In the 1990s, Boyz II Men laid out a blueprint for what a boy band would look like at the turn of the century. The group’s soaring vocals and wide demographic appeal led them to continually break music industry records. And unlike the other groups that followed them, Boyz II Men came together completely organically.
Boys II Men’s Members Met in High School
Boyz II Men was formed in Philadelphia in the late 1980s. Group members Michael McCurry, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman met each other at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Vanya was only a freshman who sang in the school choir when he joined the group; Michael joined the group one day after hearing them harmonize in the bathroom.
After performing at their school’s Valentine’s Day party in 1989, Boyz II Men got their big break when they attended a concert at the Philadelphia Civic Center hosted by local radio station Power 99. His plan was to find local rap icon Will Smith backstage and perform for him, but he ended up crossing paths with New Edition member Michael Bivins. Bivins eventually agreed to management and helped build the group.
The Iconic Way Boys II Men Got Their Group Name
Boyz II Men’s first song was about their breakout in high school
Boyz II Men were signed to Motown Records and released their debut album coolie highharmony in 1991. Their debut single “Motownphilly” chronicled their rise to fame in their high school and gave a shout-out to two other popular new jack swing groups they considered an influence: Bel Bive Devo and Another Bad Creation.
“Back in school we dreamed about it every day / Could it really happen? Or do the dreams fade?” The group sang. “Then we started singing, and they said it sounded cool / So we started a group and here we are, just kicking it for you.”
Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Sean Stockman reflect on their rise to fame in 2021 episode of Netflix documentary it’s the pope. Nathan likens the high school that brought the group together to the fictional New York City High School for the Performing Arts from the 1980s TV series. fame.
“Years ago, they had this TV show called fame Where people danced in the hallways and sang in the lunchrooms,” he said, “and that was our school.”
‘Fame’ High School Was Based on a Famous Real Arts School
fame The first became a cultural sensation with the release of the original musical film in 1980. A TV series based on the film premiered on NBC in 1982 and ran for six seasons.
The show followed the students of New York City High School for the Performing Arts, the real-life Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts. Countless famous actors, musicians and performers attended LaGuardia: Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, to name a few.