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By: Danielle Rode
The O’Jays, whose music spans the ’70s through the present, reached their greatest level of success in 1972, with producers Gamble & Huff, emerging at the forefront of Philadelphia soul with “Back Stabbers” in 1972, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 the following year with “Love Train”. During the remainder of the 1970’s the O’Jays continued releasing hit singles, including “Put Your Hands Together”, “For the Love of Money”, “Give the People What They Want”, “I Love Music”, and many more. In 2005, the O’Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Midnight Star released their debut album, “The Beginning” in 1980. Their second album, “Standing Together”, was released in 1981 and in 1982, released a third album, “Victory”. Utilizing elected band leader Reggie Calloway’s production skills, it did not take long for Midnight Star to hit the U.S. R&B chart. Their fourth album, “No Parking on the Dance Floor” was released in 1983 and it took them almost to the top of the charts with the first single, “Freak-A-Zoid”. These singles, along with the hit tracks “Slow Jam” (co-written by Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds), “Wet My Whistle”, “Electricity and the title track, propelled the album to double platinum status. The band still tours today, performing their mega ’80s hits around the country.
Dru Hill, most popular during the ’90s, recorded seven Top 40 hits and is best known for the R&B #1 hits “In My Bed”, “Never Make a Promise”, and “How Deep is Your Love”. Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin is the group’s founder, and includes groupmates Mark “Sisqo” Andrews (lead singer), Larry “Jazz” Anthony and James “Woody Rock” Green. The group released two successful albums, “Dru Hill” and “Enter the Dru” before separating for a period between 1999 and 2002, during which time Sisqo and Woody released solo albums. Woody released a moderately successful Gospel album while Sisqo’s debut album, “Unleash the Dragon” and its hit single, “Thong Song”, were major pop successes. In 2002, the group reunited and added fifth member Rufus “Scola” Waller to the lineup for their third album, “Dru World Order”. In 2009, Woody left the group and was replaced by new member Tao.
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