Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 23, 1971, Marc Nelson is like the "fifth Beatle" in regard to the Grammy Award-winning sensation Boyz II Men. He and his classmate Nathan Morris helped form the all-male ensemble in high school, but Nelson went his own way before Boyz II Men became superstars. Afterward, he still achieved music success as an R&B solo artist, songwriter and member of other bands.
Singer Phyllis Nelson, best known for her dance hit "I Like You," gave birth to son Marc Nelson on January 23, 1971, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began following in his mother's music-making footsteps at a young age. Later, the young boy's vocal gift got him accepted into the Philadelphia High School for the Creative & Performing Arts.
Starting and Quitting Boyz II Men
One day, an adolescent Nelson joined fellow student Nathan Morris in some impromptu singing that disrupted their history class. Bonding over their passion for music, the twosome soon formed the group Boyz II Men and recruited classmates Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Michael McCary. The five young men got the attention of Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe (and formerly of New Edition); Bivins agreed to help produce them. However, Nelson left the group over personality conflicts before Boyz II Men's mega-popular first album, Cooleyhighharmony, was released.
Nelson didn't ditch the music biz over what transpired. Instead, he went on to put out three solo albums with such chart-toppers as "Count on Me," "15 Minutes" and his cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You." Nelson also wrote for record producer and singer Babyface, whom Nelson described as his "mentor." In addition, he wrote songs for Toni Braxton, Brandy, Aaron Neville, Jon B, Tyrese, Tamia and Keith Washington.
A Las Vegas Reunion
Harmonizing with others was something Nelson continued to enjoy as well; he put together two other R&B bands in his career, Az Yet and Blayse. Also, Nelson performed the duet "After All Is Said and Done" with Beyoncé for the 1999 movie The Best Man. Maybe most surprisingly, Nelson joined Boyz II Men in a performance of "Yesterday" at a Las Vegas show in 2013; he and Nathan Morris have remained friends, despite their professional parting.
When not singing on a stage, Nelson acts on one. He's performed in various plays and hopes to land on Broadway in the future.
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