Anyone who was around in the 1990s knew of Boyz II Men. One of the most successful modern celebrity R&B groups this side of Motown’s prime, the group debuted early on in the decade and has been going strong ever since.
The band was the brainchild of Nathan Morris, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris, who mixed their vocal stylings to dominate the charts. Despite the shared name between two members, however, the band’s family connection has nothing to do with blood.
The boys of Boyz II Men
The members of the group all grew up around each other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They met at the Philadelphia High School for the Performing Arts, where they all studied classical music and vocal arts together. They got their band name from a lyric by the pop band New Edition, and it stuck with them ever since. After meeting New Edition’s Michael Bivins, the pop star agreed to be their manager and help set up their image.
The group signed with Motown and released its debut album Cooleyhighharmony in 1991. The album won a Grammy award, and life was never the same for the Philadelphia songsters. They had original hits like “I’ll Make Love to You” and developed a reputation as some of the best cover artists in the industry.
While the band dominated the 1990s, they’ve remained a steady presence on the R&B charts in the nearly thirty years since. As far as 1990s R&B goes, one would be hard-pressed to find a more successful group outside of Destiny’s Child.
As a result of their success, however, the band became more than friends and bandmates. They became a family.
How Boyz II Men got famous
Like many groups of the nature, many presumed Boyz II Men to be blood-related. However, despite a shared name between Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris, there is no blood connection. The group was simply formed due to a shared love of music and the desire to hit it big with their smooth vocal stylings. That doesn’t mean that they don’t act like family.
The band members have spent thirty years together touring the world and performing on several of the biggest stages that the industry has to offer. With all of this time together, many bands would have broken up. Boyz II Men, however, has remained strong through everything. Going back to their high school days, the men formed a familial bond that, while not blood, has carried them since their earliest days.
Now grown men with families of their own, the talent is not limited to what they do on stage with each other. Wanya Morris’s sons have gotten into the music industry, and they refer to the other bandmates as their uncles. As they try to make their names in the industry, they have a group of unofficial uncles cheering them along every step of the way.
Wanya’s five sons, all of them named Wanya, are now trying to make it independently. They formed the quintet WanMor and tried to break out on America’s Got Talent but never made it past the initial rounds.
However, the group got another chance on Nickelodeon’s America’s Most Musical Family, where they not only showcased their talent but gave their uncles something to be proud of.
Being in a band can often feel like being in a family. You travel together, work together, and even, sometimes, live together. Because of this, it’s easy to assume that the member of Boyz II Men are blood-related. They aren’t, but that doesn’t make them less of a family, regardless. With the next generation now trying to continue what they started, Wanya, Nathan, Michael, and Shawn have a whole lot to be proud of as they continue toward the future.