The infographic below presents 10 facts we now know about New Edition thanks to BET’s mini-series, The New Edition Story. Last week, the group was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the biopic proves they deserve it. New Edition paved the way for today’s musicians and the group continues to make history. Check out 10 facts we learned from The New Edition Story.
1. Bobby Brown Had Stage Fright As A Kid
Bobby Brown’s confidence, swag and stage presence led him to success as a solo artist. “Triple B” wasn’t always the fearless artist he is today. As a kid, Bobby had stage fright. Brown’s stage fright got the best of him during a talent show in the 1970s. Luckily, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell were there to help him out. The show marked the group’s first performance together.
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2. New Edition’s First Record Deal Included $500 And A Betamax Video Player
In 1982, the group signed with Maurice Starr aka Faizon Love’s Streetwise Record label. The singers competed in Starr’s talent show and Maurice wanted to sign Ralph Tresvant as a solo artist. Ralph let Maurice know that he’s a package deal and Maurice complied. Maurice signed the group to one of the most disrespectful contracts of all-time. The boys received $500 and a Betamax video player as a signing bonus.
3. Johnny Gill Was Originally Brought In To Replace Ralph Tresvant
Ralph Tresvant initially stood by the group’s side but by the late 80s he was thinking about leaving the group. The boys voted Bobby out New Edition. The group was under the impression that Tresvant was leaving so Michael Bivins reached out to Johnny Gill. Many believed that Gill was recruited to replace Bobby but he was actually added to the group because they thought Ralph was leaving.
4. Bobby Brown’s Gumby Haircut Was An Accident
Bobby Brown’s unforgettable Gumby haircut was not planned. Brown’s barber accidentally cut off half of his high-top. Bobby was getting his haircut for his “Every Little Step” video and his barber misstepped, big time. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s exactly what Bobby did. It has been decades since the singer introduced the hairstyle and people still love it.
5. Ronnie DeVoe Is Brooke Payne’s Nephew
Brooke Payne was one of the most important people in The New Edition Story. The boys grew up in one of Boston’s most dangerous neighborhoods and none of them had father figures. Brooke’s nephew, Ronnie DeVoe, didn’t have an active father figure in his life so Payne was his role model. Payne added Ronnie to the group in the late 1970s.
6. Michael Bivins Tried To Kill Bobby Brown
Part 2 of The New Edition Story was intense. After a limousine runs over Mike’s foot, Bobby makes fun of Bivins from the sunroof of the vehicle. Mike spits in Bobby’s face and the two singers get into a fight. The chaos leads the group to consider kicking Mike out. Mike tries to murder Bobby. Luckily, the fight is broken up before Bivins is able to do any serious damage.
7. Ricky Bell Struggled With Drug Addiction
Bobby Brown’s drug addiction has received a substantial amount of media coverage over the past few decades. New Edition fans were shocked to find out that Ricky Bell struggled with addiction. He revealed his addiction to inspire others. The group’s financial issues led him to lose his home. Bell also had a serious medical emergency. The mini-series showed him during one of the most difficult times in his life.
8. New Edition’s Chaotic Behavior Led Brooke Payne To Suffer A Heart Attack
In 1997, Brooke Payne, the group’s choreographer and manager, suffered a heart attack. Bobby Brown storms on stage, interrupting Bell Biv DeVoe’s performance. Bobby and Michael fight on stage and then someone in the crowd shoots a gun. Payne can’t handle the chaos and ends up suffering a heart attack.
9. Each Member Received A Check For $1.87 As Compensation For Their First Tour
The New Edition Story showed Brooke Payne discussing the $1.87 checks each member of the group received after the success of New Edition’s “Candy Girl” album. The boys went on a tour to promote the album and their careers appeared to be taking off. The group gets back home, and reality strikes. They couldn’t wait to receive their big pay days but that day never came. The group’s label, Streetwise, filed for bankruptcy and that was that.
10. In 1978 Bobby Brown Came Up With The Idea To Form A Music Group
Bobby Brown is New Edition’s gift and curse. The singer played a major role in the group’s problems throughout the 80s and 90s but he’s the person who came up with the idea to start a group. The boys are from the Orchard Park Projects in Roxbury, Boston. In the 70s and 80s the area was crime-infested and extremely dangerous. Bobby Brown’s simple idea saved the boy’s lives.