In the 1990s, Boyz II Men emerged as the premier R&B vocal group that harmonized their way to the top of the charts. After the hype around the group died down in the following years, the music stars were presented with the opportunity to have their own residency show in Las Vegas. But getting all the group’s members on board with the idea in the first place wasn’t easy.
Boyz II Men had number-one songs in the ’90s
Before the era of boy bands such as *NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees, there was Boyz II Men. The group was born at Philadelphia’s High School For the Creative and Performing Arts when Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary all began to sing together.
Their debut single, “Motownphilly,” made a splash on the charts and put the group on the map, eventually reaching the number-three spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Their follow-up single, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” did even better, reaching number two.
Their third single, 1992’s “End of the Road,” became their first number-one hit and went on to set a new record for number of weeks spent at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart after 13 weeks. They would go on to top themselves in the mid-’90s with their singles “I’ll Make Love to You” and the Mariah Carey collab “One Sweet Day” with 14 and 16 weeks atop the chart, respectively.
Boyz II Men’s Vegas residency
Boyz II Men continued to record and release music in the late ’90s and early ’00s after the group’s success led to the boy band that eventually pushed them out of the spotlight. Years later, in the late 2010s, the group was offered a residency show deal in Las Vegas. But not all the group’s members were on board.
Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman reflected on the group’s life in the 2021 Netflix docuseries This is Pop. “The option for Vegas came on the table and I opposed it — totally opposed it, because I was just like, ‘People go to Vegas to die,’” Wanya said.
Nathan, however, knew it was the right move at the time. “Over time, as we started to build our audience, Wan was able to see the vision that we were setting up for the second phase of our career,” Nathan said. “We’re still keeping the name of the group alive in the world.”
Boyz II Men still tour today
When their residency first opened in 2019, they were disappointed with the low turnout in the beginning.
“Once we got here, it was a slow roll, and we were told that it was going to be a slow roll — that we would have to eat this humble pie and start all over,” Wanya admitted. “And that’s what we did.”
Their longtime fans, however, still actively listen to their music and go to see them perform, either in Vegas or on tour. Boyz II Men has continually toured as a three-piece group in the years since their success in the ’90s. They continue to entertain audiences all around the globe today, and have shows in 2021 scheduled with other ’90s counterparts including Bell Biv DeVoe and En Vogue.
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