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.
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.
Boyz II Men
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.
Next up for Morris was "The Package Tour," a much-anticipated summer 2013 concert series featuring Boyz II Men, New Kids On The Block and 98 Degrees.
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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