Maurice Starr

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Maurice Starr
Birth name Larry Curtis Johnson
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
Deland, Florida
Genres R&B, electro, funk, pop, black gospel
Occupation(s) Record producer, musician, songwriter
Instruments Piano, guitar
Years active 1970s–present
Associated acts The Johnson Brothers, Jonzun Crew, New Edition, New Kids on the Block, Five Young Men
Notable instruments
Piano, guitar

Maurice Starr (born Larry Curtis Johnson, 1953) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer. Though trying his hand at a solo career, he's best known for his work creating songs and albums with pop and soul bands such as Con Funk Shun, New Edition, and the New Kids on the Block.[1]


Originally from Deland, Florida, Johnson moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 1970s. As an artist, Johnson was a member of The Johnson Brothers (not to be confused with The Brothers Johnson from Los Angeles, California) and the seminal electro group known as the Jonzun Crew with brothers Michael Jonzun and Soni Jonzun. In 1980, Johnson changed his name to Maurice Starr and recorded two R&B albums, Flaming Starr and Spacey Lady. Unsuccessful as a solo artist, and described as "a cross between Berry Gordy and P.T. Barnum,"[2] Starr decided to create a band to perform the songs that he wrote.

In 1982, Starr discovered the band New Edition on his talent show. He co-wrote and co-produced their debut album with the hits, "Candy Girl", "Is This The End", and "Popcorn Love". After the album that produced these singles, creative differences caused Starr and New Edition to go their separate ways. The group continued to produce a number of U.S. Top 10 R&B hit singles throughout the 80s and 90s including the top 5 hit ("Cool it Now") in the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1984, Starr created New Kids on the Block, a band consisting of five male teenagers, brothers Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight, with Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg and Joey McIntyre. Starr intended New Kids on the Block to be a white version of New Edition; he stated "I honestly believe that if they'd been white, [New Edition] would have been 20 times as big."[3] By 1989, New Kids On The Block was the fastest-rising act in the United States. Starr also handled the group’s lucrative marketing of posters, T-shirts, and other spin-offs.[2][4][5]

Starr later attempted to repeat his success with artists such as Perfect Gentlemen, Rick Wes, Homework, the Superiors, Classic Example, Tommy Page and Ana.[2]

Current Work[edit]

Starr has started to work independently with non-mainstream groups. He is currently managing NK5, a boy band he assembled, along with producing and writing their songs.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "White Singers + Black Style - Pop Bonanza". The New York Times. 11 March 1990. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Maurice Starr - Biography & History - AllMusic". Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Starr Maker". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  4. ^ McKENNA, KRISTINE (9 September 1990). "10 QUESTIONS : Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block". Retrieved 17 March 2017 – via LA Times. 
  5. ^ HUNT, DENNIS (4 June 1989). "Young, Gifted and Sounding Black : New Kids on the Block are the Osmonds with soul, sings their creator". Retrieved 17 March 2017 – via LA Times. 
  6. ^ "Homework". Retrieved 17 March 2017.