically their first album came 10 years after N.E.’s first LP. What was it like for y’all?

Ronnie DeVoe: It was everything. When you think about Wu and you think about ourselves, we definitely wanna go on tour with them at some point just so people can see the magnitude and the depth of both groups.

That would be crazy!

Ronnie DeVoe: Bobby mentioned it earlier and you said something about it earlier as well. Initially we didn’t understand the power of individuality. Because we were on this umbilical cord. Everyone’s gotta do it the same way. And if you venture out of that, you are going against the group grain. But as Bob began to peel away and people would begin to see who he was and his talents and his gifts, right. People always knew what Ralph was giving them because he was the leader of New Edition. And then Johnny, of course, coming in the group as a solo entity, people understood who he was. But I think we were able to put him on the platform that allowed him to be seen by that many more people as well.

And then for BBD to come out and then for it to even go deeper with the business savvy and the mind of Mike, opening the door for other groups and teaching them the blueprint of our success as well. We don’t take it lightly We appreciate it. When you think about all of the groups in R&B history, you gotta put a pin in the fact that these muthatherfu**as might actually be—Ralph used to say this. Excuse my French—“the dog, the d**k, and the nuts.”

CONTINUED ON PART 2 HERE

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NewEdition_main

New Edition The Culture Tour

Veteran R&B group New Edition headlines an iconic lineupwiththe legendary Charlie Wilson , along with special guest, Jodeci , the bad boys of R&B.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 17 at 10 AM.

In 1983, New Edition released their debut single Candy Girl off their self-titled album, hitting No.1 on the Billboard Hot Black Single Charts, jumping ahead of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Since then, New Edition has released more than six studio albums, received multiple Soul Train and American Music Awards, and a Grammy Award nomination. In 2017, BET Network released their three-part Biopic: The New Edition Story , airing over three consecutive nights. The mini-series attracted 29 million total viewers. That same year, the network honored them with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the group as one of the innovators of R&B. They have remained one of the most influential R&B groups of the last 30 years and counting, catapulting the solo careers of Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant, and Bell Biv DeVoe.

Viewers experienced a sense of nostalgia during the American Music Awards in November 2021, when New Edition performed alongside 80’s boy band, New Kids on the Block. Often credited as the creators of the modern-day boy bands, New Edition will attract fans old and new. Starring all six members, Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill, this is the group’s first tour since 2014.

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Take the Orange, Green, Purple, or Brown lines to Madison. Take #20 Madison buses west.

To the United Center : The #19 United Center Express Bus runs on game days. Service begins 90 minutes prior to game time, runs every 10 minutes until 30 minutes until start of game. Board at stops starting southbound on Michigan and Randolph. Connections are made with Metra trains at Millennium Station, Ogilvie Center and Union Station. The #20 Madison Bus travels west on Madison Street, starting downtown at Wabash Street and runs every few minutes, making all stops to the United Center.

From the United Center : The #19 United Center Express and the #20 Madison buses run every few minutes, departing from the eastbound side of Madison Street. Buses make all stops.

General Parking

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PLEASE NOTE: Parking lots and Uber lot open to public two and a half hours prior to event time.

All prices are subject to change without advance notice.

All major credit cards accepted. The United Center offers free parking for select family shows in all official United Center parking lots. All Parking Policies outlined below remain in effect.

Purchase parking via Ticketmaster in advance HERE .

For details on handicap parking, please see the United Center Accessibility Guide .

EV Charging Stations EV Charging Stations are available in Lot H and Lot K. Charging is free. Please be courteous and maintain parking/charging for the posted time limits. 

Parking Policies No in/out privileges. No overnight parking unless related to event activites and approved in advance. No solicitation allowed. No consumption of alcoholic beverages on lot or in parked vehicles. No tailgating or similar activities.

BOOK PARKING IN ADVANCE

Book parking in advance.

SpotHero We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation's leading parking reservations app. To reserve your parking spot, visit the United Center SpotHero Parking Page .

new edition tour history

Fans visiting the United Center can also reserve their parking in advance via  Ticketmaster .

Suites Parking

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Two reserved parking passes will be valid in lots C and K. The other two reserved parking passes will be for parking in lots A, B, D, or L. Holders of these passes will be directed to A, B, D, or L lots by traffic police and parking attendants based on traffic conditions. Parking passes are good for one space each. All parking passes are mobile entry only.

For all special events, each Executive Suite Holder will receive two complimentary parking passes per event ordered. These two passes will be for reserved parking located in lots C and K. In addition, Executive Suite Holders will also receive the option to purchase four additional parking passes in lots C and K for special events.

Suite Holder parking passes are also valid for buses or limousines under specific guidelines.

Lexus Club Parking

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Lexus Club Seat members have reserved parking in fenced, well-lit and clearly marked parking lots adjacent to the United Center for all Blackhawks or Bulls preseason, regular season and playoff games. All Lexus Club members who purchase tickets to other events may also purchase one preferred parking pass (in lot C or K) for such events. Details on how to obtain parking for other events are included with the fax transmission announcing each event.

Lexus Club Seat members with two to four tickets receive a complimentary, reserved parking space in a closed-in, paved lot for all Blackhawks or Bulls preseason, regular season and playoff games. Lexus Club Seat members with five seats or more will be provided with two parking passes.

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UBER ZONE FAQs:

What is the Uber Zone (Lot E) at the United Center? To increase and streamline the fan experience for guests who take Uber to and from the United Center, the new Uber Zone is located at the corner of Madison Street and Wood Street (Lot E) and will combine the three former Uber locations around the arena. Traffic leading to the three prior Uber pickup locations 1) Zone A, previously located on Wood Street & Washington Blvd. near Lot A, 2) Zone D, previously located on Monroe Street & S. Paulina Street near Lot D and 3) Zone F, previously located on Monroe Street & Seeley Ave. near Lot F will now be directed towards the one new Uber Zone in Lot E.

What is the location of the Uber Zone? The new Uber Zone at the United Center is located on the corner of Madison Street and Wood Street. Fans will enter and exit through the sidewalk entrance located on Madison Street and cars will enter the lot by turning into the Uber Zone from Madison Street. Cars will exit on Warren Blvd.

What are the hours of operation? On event days, the Uber Zone is open two hours prior to games, concerts and events and will remain open up to one hour after each event. On non-event days, the Uber Zone will be closed and Uber rides will be dropped off near the corner of Madison Street and Wood Street outside of the Uber Zone.

What is the pickup process for fans?

  • Using the Uber app, fans inside the United Center will call an Uber ride.
  • Guests will then head to the new Uber Zone located at the corner of Madison Street and Wood Street in front of the United Center.
  • When arriving, fans will show the Uber attendant the lane number their driver is in.
  • Fans will be shown the location where their Uber vehicle is located to start their next journey.

What is the dropoff process for fans? When Uber drivers arrive with guests at the United Center, they will be instructed to pull into the Uber Zone from the Madison Street side to drop off fans. Once exiting the vehicle, guests will walk out of the main entrance located on the corner of Madison Street and Wood Street. Guests can cross the street to the United Center and are encouraged to enter through the East Atrium.

new edition tour history

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new edition tour history

New Edition - February 24

New Edition Announces The Culture Tour , Performance At Wells Fargo Center On February 24

Veteran R&B group New Edition headlines an iconic lineup with the legendary Charlie Wilson, along with special guest, Jodeci, the bad boys of R&B. The Culture Tour kicks off a 30-city tour February 2022 , and includes a stop at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on February 24, 2022.

In 1983, New Edition released their debut single Candy Girl off their self-titled album, hitting No.1 on the Billboard Hot Black Single Charts, jumping ahead of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Since then, New Edition has released more than six studio albums, received multiple Soul Train and American Music Awards, and a Grammy Award nomination. In 2017, BET Network released their three-part Biopic: The New Edition Story , airing over three consecutive nights. The mini-series attracted 29 million total viewers. That same year, the network honored them with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the group as one of the innovators of R&B. They have remained one of the most influential R&B groups of the last 30 years and counting, catapulting the solo careers of Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant, and Bell Biv DeVoe.

Viewers experienced a sense of nostalgia during the American Music Awards in November 2021, when New Edition performed alongside 80’s boy band, New Kids on the Block. Often credited as the creators of the modern-day boy bands, New Edition will attract fans old and new. Starring all six members, Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill, this is the group’s first tour since 2014.

With a career spanning over four decades, Charlie Wilson also known as “Uncle Charlie,” is one of the few names in music that resonate with multiple generations of music lovers. Beginning as the co-founder/lead singer for The Gap Band (“Outstanding, “Burn Rubber On Me,” “Yearning For Your Love,”) Wilson later embarked on a successful solo career garnering himself thirteen Grammy awards nominations, eleven NAACP Image Awards (including two wins), the BMI Icon Award in 2005, and the 2009 Soul Train Icon Award. His #1 solo hits include “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” “There Goes My Baby,” and “You Are” to name a few. In 2020 and 2009, he was named  Billboard  magazine's No. 1 Adult R&B Male Artist and remains the Top Adult Male Artist with the most #1s in three decades. He was honored by BET with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 with an all-star tribute by Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, and Snoop Dogg.

Representing the sound that shaped 90s R&B, the iconic group Jodeci joins the tour as a special guest. The group debuted their first album, Forever My Lady , in 1991 and have sold more than 20 million records worldwide. They have been the soundtrack to many music lover’s most memorable moments for over 30 years with hit songs "Forever My Lady,” "Stay,” and "Come and Talk To Me" . After a several year hiatus the group has reunited and are ready to show fans why they reign supreme as one of the most iconic R&B groups of all time.

In partnership with The Black Promoters Collective, a 100 percent Black-owned promotions company composed of veteran live entertainment promoters, The Culture Tour tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, Dec. 17, 10am local time. American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets in select markets before the general public beginning Tuesday, December 14 at 10am local time through Thursday, December 16 at 10pm local time.

For more information, visit https://www.neweditionlegacy.com/ .

More Info for New Edition

New Edition

With charlie wilson and special guests jodeci.

new edition tour history

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New Edition

Chart history, billboard hot 100™, cool it now, if it isn't love, i'm still in love with you, mr. telephone man, latest videos.

New Edition on New Kids on the Block, First Billboard Chart Memory | AMAs 2021

2017 bet awards: the full recap | billboard news, new edition ‘candy girl’ tribute live at 2017 bet awards, latest news, cool it now: new edition to be honored at 2024 naacp image awards.

  • By Paul Grein
  • Mar 7, 2024 1:00 pm

New Edition, Maxwell, Ne-Yo to Headline 2024 Cincinnati Music Festival

  • By Gil Kaufman
  • Dec 13, 2023 8:55 am

Top 10 Highest Grossing R&B Tours of the Year

  • By Eric Frankenberg
  • Dec 7, 2023 10:48 am

New Edition Announces Las Vegas Residency for 2024

  • By Carl Lamarre
  • Nov 6, 2023 2:03 pm

Aaliyah, New Edition & More Headed for National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame

  • May 19, 2023 12:56 pm

How the Black Promoters Collective Bought ‘Back the Culture’ – And Scored a $60M Quarter

  • By Taylor Mims , Gail Mitchell
  • Aug 15, 2022 4:29 pm

Bobby Brown Talks Tell-All A&E ‘Biography’: ‘This Is My Truth’

  • By Gail Mitchell
  • May 27, 2022 7:39 pm

New Edition’s Michael Bivins Appointed Creative Director of Harlem Festival of Culture

  • Apr 26, 2022 10:01 am

5 Best Moments From New Edition, Charlie Wilson & Jodeci’s Culture Tour Concert in New York

  • By Mark Elibert
  • Feb 27, 2022 1:59 pm

New Edition ‘Didn’t Really Understand’ When They Beat Michael Jackson on the Billboard Charts: Exclusive Clip

  • By Glenn Rowley
  • Feb 14, 2022 4:29 pm

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New Edition: Legacy Tour

New Edition: Legacy Tour

With keith sweat, guy, and special guest tank.

  • + Add to Calendar Date Apr 14 , 2023
  • Event Starts 7:30 PM
  • Doors Open 6:30 PM
  • Ticket Prices $134.50, $114.50, $93.50, $73.50, $63.50
  • On Sale On Sale Now

Event Details

The  original  boy band is back in a big way in 2023! All six members of the legendary  New Edition  are heading back out on tour with Keith Sweat, Guy, and special guest Tank. They'll be performing all their classic songs live - including "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now," "Hit Me Off," and all the other classics you grew up with. "The Legacy Tour" will take them around the U.S. with a stop at the KFC Yum! Center on Friday, April 14, 2023.  

Bags no larger than 14" x 14" x 6" will be allowed into the arena for events.

All bags are subject to search upon entering the arena. Backpacks of any kind, including drawstring, computer bags, and camera bags are prohibited. Please plan accordingly to help facilitate a quick and efficient entry process. Please report suspicious bags to a KFC Yum! Center team member.

Medical and parenting bags are permitted and subject to search.

Cashless Venue

The KFC Yum! Center is a cashless venue.  All major debit and credit cards are accepted at concession and merchandise locations within the facility. Contactless transactions can also be made using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay , and Google Pay. 

Mobile Tickets

When your event is Mobile only, or you selected Mobile Entry at checkout -  your mobile phone is your ticket .

We highly recommend fans with pre-download mobile to your phone's wallet prior to arriving to the KFC Yum! Center to avoid delays upon entry.

More info on Mobile Entry can be found HERE.  

The KFC Yum! Center has a convenient multi-level garage located under the facility operated by PARC . There are also many other parking options in the surrounding area including surface lots and street parking all within walking distance to the arena.

Latest News

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MARTIN LAWRENCE HITS THE ROAD THIS SUMMER WITH “Y’ALL KNOW WHAT IT IS!” COMEDY TOUR IN LOUISVILLE ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

for KING + COUNTRY LIVE: THE UNSUNG HERO 2024 TOUR HEADS TO THE KFC YUM! CENTER ON OCTOBER 13

new edition tour history

  • Arts and Culture

July 7, 2021

They’re Back! All Six New Edition Group Members Headed on Tour, Now Repped by Creative Artist Agency

Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike and Ralph and Johnny are back together again and the legendary New Edition group will be hitting the road for an epic tour, according to a press release.

Yes there have been a lot of bumps in the road for the legendary R&B group New Edition , but it seems they are starting anew and will be represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for starters.

Group members Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to represent the R&B group and manage the members’ musical endeavors. CAA  is “the world’s leading entertainment, sports and media agency,” according to the company’s website.

New Edition will be represented by CAA for tours, “theatre, literature, TV/Film, production, and composing,” the statement also read. Members of the popular musical group which began to rise in popularity in the 1980’s experienced a great deal of transition, from solo careers to rifts, but now they returned to the music circuit together.

Per, MSN’s 2020 report, Tresvant opened up to give his perspective about “his hiatus from one of the most successful R&B groups of the 80s and 90s, which led to his successful career as a solo artist.”

Tresvant—who was the lead singer of New Edition, was featured in producer Issac Taylor’s docuseries  which reflects “on their greatest success stories and open up about their most difficult moments” of “legendary artists.” The episode was shown on a streaming service which was also available through Amazon Prime video.

New Edition officially broke up for the second time in 1996, when songs such as “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “If It Isn’t Love” and “Can You Stand the Rain,” were released. Thereafter, Tresvant pursued his own music career.

In 2020, TV One   provided tidbits about the contents of the docuseries and how it links to Tresvant “questioning if he should’ve pursued other opportunities.”

According to The Las Vegas Sun , Bobby Brown left New Edition in 1985 “to pursue a solo career” and “Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe” formed BBD. However, “New Edition reunited for more music and concerts, joining Brown, Bell, Bivins and DeVoe with original lead singer Ralph Tresvant and Brown’s replacement, Johnny Gill.”

The group’s life story was turned into a BET miniseries called “The New Edition Story.”  It was well received and “sparked a surge in the group’s popularity.”

Billboard said that New Edition was the recipient of a BET Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Now they will reportedly tour the U.S. arena next year, along with a residency in Las Vegas.

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All the changes Taylor Swift made to the Eras Tour including new songs and new looks

The eras tour returned in paris, france on may 9 .

Rebecca Lewis

Taylor Swift 's Eras Tour has undergone major changes, as the record-breaking tour returns three weeks after the release of her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department .

New songs from the brand new album were included towards the end before Midnights , while several other songs were cut from the set and she made the decision to combine Folklore  and Evermore  into one set.

The new era kicked off with 'But Daddy I Love Him,' with Taylor wearing a white gown, similar to her 2024 Grammys dress. It featured two other costume changes, and seven tracks.

"So you were the first crowd ever to see... or as I like to call it, Female Rage : The Musical ." she quipped afterwards.

The show opened with the usual clock count down, and her dancers walking out on stage with the butterfly wings; however the intro music included a snippet of 'I'm Gonna Get You Back' from The Tortured Poets Department .

Taylor Swift opens the Eras Tour in France, on May 9, 2024

Eras Tour order is changed

Lover  and Fearless  kicked off the show, but  Red  replaced Evermore  as the third era on the setlist. 

The fourth era became  Speak Now, and received a brand new introduction, featuring the Eras Tour dancers performing a short ballet dance that later was incorporated into the song.

Taylor Swift performs on stage at the Paris La Defense Arena as part of her The Eras Tour, in Nanterre, north-western France, on May 9, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

Reputation  was the fifth era, and the sixth era became Folk-more,  a combination of F olklore  and Evermore and instead of opening with 'The 1', Taylor instead sang a shortened version of 'Cardigan' before singing 'Betty'.

" Folklore  represents spring and summer, and Evermore  represents fall and winter, and so on the Eras Tour we have reunited the sisters and combined them into one chapter," she told fans.

Taylor Swift performs 'Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?' onstage during The Eras Tour

1989  followed and then she segued into The Tortured Poets Department.

The surprise section came next with the song 'Paris' from Midnigh ts (3am Version) and 'loml' from TTPD,  before the show closed out with Midnights.

Taylor Swift (C), performs on stage at the Paris La Defense Arena as part of her The Eras Tour

Taylor changes up the set list 

'The Archer', t he sixth song in the set, was cut  from the live set list, as was beloved fan favorite 'Long Live,' taking the Speak Now era back to one song only. 

She also cut 'The 1' and 'The Last Great American Dynasty' from the Folklore  era, and 'Tolerate It' and 'Tis The Damn Season' from Evermore, as well as the 'Seven' interlude.

Taylor Swift performs 'Champagne Problems' onstage during The Eras Tour

The 1989  set kept 'Wildest Dreams,' a song many thought may have been cut as it was also cut from the concert movie.

The TTPD set was expected, as YouTube shorts shared by Taylor in the weeks since TTPD's release revealed new set pieces including a barre that features the album logo in the middle; it ended up being a bed frame for 'Fortnight'. 

Her dancers had also been spotted with new props, while Taylor had been seen practicing in the same heels she wears in the 'Fortnight' video. 

Taylor Swift performs 'Fortnight' onstage during The Eras Tour

The set began with 'But Daddy I Love Him,' and she then sang part of 'So High School,' before a punishing performance of 'Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?' and into 'Down Bad,' complete with alien spaceships.  

Taylor Swift performs 'Down Bad' onstage during The Eras Tour

A performance of 'The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,' saw her dancers turn into a marching band, before 'I Can Do It With A Broken Hear t' became a jazzy 1920s number that began with her being undressed from the TTPD dress into a black sequin top and shorts.

Inspired by the era's silent films, it was a theatrical over the top moment with the dancers putting Taylor's shoes on her feet for her, and pushing her forward despite her protestations, a metaphor that spoke to the heartache she was going through every night in 2023 while performing on tour.

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For the surprise songs, she sang 'Paris' from Midnights , and 'loml' from TTPD.

The final era, Midnights , received no changes, keeping its original seven songs: 'Lavendar Haze,' 'Anti Hero,' 'Midnight Rain,' 'Vigilante Shit,' 'Bejeweled,'  'Mastermind,' and 'Karma'.

Taylor Swift performs 'The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived' onstage during The Eras Tour

Updated Eras Tour setlist

  • Miss American and the Heartbreak Prince
  • Cruel Summer
  • You Need to Calm Down
  • You Belong with Me
  • We Are Never Getting Back Together 
  • I Knew You Were Trouble
  • All Too Well
  • Ready For It?
  • Don't Blame Me
  • Look What You Made Me Do 
  • Champagne Problems
  • Blank Space
  • Shake It Off
  • Wildest Dreams

The Tortured Poets Department

  • But Daddy I Love Him 
  • So High School
  • Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?
  • The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived
  • I Can It With A Broken Heart

Surprise songs

  • Lavendar Haze
  • Midnight Rain
  • Vigilante Shit

Taylor debuts new Eras Tour outfits

When Taylor appeared on stage, she revealed a brand new  custom Versace Lover bodysuit and blazer in a sunset orange. 

"The first design is a fully crystal embroidered bodysuit with bustier boning structure and degradé of paillettes, in tones of orange with iridescent elements," Versace shared, adding: "The second design is a double-breasted blazer embellished in iridescent fuchsia crystals, accented by gold Medusa buttons.

She also debuted a new silver and black dress for the Fearless era, paired with black boots, reminiscent of the original Fearless  tour.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the Fearless era

Taylor is known for wearing a slogan tee for the first half of the Red  portion, and she bewildered fans by wearing one that read: "This is not Taylor's Version".

Halfway through the song, a handpicked young fan was handed the '22' hat, as per tradition. She then unveilved a new Red  bodysuit, but wore the same dress coat to sing 'All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)'.

Taylor Swift performs 'The Man' on stage at the Paris La Defense Arena

In a surprising turn of events, however, the Reputation  Roberto Cavalli bodysuit remained the same; it is the only look on the Eras Tour that has remained the same over the last 14 months.

For the Folk-more  set, Taylor wore a new yellow gown, the sixth version of the dress, and for 1989  she mixed colors for the first time, wearing a hot pink crop top and bright blue mini skater skirt, which called back to the original 1989  era as well.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during The Eras Tour

For TTPD, Taylor wore a white gown with lyrics from the new album embroidered on the skirt, before pulling on a matching overcoat, and later unveiling a black sequin crop top and panties, topped with a gold coat.

The surprise song section also saw a new pink two-toned dress, while for Midnights , she wore a brand new navy blue bodysuit.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at La Defense on May 09, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management )

Did Taylor Swift sing anything from debut?

Her self-titled album Taylor Swift remains missing from the Eras Tour.

Is the Eras Tour being filmed?

Fans inside the stadium in Paris, France have  shared the news that the show is being recorded , hinting that the brand new version of the show will also hit streaming services, much like the original setlist did in 2023.

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. New Edition Concert & Tour History (Updated for 2024)

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