Public Announcement

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Public Announcement
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres New Jack Swing, R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop
Years active 1991–present
Labels Jive
Associated acts R. Kelly, Mr. Lee
Members Feloney Davis
Glenn Wright
Ace Watkins
Mar-K
Past members Andre Boykins
Earl Robinson
Ricky Webster
Big Mel
Euclid Gray

Public Announcement is an American R&B group, which was formed in 1991 in Chicago, Illinois. They teamed with singer R. Kelly on his debut studio album Born into the 90's (1992).

Career[edit]

1991–1994: Born into the 90's[edit]

Public Announcement auditioned to be R. Kellys back up singers and dancers.

The group signed with Jive Records in 1991 after R. Kelly met the members from Public Announcement and auditioned them to be his back up singers and dancers. The group was originally R. Kelly backed up by Earl Robinson, Andre Boykins, & Ricky Webster. R. Kelly & Public Announcement released their debut album, Born into the 90's in January 1992. One of the last albums to be released during the new jack swing period of the early nineties, the album included the hits "She's Got That Vibe", "Honey Love", "Dedicated", and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)" all of which was led by Kelly, eventually leading to the album reaching a million copies domestically and going platinum. (Overall, "Honey Love" and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)" were the only two hits to reach #1 on the R&B chart during Public Announcement's tenure.) The group was billed as R. Kelly and Public Announcement essentially making the group backup members for Kelly rather than a cohesive unit. After a successful tour ended in 1993, Kelly parted ways with Public Announcement to begin a solo career, The group suddenly left the music industry after his departure. Public Announcement brought in a new member Big Mel. With Earl, Rick, Andre, & Mel the group signed with Atlantic Records. They released a single Take Advantage Of Me but an album never materialized and Andre, Rick, & Big Mel left the group. Boykins & Big Mel worked on music together & individual careers. Boykins also continues to work closely with R. Kelly. According to his Myspace page, Boykins is currently a songwriter and producer at the Chocolate Factory studio in Chicago, he often tours with Kelly, and has been featured in many of Kelly's videos such as "I Wish", "When a Woman's Fed Up", and "Contagious" by The Isley Brothers to name a few.

Original member Earl Robinson recruited Chicago natives Feloney Davis, Glenn Wright, and Euclid Gray as new members of Public Announcement in 1996 & Davis took over as the lead singer. In 1997 they eventually scored a record deal with A&M Records and started working on their sophomore and solo debut album All Work, No Play. In 1998, they scored their first and only top five hit without Kelly, named Body Bumpin (Yippie-Yi-Yo) released on February 3, 1998, which peaked at #5 Pop and #4 R&B. This album featured Feloney Davis taking over the lead vocals. Though having only one single hitting the Billboard charts, the album was a top twenty success on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. After only a few years of being signed, they were dropped again.

1999–2002: Don't Hold Back[edit]

Shortly after touring Euclid Gray left the group after the tour was over to pursue a gospel career & the group was dropped from A&M Records.

Gray was replaced with Chicago native Ace Watkins, signed with RCA Records and started work on their next album Don't Hold Back.

In 1999 a new song called "John Doe", from their album Don't Hold Back on Epic was released and was a minor R&B/Hip-Hop hit, which led to the album release being delayed. A few months later in 2000 a new lead single called "Mamacita" was released. It was a moderate success entering number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. After that, "John Doe" was re-released and went on to enter the Hot 100 at number 95. Another single named "Man ain't Supposed To Cry" was a top forty R&B/Hip-Hop hit.

After being let go by RCA Records Ace left the group to pursue a solo career and in 2004 was replaced by current member Mar-K a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mar-K is the youngest member of the group and also the only member that isn't from Chicago.

2005–present: When the Smoke Clears[edit]

In 2005, the group released their fourth album When the Smoke Clears on their own label, Boss Entertainment, through Fontana Music/Universal Records. After a short hiatus to pursue solo interests, Feloney, Glenn, Ace who has returned, and Mar-K are working on a follow-up album, expected to be released in 2013. Earl is not a part of the reunion[dated info].

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Born into the 90's (with R. Kelly) (1992) (US #42) (US R&B #3)
  • All Work, No Play (1998) (US #81) (US R&B #14)
  • Don't Hold Back (2001) (US #89) (US R&B #30)
  • When the Smoke Clears (2006) (US R&B #99)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Album Chart Positions [1][2][3]
U.S. U.S.
R&B
UK[4] NZ
1992 "She's Got That Vibe" (with R. Kelly) Born into the '90s
59
7
3
-
"Honey Love" (with R. Kelly)
39
1
-
-
"Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)" (with R. Kelly)
43
1
-
-
1993 "Dedicated" (with R. Kelly)
31
9
-
-
"Hey Love (Can I Have a Word)" (with R. Kelly featuring Mr. Lee)
101
15
-
-
1998 "Body Bumpin' (Yippie-Yi-Yo)" All Work, No Play
5
4
38
11
"It's About Time"
-
-
-
-
2000 "Mamacita" Don't Hold Back
39
7
-
-
2001 "John Doe"
95
32
-
-
"Man Ain't Supposed To Cry"
109
35
-
-

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mariah-charts.com
  2. ^ Swedishcharts.com
  3. ^ Dutchcharts.nl
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 164. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]

  1. MySpace.com
  2. Allmusic.com