As commonly reported in many interviews,[Citation Required]Mick Jones, the founding member, lead guitarist, and main songwriter of Foreigner was at home recovering from having the flu. Mick was in the process of listening to audition tapes of various singers to replace the newly departed Lou Gramm when he came upon a cassette of Johnny Edwards. Upon hearing the demo tape, Mick immediately jumped out of bed and shouted out, "This is it!", referring to Edwards' voice as the perfect replacement for Lou.
Released on June 14, 1991, Foreigner's new album, Unusual Heat had eleven songs in total, and ten of these were the combination of mainstay Mick, Johnny and co-producer, Terry Thomas, who had previously worked with Bad Company's lead vocalist, Brian Howe, on their last three albums as producer and songwriter.
In addition to providing lead vocals, Edwards was also an accomplished guitarist who not only added rhythm guitar but also played the lead guitar in the song "Mountain of Love", the fifth track on the Unusual Heat album. The Billboard 200 documented Unusual Heat at #117 on August 3, 1991. The album's first single, "Lowdown and Dirty" was included on the band's Rhino double-CD retrospective, Juke Box Heroes. Although Edwards received some critical acclaim for his live performances and vocal style, Unusual Heat was a commercial failure, and Lou Gramm returned the following year, immediately ending Edwards' tenure as Foreigner's lead vocalist. In 1992, the reunited Gramm and Foreigner founder Mick Jones released The Very Best & Beyond, a greatest hits collection with three new songs. One of the tracks,"With Heaven On Our Side" was co-written by Johnny Edwards. At the time of his departure from Foreigner, Edwards had co-written ten songs with Jones, in anticipation of a follow-up album to Unusual Heat.
Edwards subsequently left the music business, returning to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to raise a family. He later became associated with the telecommunications industry.
In a 2004 interview, Jeff "JK" Northrup, Edwards' old bandmate and friend, discussed receiving an offer to record a new rock album with Edwards as vocalist. Edwards declined, choosing to remain outside music. Paul Shortino assumed lead vocals on the project. Edwards still contributed songwriting and co-lead vocals for two tracks on the album Shortino/Northrup
Edwards and Northrup also can be heard playing and singing together on two compilation rock albums released by the MelodicRock record label and website.