New Edition hosted their breakthrough performance today (February 5, 1983), at the legendary Copacabana Theater in New York.
The origins of New Edition go back to 1978, when Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell formed what would become the nucleus of the group, in elementary school.
Soon, group member Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe would be brought in as the group’s fourth and fifth members, respectively.
In 1982, New Edition caught the attention of Maurice Starr during a performance at the “Hollywood Talent Night” in Boston.
This led to the group’s debut album Candy Girl, which was released in 1983 on Starr’s Streetwise Records imprint.
The album included New Edition’s classic singles “Is This The End,” “Jealous Girl,” and the album’s title track which hit #1 on the R&B charts, while “Is This The End hit #2, stopped only by Rick James’s song “Cold Blooded.”
When New Edition made their lip-synching debut at the Copacabana, Bobby Brown was also celebrating his 14th birthday.
Contractual issues soon arose with Maurice Starr and his record label, which set off a five-year legal battle over New Edition’s name.
When the dust settled, New Edition members had paid well over $100,000 to Maurice Starr and Streetwise Records, in order to get out of the deal and sign directly to MCA.
The groups second album New Edition was released in 1984, one MCA and by this time, the group had linked with Michael Sembello aunt Ray Parker Jr.
Sembello, Ray Parker Jr. helped produce a new round if hits for the group, including “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” and “Lost in Love.”
Bobby Brown would depart New Edition for a solo career in 1986, just as the group released their groundbreaking album Under the Blue Moon, an album of Doo-Wop and oldies, which produced a hit record in the form of a cover of the Penguins 1954 hit “Earth Angel.”
Johnny Gill was added in 1997 as the groups fifth album Heartbreak and they also started a run of hits with songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
In 1990, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe formed Bell Biv Devoe, while New Edition as a group would re-unite again in 1997.
All members of New Edition currently tour around the world performing their best-known singles.
On Sunday, February 10, 2013, Centric will be airing new exclusive interviews from New Edition in a special titled “Being: New Edition.”