Color Me Badd
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|Color Me Badd|
|Origin||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|Genres||R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, soul|
|Years active||1987–2000, 2010–present|
|Labels||Epic Records, Giant Records|
|Past members||Sam Watters|
Color Me Badd is an R&B vocal group that was formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. The original members of the group were Bryan Abrams (born November 16, 1969) (his step brother was Manuel Charles Montenegro, IV), Mark Calderon (born September 27, 1970), Sam Watters (born July 23, 1970) and Kevin Thornton (born June 17, 1969). The group sold 12 million records in the United States. The group has been well known in Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, parts of east Asia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and New Zealand besides the United States. The group has been on T.V. shows, commercials and their songs have been in movies like New Jack City and No Strings Attached.
This a cappella hip-hop group, whose R&B harmony vocals were offset by mild rap interjections and a post-New Kids on the Block street-dance image, were discovered by Kool & The Gang's Robert Bell in 1990.
Early success 
Color Me Badd had five U.S. hit singles from their debut album C.M.B. throughout 1991 and 1992. These were "I Wanna Sex You Up" (U.S. #2), "I Adore Mi Amor" (U.S. #1), "All 4 Love" (U.S. #1), "Thinkin' Back" (U.S. #16) and "Slow Motion" (U.S. #18). "I Wanna Sex You Up" was also on the New Jack City soundtrack and hit number one in the United Kingdom.
Their debut album, C.M.B., was released in September 1991. It sold over 6 million copies worldwide and became certified 3x platinum in the United States by the RIAA.
Color Me Badd performed at the 1991 Smash Hits Poll Winners' Awards in the United Kingdom, winning the Best New Group trophy. In January 1992, they were awarded the Favourite Single R&B/Soul trophy at the 19th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In March 1992, Color Me Badd won the Best R&B/Soul Single and Song of the Year categories at the sixth annual Soul Train Music Awards.
In October 1992, the group released a remix album entitled Young, Gifted & Badd: The Remixes. It contained the hit single "Forever Love" (U.S. #15), which was also featured on the Mo' Money soundtrack. However, the album peaked at U.S. #189.
The group's third album Time and Chance was released in November 1993. A hugely ambitious project, consisting of nineteen new tracks, this album represented a slight shift in musical style for Color Me Badd. Working with top producers including David Foster, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a more soulful and funky sound had clearly emerged. Although some critics gave it positive reviews, the album did not fare well on the Billboard Album Charts, peaking at #56. It was certified gold in the U.S., for shipments of more than 500,000 units. With the music industry at the time embracing groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, it was difficult for Color Me Badd to deliver the same success on the singles charts as they had done before. The album's title track "Time and Chance" peaked at U.S. #21, while its follow up "Choose" also topped out at U.S. #23.
The group re-emerged in 1996 with their fourth album called Now and Forever. With high-profile producers including Narada Michael Walden, Babyface, Jon B and Boyz II Men, this album was well received by both critics and R&B fans alike. However, once again, sales were well below those expected from the group at around four thousand copies in the U.S. alone.
The album produced one major hit single, "The Earth, The Sun, The Rain," which peaked at U.S. #19. However, it became a popular airwave staple and remained on the Billboard Charts for 19 weeks (the group's second-most-enduring single). The second single, "Sexual Capacity," was a minor hit and appeared on the soundtrack to the Demi Moore film Striptease. This song was co-produced by Robin Thicke under the name Rob Thicke.
After moving to Epic Records, Color Me Badd's fifth album, Awakening, was released in July 1998. Remaining true to their R&B roots, they again received critical acclaim for their vocal harmonies. "Remember When" achieved minor success on radio and has a companion video shot as well.
Break-up and solo ventures 
After Epic Records decided not to renew the band's recording deal, Color Me Badd officially disbanded in May 2000, culminating in the release of their best of set,The Best of Color Me Badd.
Kevin Thornton had previously left the group in October 1998 to pursue a call to ministry. He later released a Christian solo album in 2005 that features contemporary hip-hop/rap material with gospel and soul music. Thornton became a licensed minister in August 2006, and has since served as Evangelist, Youth Pastor, and Worship Leader at his home church Without Walls Church in Fort Worth, TX. He has partnered with the church's non-profit Fort Worth Hope Center in helping to feed over 100,000 families a year in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. He is also actively involved in bringing awareness to the realities of human sex trafficking in America through his partnership with Traffick911.
Sam Watters pursued a second career as a record producer, achieving success in later years with Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Fantasia, Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield, Kelly Clarkson, 98 Degrees, Blake Lewis. Watters is also a member of the production/songwriting team, The Runaways, which also includes Rico Love, Wayne Wilkins, Ryan Tedder, and Louis Biancaniello. Watters married R&B singer and former American Idol contestant Tamyra Gray in 2006.
Mark Calderon continues to write and produce music for various artists including new music for Color Me Badd. He has worked with artists such as Stevie Brock who re-made the hit single "All For Love" which reached #1 on Disney Charts, worked with the artist IPV who is signed with Wright Entertainment as well as getting songs played on the hit series "House MD" and "Knight Rider". He continues to write Christian music, starting with his song "He'll Be There". He has been a part of several mission trips to help those less fortunate and continues to be involved with helping the needy. He is married to Lisa Calderon (wife of 21 yrs) who was their fashion stylist and who worked with entertainers such as Whitney Houston, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, as well as many other artists.
In 2001, Bryan Abrams released a solo album entitled Welcome to Me. In 2007, Abrams participated in the VH1 reality TV series Mission: Man Band. In 2007, Abrams recorded an appearance on the Insane Clown Posse song "Truth Dare", which was released on the Psychopathic Records compilations Psychopathics from Outer Space 3 (2007) and Featuring Freshness (2011).
In July 2010, Color Me Badd re-emerged as a duo composed of members Bryan Abrams and Mark Calderon. They headlined a concert in Hawaii (also starring All-4-One and Shai), and were well received by the audience and the local media. Later that year, Kevin Thornton reunited with the group. The trio first emerged on the "DirecTV Gameshow: Rock and a Hardplace" hosted by 'Meatloaf.' They raised funds for an L.A. charity group called "FACE" (which brings alcohol awareness to young kids) and competed against 1970s R&B group "Divas". Color Me Badd has since been touring, and look to release new music in the Spring of 2013. In early 2012, Mark Calderon and Bryan Abrams collaborated on a song with the Insane Clown Posse on The Mighty Death Pop!'s "White Pop" version's bonus CD called Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium. It is a soft R&B remix of the song "Ghetto Rainbows". Although it is believed to be a Color Me Badd collaboration, it is indeed a song featuring and co-written by Bryan Abrams and Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd.
- 1991: C.M.B. (Giant) (U.S. #3, U.S. R&B #10, UK Albums Chart #3)
- (U.S. 3x Platinum), (UK: Gold), (Canada: 2x Platinum)
- Worldwide sales: 6 million
- 1992: Young, Gifted & Badd: The Remixes (Giant)
- 1993: Time and Chance (Giant) (U.S. #56, U.S. R&B #10)
- (U.S. Platinum)
- 1996: Now and Forever (Giant) (U.S Gold)
- 1998: Awakening (Epic)
- 2000: The Best of Color Me Badd (Giant)
|Year||Song||U.S. Hot 100||U.S. R&R Pop||U.S. R&B||UK Singles Chart||Album|
|1991||"I Wanna Sex You Up"||2||2||1||1||C.M.B.|
|"I Adore Mi Amor"||1||1||1||44|
|"All 4 Love"||1||2||-||5|
|"Color Me Badd"||-||-||56||-|
|"Forever Love"||15||3||-||-||Young, Gifted & Badd|
|1993||"Time and Chance"||23||23||9||62||Time and Chance|
|"Let's Start with Forever"||-||52||-||-|
|1996||"The Earth, The Sun, The Rain"||21||4||69||-||Now & Forever|
- Keri Hilson - In A Perfect World - Hip Hop Album Review
- Samaad, Michelle A. (December 21, 2006). "Color Me Badd Singer Back On The Black: Decade in the Making, Bryan Abrams Poised for Solo Debut in 2007 -- Pt2". EURweb.
- Samaad, Michelle A. (December 19, 2006). "Color Me Badd Singer Back On The Black: Decade in the Making, Bryan Abrams Poised for Solo Debut in 2007 -- Pt1". EURweb.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 116. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.