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Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres R&B, soul, funk, new jack swing, hip hop
Years active 1991–present
Labels Interscope, DreamWorks
Associated acts Guy, Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, SWV, The Neptunes, Bink, Rodney Jerkins, Danja, Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, Leon Sylvers III
Members Chauncey "Black" Hannibal
Levi Little
Mark Middleton
Eric Williams
Past members Teddy Riley
Dave Hollister
Joseph Stonestreet
Terrell Phillips

Blackstreet, often stylized as BLACKstreet, are an American R&B group founded in 1991 by Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal, also known as "C. Black."[1]


After the breakup of Guy, Riley came up with the idea to start a new group featuring himself. Originally, the group was to be named Stonestreet, but it was later decided to combine Stonestreet with Chauncey's nickname "Black." The group became Blackstreet Featuring Teddy Riley, with an original lineup of Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Levi Little, and Joseph Stonestreet. However, Stonestreet was replaced with Dave Hollister before the first self-titled album was released.


In 1993, their first single "Baby Be Mine" was released on the soundtrack to the Universal Pictures comedy CB4 (starring Chris Rock). The song was written by Riley and Stonestreet and produced by Riley.[2]

Their debut album, Blackstreet, featured the singles "Booti Call", "Before I Let You Go" and "Joy".[2] "Booti Call" and "Before I Let You Go" were both Top 40 hits, with "Before I Let You Go" hitting the Top 10. In 1996, they released their sophomore album Another Level. It 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. In 1998, Blackstreet won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[2]

The Another Level album eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard chart. "No Diggity" was later ranked at No. 91 on Rolling Stone and MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs.[3] Another Level featured Mark Middleton and Eric Williams in place of Dave Hollister and Levi Little.[2] Both Middleton and Williams were in groups prior to joining Blackstreet. Middleton was part of the short-lived Motown Records group Brik Citi.[4][5][6] Williams was part of the trio The Flex, a group that sang on songs produced by their mentor Marley Marl. 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 1997 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.

Teddy Riley recorded a reunion album with Guy in 2000, and subsequently began working on material for his first solo record. Riley 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. After rumors of legal action and a preemptive countersuit, the group re-banded and released Level II in 2003 (see 2003 in music).

After several failed attempts to keep Blackstreet together, all members eventually continued with solo careers for a time. However, in 2014 it was announced that past members Chauncey Black, Levi Little, Mark Middleton and Eric Williams were back together under the Blackstreet moniker. They continue to perform with this lineup currently, and they embarked on their second Australian tour in April 2015.[7]

Legal Issues and Trademark Litigation[edit]

Teddy Riley originally registered the "Blackstreet" Service Mark on July 1, 1997; however, the mark was cancelled on April 4, 2008 after a "Section 9 Renewal" required under the Trademark Regulations was not filed within the year before the end of the 10th year after the registration.[8] Subsequently, on November 16, 2010, Chauncey Black registered and acquired the "Blackstreet" Service Mark,[9] and then on May 8, 2012, he also registered and acquired the corresponding "Blackstreet" Trademark as well.[10]

Teddy Riley later faulted Chauncey Black for the cancellation of the "Blackstreet" Trademark and Service Mark, and on April 17, 2014, Riley filed a Petition for Cancellation of the Service Mark,[11] and a Petition for Cancellation of the Trademark on April 29, 2015,[12] citing to "first use in commerce" and "likelihood of confusion" as the basis for his petitions.

While the Trademark litigation was pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, Riley also initiated a civil action in the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on March 18, 2015, also in an effort to reacquire the right to use the "Blackstreet" name,[13] thus effectively suspending the actions before the TTAB for the time being until the civil action is resolved.[14]

Although Black continues to hold himself out as the "CEO" of Blackstreet Entertainment, Inc., even continuing to utilize the Twitter handle "@Blackstreet_Ent",[15] official records from the Virginia State Corporation Commission show that Black's name is conspicuously absent from the 2015 Annual Report, and that Riley remains the CEO and Director of Blackstreet Entertainment, Inc.[16]


Past members[edit]

  • Teddy Riley
  • Dave Hollister
  • Joseph Stonestreet (Original member only appeared on single "Baby Be Mine")
  • Terrell Phillips (Appeared on the album Finally)
  • Kermit Quinn (performed during live shows, does not appear on album)