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OriginWaco, Texas, United States
Years active1989–1994
MembersMarcus Sanders
Shannon Gill
Treston Irby
Billy Covington
Faruq Evans
Past membersTony Thompson (deceased)
Russell Neal
Roderick Clark (deceased)
Toriano Easley
Terrence Murphy
Ricky Smith
Andre Ramseur (aka Dre Wonda)

Hi-Five is an American R&B quintet from Waco, Texas. Hi-Five had a No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1991 with "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)".

The band was formed in 1989 and originally consisted of a trio; with childhood friends Tony Thompson, Russell Neal, and Oklahoma native, Toriano Easley. Jive Records, later suggested that the trio's other childhood friends, Roderick "Pooh" Clark, and Marcus Sanders, be added to the group, with them being signed as an official ensemble, making the five of them together, the founding original members of Hi-Five.[1]

During the release of their debut album, Toriano Easley was charged with a crime, which involved a dispute with his neighborhood friends, which made him unable to continue with the group. The label recruited New York native Treston Irby, as a replacement member. After the release of their second album, Russell Neal left the group after financial conflicts with the record label. Unfortunately congruently, while the group was on tour carrying on as four members, Roderick "Pooh" Clark was injured in a vehicle collision, making him paralyzed from the chest down, which his injuries made him depart from the group.[2] The label added Shannon Gill, and Terrence Murphy as replacement members.

When the group decided to accept Giant records offer, and change labels, while their Jive contract was still pending, Giant records, instead decided to focus their attention on lead singer Tony Thompson, neglecting the projects related to the group. Because of this discrepancy, the group disbanded. Tony Thompson was later signed to Bad Boy Records. In 2005, without consulting the initial members of Hi-Five, Tony Thompson put together several new vocalists to form a new incarnation of the band, under the Hi-Five name. This later resulted in a legal battle, between Thompson and former Hi-Five members, which put the band on even more haphazard terms. In 2007, lead singer Tony Thompson, died in drug related circumstances. In 2012, as a result of Thompson's passing, the remaining members of Hi-Five in Thompson's honor, decided to reunite. In 2022, Roderick "Pooh" Clark died.

Early career[edit]

Hi-Five was originally signed to Jive Records in late 1989 and released their eponymous debut album in 1990.[3] The album was produced by Teddy Riley and went platinum. It included singles "I Just Can't Handle It" (R&B No. 10), "I Can't Wait Another Minute" (Pop No. 8, R&B No.1) and "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)", which went to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (making it their biggest hit to date).[4]

The group's second LP, Keep It Goin' On, was released in 1992.[5] Though not as successful as their debut effort, several tracks from this album, including "She's Playing Hard to Get" (Pop No. 5, R&B No. 2) and the R. Kelly-penned "Quality Time" (Pop No. 38, R&B No. 3) got major airplay in East Coast (US) urban markets. Shortly after this album was released, the group was involved in a vehicular accident, which left Roderick "Pooh" Clark paralyzed from the chest down.

In 1993, Hi-Five emerged with a third album, Faithful, which featured the songs "Unconditional Love" (Pop No. 92, R&B No. 21) and "Never Should've Let You Go" (Pop No. 30, R&B No. 10).[4] "Unconditional Love" was also featured in the multi-platinum Menace II Society soundtrack, and received extensive airplay on urban contemporary stations throughout the summer of 1993 as the movie increased in popularity. "Never Should've Let You Go" was featured on the Sister Act 2 soundtrack.

Later career[edit]

On June 1, 2007, Tony Thompson's body was discovered by security officers at around 10 p.m. near an air-conditioning unit outside of an apartment complex in his native Waco, Texas. An autopsy later determined that he had died from "toxic effects of chlorodifluoromethane", or inhaling a toxic amount of freon.[6] He is buried at Doris Miller Memorial Park in Waco.[7]

In 2011, Treston Irby released his debut solo single "Everything" under the mantle Tru$ on his independent label, Bronx Most Wanted Ent.

In 2012, Irby, Shannon Gill and Marcus Sanders reformed Hi-Five with two new members, Andre Ramseur (aka Dre Wonda) and Faruq Evans. They released a single called "Favorite Girl" also on the BMW label. Ramseur later left the group and was replaced by Billy Covington.

On July 2, 2014, former Hi-Five member Russell Neal was charged with murder, over the fatal stabbing of his wife in Houston.[8]

Hi-Five was featured on the TVOne music documentary series Unsung on August 6, 2014, chronicling the quintet's upbringing in Waco, their rise to superstardom, tragedies among group members, and their comeback.[9]

Former member Roderick “Pooh” Clark died on April 17, 2022, at the age of 49.[10]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

1990 Hi-Five
  • Release date: September 25, 1990
  • Label: Jive
38 1 102
1992 Keep It Goin' On
  • Release date: August 11, 1992
  • Label: Jive
82 9
1993 Faithful
  • Release date: October 15, 1993
  • Label: Jive
105 23
2005 The Return
  • Release date: October 11, 2005
  • Label: N' Depth Entertainment
2017 Legacy
  • Release date: January 6, 2017
  • Label: Bronx Most Wanted Entertainment
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title
2014 The EP
  • Release date: August 5, 2014
  • Label: Bronx Most Wanted Entertainment

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
1994 Greatest Hits
  • Released: October 11, 1994
  • Label: Jive


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album


1990 "I Just Can't Handle It" 3 20 Hi-Five
1991 "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)" 1 1 42 47 41 47 43 43
"I Can't Wait Another Minute" 8 1 30 112
"Just Another Girlfriend" 88 41 107
1992 "She's Playing Hard to Get" 5 2 46 76 14 55 Keep It Goin' On
"Quality Time" 38 3 36
1993 "Mary, Mary" 50
"Unconditional Love" 92 21 Faithful
"Never Should've Let You Go" 30 10 38
1994 "Faithful" 52
"What Can I Say to You (To Justify My Love)" (with Nuttin' Nyce) 13
2012 "Favorite Girl" 36 Legacy
2013 "You Never Know"
2014 "It's Nothing"
2015 "Different Kiss"
2016 "Kit Kat"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1990 "I Just Can't Handle It" Antoine Fuqua
1991 "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)"
"I Can't Wait Another Minute"
"Just Another Girlfriend"
1992 "She's Playing Hard to Get"[20] Lionel C. Martin
"Quality Time"
1993 "Unconditional Love" Marcus Nispel
"Never Should've Let You Go"
1994 "Faithful"
"What Can I Say to You (To Justify My Love)" (w/ Nuttin Nyce)
2012 "Favorite Girl" Treston Irby
2013 "You Never Know" Christian Marcus & Treston Irby
2015 "Different Kiss" Colin Keith & Treston Irby
"Sunshine" Mark Geohagen & Treston Irby
"Christmas" Mark Geohagen & Hi-Five
2016 "Kit Kat"


  1. ^ "Hi-Five interview: December 2021". Youtube.com.
  2. ^ "deadline.com April 2022". daedline.com. April 19, 2022.
  3. ^ "Remembering Rhythm & Blues: January 2007". Rememberingrhythmandblues.com. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Hi-Five Billboard Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
  5. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  6. ^ "Autopsy Results Are In For Hi-Five Star Tony Thompson". Dallasblack.com. July 2, 2007. Archived from the original on July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  7. ^ Hoover, Carl (June 5, 2010). "Family and friends remember Waco singer Tony Thompson at headstone ceremony". Wacotrib.com. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Former R&B singer charged with murdering wife in Houston". CBS News. July 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Hi-Five documentary to air, revisiting chart-topping Waco hip-hop group | Tv And Radio". Wacotrib.com. August 1, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "Roderick 'Pooh' Clark: Original Hi-Five Member Passes Away At 49". Icecreamconvos.com. April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Hi-Five". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Bubbling Down Under Week Commencing February 3, 1992". Bubbling Down Under. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "US Certifications > Hi-Five". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  14. ^ "AUS Charts > Hi-Five". ARIA Charts. Archived from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Bubbling Down Under Week Commencing September 30, 1991". Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  16. ^ "GER Charts > Hi-Five". Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 12, 2013.[dead link]
  17. ^ "NLD Charts > Hi-Five". MegaCharts. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "NZ Charts > Hi-Five". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  19. ^ "UK Charts > Hi-Five". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  20. ^ ""She's Playing Hard to Get" by Hi-Five". VH1. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2011.

External links[edit]