- NAME: Wanya Morris
- OCCUPATION: Singer
- BIRTH DATE: July 29, 1973 (Age: 40)
- Did You Know?: Boyz II Men was only the third musical act to replace itself in the Hot 100 chart's No. 1 slot.
- EDUCATION: Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Willingboro High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Full Name: Wanya Jermaine Morris
- AKA: Wanya Morris
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Wanya Morris' claims to fame are harmonizing with the ever-popular all-boy group Boyz II Men and dating singer Brandy in her teenage years.
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Wanya Morris was born on July 29, 1973, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He put his talented tenor voice to good use as a member of the Grammy Award-winning group Boyz II Men. This boy band dominated the music charts in the late 1980s and early '90s with slow songs, R&B grooves and dance hits. Morris also created media buzz for romancing singer Brandy in her teenage years.
"In order to call ourselves well-rounded musicians ...we [Boyz II Men] try to take bits and pieces of everything we hear and place them into our vocals ... we try to be chameleons."
Wanya Jermaine Morris is one of four children born to Carla Morris and Dallas Thornton. This Philadelphia north side native was born on July 29, 1973. His parents never married, and they split when Morris was young. Growing up in the projects, he turned to drawing, and even more so to singing, to deal with his hardships.
While a freshman at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative & Performing Arts, Wanya Morris joined Boyz II Men, founded by classmates Nathan Morris (no relation) and Marc Nelson; Shawn Stockman and Michael McCary were the group's other members. Morris remained with the group despite expulsion and graduating instead from Willingboro High School.
Boyz II Men made their first album with Morris, Cooleyhighharmony, with the support of Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe (and formerly of New Edition), who agreed to produce it. Now a foursome (after Nelson quit), they saw their first release, "Motownphilly," reach No. 1 on the R&B charts and make it into the top five on the pop charts. They had hits aplenty after that, including "It's The End of the Road," which topped the pop charts for 13 weeks. (It broke Elvis Presley's 1956 record.) In 1994, Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee" replaced another of their songs, "I'll Make Love to You," for the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 chart—a triumph previously achieved only by the Beatles and Elvis.
Morris wasn't known only for slick dance moves and music, but also for coupling up with singer Brandy after touring together. Despite their denials, this caused public and media backlash because Brandy was underage at the time and Morris is her senior by several years. They even did a duet, "Brokenhearted," in 1995, but he dumped her for another woman in 1997. Morris currently lives with his wife, designer Traci "Toi" Nash, and children in New Jersey.
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Learn more about the members of the incredibly popular R&B boy band Boyz II Men, including Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Michael McCary and Marc Nelson. The group skyrocketed to fame in the 1990s with their soothing ballads, dance hits and soulful grooves. Explore this group for full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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