Foster & McElroy
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Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy are an American R&B record production and songwriting duo, which has produced and written hit singles for Club Nouveau, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Alexander O'Neal, Regina Belle, Madonna, Swing Out Sister, and most notably, En Vogue. They have released their own recordings under the names Foster & McElroy (the Top Ten R&B hit "Dr. Soul" with M.C. Lyte and the Atlantic album FM2) and Fmob ("Runaway Love" with En Vogue). Their songs have been sampled in hit songs by the Luniz, Puff Daddy, Ashanti, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Jessica Simpson, and others.
Foster was born in Oakland, CA and was greatly influenced by numerous of styles of music from The Beatles to Parliament/Funkadelic. Thomas McElroy, also born in Oakland, was influenced by his father's love for jazz music. The two musicians first met in California while attending college, and decided to work together as colleagues.
Signing to the independent Triangle label, they released one 12" single. Soon after Foster & McElroy joined forces with Jay King, and produced Timex Social Club's hit single "Rumors" in 1985. When that group disbanded, they regroup with King to form Club Nouveau. Eventually he duo left Club Nouveau after their first album Life, Love & Pain to focus on production and songwriting. In 1988, they landed a production deal with Wing Records, eventually signing the band Tony! Toni! Toné!, as well as brother and sister act Channel 2.
Following the success of Tony! Toni! Toné!, Foster & McElroy released their first album, FM2, one of which included songs such as "Around the World in 80 Beats", "Gotta Be a Better Way", and "Dr. Soul", the latter of which was a top ten R&B hit featuring rapper MC Lyte. It earned moderate success. While working on the album, Foster & McElroy made plans to put together a girl group that would be a modern-day version of The Supremes, producing songs that mixed classic soul style vocals with hip-hop beats. After several audition calls, Foster & McElroy eventually selected Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson, and Terry Ellis to become the members of the newly titled En Vogue. With hits such as "Hold On", "Lies", "Free Your Mind", "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)", and "Don't Let Go (Love)", En Vogue has become one of the most successful girl groups in music history.