by Meaghan Paulosky
Philadelphia has a great deal to be proud of- the Liberty Bell, the first zoo in America, and a light-hearted appreciation for sports teams have come to define this beautiful city. But among these many accolades, Philadelphia’s greatest is being home to Boyz II Men.
Boyz II Men officially came together in 1988 and have since then made their harmonic ballads into R&B classics, with songs like “I’ll Make Love to You” and “End of the Road” carving their name into Billboard chart history. Of course as any good Philadelphian knows, there is one particular song that is (arguably) superior to them all.
“We wrote ‘Motown Philly’ as a tribute to our city and its music legacy. Both as musicians and as natives, we couldn’t be prouder to have come out of Philly’s music scene,” shares group member Shawn Stockman.
Philly is just as proud. Almost three decades after rehearsing in the bathrooms of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Boyz are back. On June 15th, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris bring their summer tour to the home of ‘Motown Philly.’ They will be joined by New Kids on the Block and 98° on The Package Tour for what is sure to be a night of boy band dreams come true, as many long-time fans already anticipate. Some cities have even required the addition of extra shows just to meet the high boy band demand.
These astute fans can expect to be showered with the best of the 90’s classics, as well as newer material and a line-up unlike any other. Explains Stockman, “As groups, we all complement each other really well. There’s great synergy- both musically and personally. We’re really looking forward [to it] and can’t wait to see all of the fans out there.”
Fear not: this coast-to-coast summer tour isn’t all they have planned. He goes on, “…we have our residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas…the Mixtape Festival in July, and earlier this year we signed a publishing and recording deal with BMG so fans can look out for new music from Boyz II Men by the end of 2013…”
Prolific doesn’t quite begin to cover it. Shows at the Mirage begin on August 9th, a mere five days after The Package Tour concludes, and encompass thirty performances before the year is over. If Vegas is a bit too far for you, the two-day VH1 Mixtape Festival kicks off on July 26th at Hersheypark Stadium. Boyz II Men is again joined by New Kids on the Block, in addition to Train, Rev Run + DJ Ruckus, The Return of TLC, Hanson, and plenty of others. It might even be more of a challenge to not see Boyz II Men this summer.
Not many artists can boast a career longer than some of their fans have been alive, but then again not many artists have the natural talent of Boyz II Men. Couple those vocals with a Philadelphian tenacity and voilá – legendary. After over twenty years, half as many records, Billboard records nearing that of the Beatles, a Grammy, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there are no signs of them slowing down. “The whole journey has been surreal…to still be making music that the fans appreciate and respond to…It’s been more rewarding than we ever could have imagined twenty years ago,” says Stockman. Oh, Shawn, it’s our pleasure. Really.
So be sure to head over to Wells Fargo on June 15th and welcome home this Philadelphia gem. “Philly is such a diverse and beautiful city; it’ll always be our hometown and we always show our Philly fans love.”