Blackstreet

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BLACKstreet
Origin New York, New York, USA
Genres R&B, soul, funk, new jack swing, hip-hop
Years active 1991–present
Labels Interscope
DreamWorks
Associated acts Guy, Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, SWV, The Neptunes, Bink, Rodney Jerkins, Danja, Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, Leon Sylvers III
Website twitter.com/blackstreet_ent
Members Chauncey Hannibal
Levi Little
Mark Middleton
Eric Williams
Past members Teddy Riley
Dave Hollister
Joseph Stonestreet
Terrell Phillips

Blackstreet, often stylized as BLACKstreet, is an American R&B group founded in 1991 by Teddy Riley, and Chauncey Hannibal a.k.a. "C. Black".[1]

Formation[edit]

After the breakup of Guy, Riley came up with the idea to start a new group featuring himself. Originally, the group was to be named Stonestreet, but it was later decided to use part of Stonestreet's and Chauncey's nickname "Black". The group became Blackstreet Featuring Teddy Riley, with an original lineup of Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Levi Little, and Joseph Stonestreet. Stonestreet was replaced, however, by Dave Hollister before their first self-titled album was released.

Career[edit]

The original group released their first single in 1993, on the soundtrack to the Universal Pictures comedy CB4 (starring Chris Rock) titled "Baby Be Mine", featuring Joseph Stonestreet on lead. The song was produced by Riley and written by Riley and Stonestreet. However, Stonestreet left the group shortly after the single was released and was replaced by Dave Hollister.[2]

Their debut album, Blackstreet, was a platinum-selling success, featuring the singles "Booti Call", "Before I Let You Go", and "Joy",[2] two of which were Top 40 hits ("Before I Let You Go" hit the Top 10). The follow-up, 1996's Another Level (see 1996 in music) was a breakthrough success due to the top single "No Diggity" (with Dr. Dre), which was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Top 40 hit "Don't Leave Me" which was a big hit in 1996.[2]

The Another Level album eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard chart. "No Diggity" is ranked at No. 91 on Rolling Stone and MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs, while Blackstreet comes in at No. 214 of the Top 500 Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years. Another Level featured Mark Middleton and Eric Williams in place of Dave Hollister and Levi Little.[2] Both Middleton and Williams were in groups prior to joining Blackstreet. Middleton was part of the short-lived Motown Records group Brik Citi.[3][4][5] Williams was part of the trio The Flex, a group that sang on songs produced by their mentor Marley Marl. The success of Another Level landed them a guest appearance on Jay-Z's "The City Is Mine" and they teamed with Mýa and Mase for the hit "Take Me There" from the Rugrats soundtrack. The success of Another Level would also land them a spot on New Edition's 1997 Home Again reunion tour.

The first single from their third album, "Girlfriend/Boyfriend", a collaboration with Janet Jackson featuring Ja Rule and Eve – Blackstreet finally had a top ten album with Finally. But personnel shifts wrecked the group and contributed to the relative failure of Finally (1999 in music) and Blackstreet soon broke up.

Teddy Riley recorded a reunion album with Guy in 2000, and subsequently began working on material for his first solo record. Riley had second thoughts about disbanding Blackstreet, and patched things up with Hannibal. Middleton and Williams returned to restore the Another Level lineup, and Riley's solo project became a Blackstreet reunion. After rumors of legal action and a preemptive countersuit, the group re-banded and released Level II in 2003 (see 2003 in music).

After several failed attempts to keep Blackstreet together, all members eventually continued with solo careers. Chauncey Hannibal (C. Black) remains the Trademark owner of the name "Blackstreet" [6] and CEO of Blackstreet Entertainment, Inc. and the sole member of the original group BLACKstreet, he continues to perform worldwide as a solo artist.[7] In 2014 it was announced past Blackstreet members Chauncey Black, Levi Little, Mark Middleton, & Eric Williams are back together under Blackstreet and will continue to perform with this lineup while Teddy & Dave perform with BS2.

Blackstreet will embark on their second Australian tour in December 2014.

Blackstreet Members[edit]

Past members[edit]

  • Teddy Riley
  • Dave Hollister
  • Joseph Stonestreet (Original member only appeared on single "Baby Be Mine")
  • Terrell Phillips (Appeared on the album Finally)
  • Kermit Quinn (performed during live shows, does not appear on album)

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hamilton, Davina. "Teddy Riley: 'There Is No More Blackstreet'". article. voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve "Blackstreet Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-07-10.
  3. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-2268805.html
  4. ^ "Brik Citi - Between A Rock And A Hard Place CD". studio album. cduniverse.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Levaba Mallison - Director of Music Production". biography. backbone pictures.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  6. ^ http://www.uspto.gov, retrieved 2014-02-05
  7. ^ Blackstreet Entertainment, Inc., retrieved 2014-01-30