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Sunday, March 5, 2017
FEATURE: Johnny Gill
Johnny Gill is an American R&B musician, songwriter and
singer best known as a successful solo recording artist and as lead singer of
platinum-selling boy band New Edition. Also known as J.G. or J. Skillz, In addition to solo albums, he has recorded one duet album with Stacy Lattisaw, as well as three albums as a member of New Editionand two albums as a member of supergroupLSG. Gill is also a member of supergroup Heads of State, but the group has yet to release an album. Kodak Black losing 300k
Born in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 1966, Johnny Gill began
his career singing gospel in his father's church, as part of the family gospel
group, Wings of Faith. When a family friend helped him get a record deal at age
16, he began sharing his mature, distinctive voice with fans of R&B and pop
music. He went on to become lead singer of the popular boy band New Edition,
and eventually released a hit solo album, Johnny Gill, in 1990. He has
continued making hits, at one point joining superstar singers Keith Sweat and
the late Gerald Levert to form the R&B supergroup LSG. Georgia Teen Shot Dead
Born in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 1966, Johnny Gill Jr.
was part of a musical family. His father was a minister, and beginning at the
age of 5, Gill sang in his family's gospel group, Wings of Faith, composed of
him and his brothers Bobby, Jeff and Randy. Even at a young age, Gill stood out
because of his mature voice, sounding wise beyond his years.
Gill's recording career began in 1982, at the age of 16, when his childhood friend Stacy Lattisaw convinced him to record a demo. This demo fell into the hands of the president of Atlantic Records, and his first self-titled debut album was released shortly thereafter on Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion Records. His first
self-titled album garnered some attention, but he really began to get national
attention when he next made a duo album with Lattisaw. Their hit single,
"Perfect Combination," brought a new level of awareness to the young
Although he wasn’t part of the original lineup, Johnny Gill was an integral part of the band when he replaced Bobby Brown before moving on to have a solo career.Johnny Gill's fame took another leap when, in 1987, he
became lead singer for New Edition, a popular 1980s boy band that already had a
string of hits. Gill's deep, distinctive voice helped the group forge a more
mature sound, which proved timely as the group members were nearing their
twenties and were no longer boys. The group's 1987 album, Heart Break, featured
a more adult sound and included the hit singles "Can You Stand the
Rain" (which went to No. 1 on the R&B charts), "N.E.
Heartbreak" and "Boys to Men."
Signing with Motown Records as a solo artist, Gill reached
his full potential when his second self-titled album was released in 1990. The
album was the first to be produced by the top two R&B producing duos of
that time: L.A. Reid and Babyface, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album
blasted onto the music scene, reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Top 100 R&B
Albums (and the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart). Johnny Gill also contained
four singles that powered onto the R&B and Pop Singles charts: "My,
My, My," a signature Gill ballad that reached No. 1 on the R&B chart
and the Top 10 on the Pop chart; "Wrap My Body Tight";
"Fairweather Friend" and "Rub You the Right Way."
Gill has never been married, but is the father of a son,
Isiah Gill, who was born in 2006. Isiah's mother is a Washington, D.C.,
journalist. Gill's sexuality has often been a source of speculation; he has
often been linked to superstar comedic actor Eddie Murphy.For years, Gill has been surrounded by rumors that he was involved in a gay love affair with comedian Eddie Murphy, and in a revealing new interview, he spoke with “omg!
"If I could tell you why I sure would have by now … at this point in time I would have been able to cure that issue … to get rid of that issue," he explained. "I took (sic) for the life of me never, never understood where it came from, why it lasted as it's lasted."
"I mean, you gotta remember, before there was Twitter, and Facebook, and all this other stuff, you know there was just the rag magazines. Whatever they say it was like that was the truth. People believe whatever it was," he said. "But I don't feel as bad anymore, because when I go on the Internet everybody's gay … I've just always been a very private person."
He continued, "Let me make sure we are clear on something. Whether it's being called gay, accused of being gay, accused of a thief, accused of being anything or somebody's lying [about] you and saying something about you that's not true, it just doesn't feel good … I have such compassion for gay people now more than ever. Just simply because in some odd way I've been able to walk in their shoes or to see … how they feel and how people treat them and deal with them because of their sexuality."
And Gill explained that he decided to take a lie detector test about rumors that he was romantically linked to his good friend Eddie Murphy … mainly because he didn't want his girlfriend to have any doubt about his love for her.
"I'm going to tell you guys something off the record that I know my girlfriend probably won't be happy with me for saying this, to talk about this. But I'm going to say it. When we first got together – we've been together for five years – there was so much stuff floating around why are you dating this guy, this guy, he's gay, blah, blah, blah, Eddie Murphy. All this stuff is going on and I'm like, 'Do you believe it?' She says, 'No, I just hear everybody just keeps saying,' and I said, 'Let me tell you something. Here's what we are going to do…' Woke up, we got the yellow pages, and you know, I mean, that was five years ago … So, we called this guy, he brought out his machine, strapped down to take a lie detector test. I wrote down questions, I made her write down questions … When the guy called back with the results and we both laying there in the bed. Tears came down … I would never want to lay next to someone that might even remotely have any doubt or question of who I am."
Gill is the sixth and final member of the R&B/pop group New Edition, and was also a member of the supergroup called LSG, with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat. He is currently in the new group Heads of State with New Edition members Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant.
Gill has had over 80 television and film appearances as a singer and actor. He had a cameo role on the TV show Family Matters, and sang "You For Me" in the 2006 movie Madea's Family Reunion. Gill starred in the 2009 stage play A Mother's Prayer, which also starred Robin Givens, Shirley Murdock, and Jermaine Crawford.