Johnny Gill Biography

Singer(1966–)
Johnny Gill is an American R&B musician, songwriter and singer best known as a successful solo recording artist and as lead singer of platinum-selling boy band New Edition.

Synopsis

Born in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 1966, Johnny Gill began his career singing gospel in his father's church, as part of the family gospel group, Wings of Faith. When a family friend helped him get a record deal at age 16, he began sharing his mature, distinctive voice with fans of R&B and pop music. He went on to become lead singer of the popular boy band New Edition, and eventually released a hit solo album, Johnny Gill, in 1990. He has continued making hits, at one point joining superstar singers Keith Sweat and the late Gerald Levert to form the R&B supergroup LSG.

Early Life

Born in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 1966, Johnny Gill Jr. was part of a musical family. His father was a minister, and beginning at the age of 5, Gill sang in his family's gospel group, Wings of Faith, composed of him and his brothers Bobby, Jeff and Randy. Even at a young age, Gill stood out because of his mature voice, sounding wise beyond his years.

A childhood friend, singer Stacy Lattisaw, helped Gill to record a demo, which got him a record deal in 1983, at age 16. His first self-titled album garnered some attention, but he really began to get national attention when he next made a duo album with Lattisaw. Their hit single, "Perfect Combination," brought a new level of awareness to the young singers.

Career

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

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

Personal Life

Gill has never been married, but is the father of a son, Isiah Gill, who was born in 2006. Isiah's mother is a Washington, D.C., journalist. Gill's sexuality has often been a source of speculation; he has often been linked to superstar comedic actor Eddie Murphy.

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