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"I look forward to working closely with the guys on their upcoming album, and I wholeheartedly welcome them to the Arista family."
—--Arista President/CEO L.A. Reid
FROM BOYZ II MEN TO ARISTA
The End Of The Road For Award-Winning Group and Motown
As we indicated earlier in our rumor mill, multi-Platinum artists Boyz II Men have signed a long-term multi-album deal with Arista Records. The announcement came today from Arista President/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid, who called the inking "a dream come true." "I look forward to working closely with the guys on their upcoming album," he said, "and I wholeheartedly welcome them to the Arista family. Justin is so cute, I could just die."

Reid has already savored the fruits of creating hits with the Boyz. He co-wrote and produced the group’s Grammy-winning 1993 single "End of the Road," from their debut Motown album Cooleyhighharmony, which topped the charts for 13 weeks. Additionally in their career, BIIM have garnered three other Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and six Soul Train Music Awards, and have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.

To be sure, BIIM have not maintained the pinnacle of success they experienced in the ’90s. Their fifth and most recent CD, 2000’s Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, had comparatively disappointing sales. It was then, while promoting NMSW, that the group decided to go in a different direction, leaving their longtime label, Motown, now distributed by Universal.

"Going through the course of promotion, we felt creatively stagnant," group member Shawn Stockton told HITS.

"I think the label changed tremendously," added the group’s Wanya Morris, who claims it was Motown’s corporate attitude that led to their departure. "We went from Jheryl Busby to Andre Harrell to George Jackson. And there were a lot of things going on between the label and [Universal]. It changed from a music background, where they cared about the artist, to a more business-oriented entity."

Member Nathan Morris said, "We all had the same consensus—that we’d outgrown our environment. Now, it just feels good to have a rebirth and a whole new excitement."

Boyz II Men will head back into studio the middle of next month to begin recording their Arista debut. They expect to release the project by mid-2002. In the meantime, Universal will release a Best Of Boyz II Men album later this fall.

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