Remember some of R&B’s greatest hits like “Forever My Lady,” “Motownphilly” and “Waterfalls? When you reminisce on R&B music from the past, you can’t help but notice that a majority of the songs were the product of R&B groups. From New Edition and Jodeci to En Vogue and TLC, R&B groups used to dominate the radio airwaves. Nowadays, they’re practically nonexistent. So what happened to the trios, quartets and quintents we grew to love, and now deeply miss? We take a stab at what might have caused their demises.
Money-When you have to split funds three or more ways, problems are bound to arise, especially if the lead singer or someone else feels he or she deserves a bigger cut than someone else, or if the record company isn’t appropriately dispersing funds among the group. T-Boz of TLC appeared on The Mo’Nique Show earlier this year, and mentions how TLC once had to confront a particular record executive when he didn’t pay up.
Personality clashes- Although most R&B groups selected their own members (like Xscape), others were forced to work together (like Danity Kane). When a group of people, male or female, has to work together and spend hours upon hours with one another, issues are bound to arise at some point. When that group of people don’t know one another, all hell could break loose.
Desire to go solo- Since Diana Ross left the Supremes, it hasn’t been unheard of for a lead singer of a group to pursue his or her own musical career. Case in point: Beyonce took a hiatus from Destiny’s Child in 2003 to embark on a solo career, and a few years earlier, Sisqo did the same when Dru Hill broke up.
Regardless of the multitude of reasons that may have caused R&B groups to split, it would be refreshing to see one or two groups that could still “Sing a Song” like Earth, Wind, & Fire, or make us “Weak” like SWV. Until R&B groups make a comeback, we’ll settle for award show tributes and collaborations.
—— By: Crystal Tate