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|Origin||New York, New York, USA|
|Genres||R&B, soul, funk, new jack swing, hip-hop|
TR Music Group
|Associated acts||Guy, Aaron Hall, Wreckx-n-Effect
Keith Sweat, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Jodeci, SWV, Dru Hill, 112, The Neptunes, Dave Hollister[
Sherman "J-Stylz" Tinsdale
|Past members||Chauncey Black
Blackstreet, often stylized as BLACKstreet, is an American R&B group founded in 1991 by Teddy Riley, the architect and member of the new jack swing R&B trio Guy (band), Guy background vocalist Chauncey Black, a Patterson, New Jersey native, and Teddy Riley's co-producer, Thomas Taliaferro, after the breakup of Guy. Riley & Hannibal set out to find two more members to complete the new group. Once they returned to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where Riley set up shop and built a new recording studio, Future Recording Studios, they had their members. Levi Little, another Patterson, New Jersey native, and Joseph Stonestreet, a Cincinnati, Ohio, native, who Riley met while both were on the west coast in Los Angeles through mutual friends. Originally, the group was to be named Stonestreet, but thought the group should be more unified and decided to take Hannibal's nickname, Black, and the last part of Stonestreet's last name, Street, and became Blackstreet. The original members of Blackstreet were Teddy Riley, Chauncey Black, Levi Little, and Joseph Stonestreet. Stonestreet was replaced, however, by Dave Hollister before they began work on their self-titled debut album. As of 2013, the current members are Teddy Riley, Dave Hollister, Sherman "J-Stylz" Tinsdale, Glenn Adams (aka Lenny Harold), and Monte Mitchell (aka Tony Tyler), and is now known as Bs2 as they cannot completely use the Blackstreet moniker since Hannibal owns the name. The group is noted for doing the dance move, "The Lean," at concerts.
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, produced by Teddy Riley, and written by Teddy Riley and Joseph Stonestreet. However, Stonestreet left the group shortly after the single was released (due to personal issues) and was replaced by Dave Hollister.
Their debut album, Blackstreet, was a platinum-selling success, featuring the singles "Booti Call", "Before I Let You Go", and "Joy", 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. Another Level 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.
The album Another Level featured Mark Middleton and Eric Williams in place of Dave Hollister & Levi Little. 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 1999 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. After rumors of legal action and a preemptive countersuit, the group re-banded and released Level II in 2003 (see 2003 in music). Blackstreet now consists of original members Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister and new member Sherman "J-Stylz" Tinsdale. Also Kermit Quinn formerly of the R&B group Intro performs with Blackstreet. Mark Middleton and Eric Williams left due to differences with Teddy Riley & Chauncey Hannibal over money distribution. They started going oversees singing Blackstreet's music with another guy Jeremy "Remy" Hanna. They eventually came up with the group name M.E.R. to avoid being sued by Teddy and Chauncey.
Riley recorded a reunion album with Guy in 2000, and subsequently began working on material for his first solo record. However, he 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. The resulting album, Level II, was released in early 2003. Teddy Riley, Dave Hollister, Mark Middleton, and Eric Williams is the lineup for Blackstreet from now on they call themselves the final 4. Chauncey Black is no longer in the group as he is pursuing a solo career.
Chauncey Hannibal has returned to the lineup and both Mark Middleton and Eric Williams are no longer in the group and are focusing on a separate group called Merj. Blackstreet now consists of Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister and new members Lenny Harold & Tony Tyler. As of 2013 Blackstreet has been touring with Teddy Riley, Dave Hollister, previous touring member Sherman "J-Stylz" Tinsdale, Lenny Harold & Tony Tyler as Riley has decided not to work with Hannibal again. The group announced this lineup is now known as BS2.
- Blackstreet (1994)
- Another Level (1996)
- Finally (1999)
- Level II (2003)
- No Diggity: The Very Best of Blackstreet (2003)
- 5th studio album (TBA)