This year 2013 is just a couple weeks old and already, there are some events to come that will make this year historic. 2013 will mark the thirty-year anniversary of R & B group New Edition. Upon hearing this news for the first time, I was a little shocked. I like so many of you reading this week, witnessed and enjoyed listening to New Edition music throughout their entire career. A thirty-year career! Even with witnessing and hearing performances year after year, I still picture them collectively as teenagers or young adults.
Last year New Edition received the well-deserved Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award. After watching these over forty-year-old men continue their long journey I began to reflect on all things individual members of New Edition have accomplished. Think back to Bobby Brown, who left the group for his solo career. He went on to deliver chart-topping songs that propelled him to become a household name worldwide. Next three group members Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins teamed to perform as Bell, Biv, DeVoe and major success and accolades followed them as well. Ralph Tresvant successfully followed with his solo effort before rejoining his New Edition band mates for more music. Popular solo artists, Johnny Gill, joined New Edition for their second and current musical run.
When you think about all the spin-off acts from New Edition that have worked it makes you look at some musicians’ other endeavors within the industry. Many performers are also songwriters or producers for other musical acts. However, there are increasingly larger numbers of artists who are finding a niche in forming their own entertainment and recording companies. One member of New Edition who has done well in this way is Michael Bivins. In years past Bivins discovered very popular groups: 702, Another Bad Creation and Boyz II Men, all of whom were signed to his Motown distributed label Biv 10 Records. Known as the quiet guy of the group, its obvious Bivins has learned good business lessons in order to find and develop talent as he has done. There are not too many artists who have “been there” like Bivins with his thirty-year career spanning from his teen years through adulthood. He truly understands what may lie ahead for young, aspiring entertainers starting in the music industry. His current company, “Sporty Rich Enterprises” continues to nurture new talent within today’s complex musical atmosphere. One of Bivins’ recent projects is an online film “Road to the 30”. It captures New Edition at the Soul Train Awards press conference, backstage on tour, and at rehearsals, and shows the group’s day to day routine. It is truly a wonderful, insightful work and I encourage you to view it if you are fans of New Edition or not. I provided a link below. I must congratulate the gentlemen of New Edition on receiving their Lifetime Achievement Award, and I hope they will produce much more music in the future.