By: Renee Grant
Philly’s own Boyz II Men have been in the business of making hits for 26 years since their first studio album Cooleyhighharmony was first released, and they are making the rounds promoting their latest effort, Under the Streetlights. The trio, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris, are also currently performing a residency in Las Vegas.
The group says they owe their longevity in the business to the fact that their fans are from all ages and all walks of life.
“When we first started and we came out with our first album, even our [record label] president at the time didn’t really understand why we were selling so many records,” Stockman tells HuffPost. “We were like, ‘Listen, everybody comes to these shows.’ And he was like, ‘I don’t believe you.’ He would have to actually come to the concert to see the actual people.”
The band still attracts that same diverse audience today.
“You have black, white and every other color in between… We’ve never been a black group, and we’ve never been just a pop group,” Stockman says. “We appeal to everybody… So it was kind of frustrating for the record labels, but on the side of us, it was fun, because everybody would come and we were happy with that.”
The group also opened up in a recent interview with ENews about how they’ve been coping with the recent shooting tragedy in Las Vegas during their residency there.
“Our hearts go out, and we hope that everyone’s hearts go out,” says Nathan Morris. The group wasn’t in town that weekend, but they returned the following weekend to perform and donated the proceeds from their show to victims in the city.
“Our job is to… provide a level of escapism for people. To go to a show, to go to some level of entertainment and just relax for a couple of hours,” Stockman said. “Actually the weekend that we came back, it was fairly busy.
“You can’t let things like that, incidents like that, deter you from living life. You still have to live, you still have to enjoy life no matter what.”
Their new album is available today (October 20), via their website BoyzIIMen.com.