New Edition Looks Back At 40 Year Career In Exclusive Interview
‘NE Exclusive’: New Edition Reminisce Over Their Wildest Fan Memories Ahead Of Their 40th Anniversary Legacy Tour
Can you believe it’s been 40 years since ‘Candy Girl’?
In an exclusive interview with Big Tigger, all six members of New Edition sat down ahead of their 40th Anniversary and the launch of The Legacy Tour, which also features Keith Sweat, the original members of Guy and Tank. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens, Bobby Brown, Ronnie Devoe, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill opened up with memories about the success of their first single, crazy moments on tour and more.
At the start of the interview Ricky Bell remembered when college station WRBB first played the song on the radio — while he was still living in the projects with his family in Boston.
“I was running through the whole house,” Bell recalled. “We thought it was only being played in Boston, we didn’t know it was playing all over the country and even all over the world, so when they told us it was number one we didn’t know what that meant. We never heard of Billboard or R&R or all these magazines that track your plays and your sales so we didn’t really understand the impact until we got on tour, traveling to different cities and seeing the audience react to the songs. We didn’t have the imagination to plot 40 years ahead. To be here 40 years later we have to give it to the grace of God.”
For his part, Ronnie Devoe expressed excitement that the group now has won over some of the male fans who weren’t quite as appreciative of their popularity back in the day.
“The fellas are a little bit more outgoing now,” Devoe said. “Back in the day, some of the first memories of Candy Girl was the girls going crazy, 80 percent of the room, and fellas were on the wall mad, basically mean mugging us because their girl was going crazy or the one they had their eye on was going crazy. To see now the fellas in the aisle doing the routine just like the ladies it just feels like a full embrace.”
“Taking it back to an age when things were meaningful, 1983, the fact that we’re in our 50’s now, a lot of us have seen people come and go in these last 40 years,” Devoe added. “It’s a grateful situation and to be on tour with cats like Keith Sweat. We’ve been on tour with Keith two or three times over. Johnny was even in a group with the man. On tour with Guy and the different iterations of what Teddy has done over the years with Blackstreet and all of that. And even Tank, with ‘R&B Money’ putting that stamp back in the game, leads to the generation below us. Looking at the history and the fact we had a movie The New Edition Story that allowed us to go from a generation of like 45-60 all the way down to 5 and 6 and 7 that’s now showing up to the concert excited about seeing ‘Mr. Telephone Man’ and hearing ‘Sensitivity.'”
Bobby Brown revealed that he was certain of the group’s success from their first early rehearsals.
“I used to tell em we were going to be on Soul Train one day and they would laugh me out of the room,” Bobby Brown recalled. “Just call me all kind of names, but from the very beginning I saw the vision.”
Their wildest days may be behind them, but New Edition expressed gratitude that their early tour memories weren’t broadcast online in the way many of the stars of today have been.
“We were the last of the Mohicans to have fun, enjoy life, do what we wanted to do,” Johnny Gill said. “Nowadays you can’t even dig up your nose without people having something to do. Tour life was crazy, it was just fun.”
“At the end of the show we would announce the hotel we were staying,” Ricky Bell remembered. “It was crazy. Just imagine a lobby full of women and us just up pointing out which one we wanted, telling security, ‘the one in the red…’ Everything that could possibly be done, was done.”
“Ralph had a stalker,” Bell added about his group mate when Tigger asked about stalker moments. “Her and her mom would show up the whole tour. Her in her prom dress!”
“That same girl ended up in Boston staying with my Grandma,” Tresvant recalled. “She found my grandmother in Boston somehow and my grandmother said, ‘I like this girl you should come say hi to her.”
Ralph wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of unwanted attention either.
“Ron had a good stalker,” Mike chimed in. “Nancy, we called her Nancy.”
“Listen, I’m not saying anything,” Ron laughed. “We had some moments with crazy fans. We had ladies who got dressed up like the maids, knocking on the doors and we would open it up and they would just give it away right away. Maids don’t scream!”
We love it. We were fortunate to catch New Edition last year for The Culture Tour and are super excited that The Black Promoters Collective (BPC) is launching the 30-city Legacy Tour with Keith Sweat, the original members of GUY (Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, and Damion Hall) and Tank starting on Thursday, March 9 in Columbia, SC and ending on Sunday, April 30 in Tampa, FL.
Check out the full tour schedule below and purchase tickets HERE:
Don’t miss it. Go to a New Edition “Legacy Tour” date near you:
Thursday, March 9 Columbia, SC Colonial Life Arena
Friday, March 10 Charlotte, NC Spectrum Center
Saturday, March 11 Birmingham, AL Legacy Arena at BJCC
Sunday, March 12 Memphis, TN FedExForum
Thursday, March 16 Washington, D.C. Capital One Center
Friday, March 17 Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
Saturday, March 18 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
Sunday, March 19 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Thursday, March 23 Chicago, IL United Center
Friday, March 24 Indianapolis, IN Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Saturday, March 25 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
Sunday, March 26 Cincinnati, OH Heritage Bank Center
Thursday, March 30 Atlanta, GA State Farm Arena
Friday, March 31 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
Saturday, April 1 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Sunday, April 2 Fort Worth, TX Dickies Arena
Thursday, April 6 San Diego, CA Pechanga Arena
Friday, April 7 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena
Saturday, April 8 Los Angeles, CA Kia Forum
Sunday, April 9 Oakland, CA Oakland Arena
Thursday, April 13 Cleveland, OH Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Friday, April 14 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
Saturday, April 15 St. Louis, MO Enterprise Center
Sunday, April 16 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Thursday, April 20 Belmont Park, NY UBS Arena
Saturday, April 22 Baltimore, MD CFG Bank Arena
Sunday, April 23 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
Friday, April 28 Miami, FL FTX Arena
Saturday, April 29 Jacksonville, FL VyStar Arena
Sunday, April 30 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
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