They're more boys than men these days, and Boyz II Men has arrived at the 25th anniversary of its first album, "Cooleyhighharmony," feeling that passage of time.
"Oh yeah, it feels longer than 25 years," Nathan Morris, who put the group together at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, says by phone from Los Angeles. "But it's gone fast, I will say that. It definitely went by fast.
"It's a little weird because you don't think about it like a regular job where you're going to retire for something like that. In our case we've been blessed to be around 25 years and doing it. We take it one day at a time anymore."
The years have certainly been good to Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman (fourth Michael McCrary bowed out in 2003). Discovered and championed by New Edition's Michael Bivins, Boyz II Men has sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. and scored record-setting singles with "End of the Road," "On Bended Knee" and "I'll Make Love To You." The group was named Billboard magazine's four most successful group of the 90s and has added a Las Vegas residency to its regular touring work.
"I think that we came out the back end of the era of good music," says Morris, 45. "We were blessed with very good songs. A lot of people have great careers with good records, but we were very blessed with very good songs.
"I mean, we grew up on Motown. None of us was born in the 50s or 60s, but it was passed on to us so we know it like the back of our hand. And part of OUR 25-year success is these families that are passing our music down like Motown was passed to us."
Boyz II Men, which is currently working on a doo-wop album, released its first three albums, all multi-platinum, for Motown and also paid tribute to the label with 2007's "Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA." That association, Morris says, means the world to the group.
"It was great. We talk about it all the time," he says. "The very first day an envelope came ot our house that had the Motown logo on it...It was nothing special, just a letter. But to know someone sent us a letter with the Motown logo on us freaked us out. It was huge being on that label, just huge."
Boyz II Men and En Vogue
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7.
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $25-$49.50 pavilion, $20 lawn with a $60 lawn four-pack.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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