Yesterday I finished watching the three-part series of The New Edition story on BET TV. It chronicles the story of the group from the beginning to where they are now. To the young ones who might not know them, they were the Justin Bieber, and One Direction rolled into one. They became so popular in the eighties that at a time they knocked Michael Jackson off the chart for two weeks on Billboard 100 chart.
People that don’t know history will repeat it. Musicians of today should learn from them. Not only people in the music industry but anyone who want to be successful in life.
These are the four things I learnt from their story.
1. Read the tiny print whenever you are signing the contract.
They were successful and famous for the first six years of starting the group. They toured all the states in America and also did UK tour, yet when they came back from the tour, they were given a cheque of $1.87 apiece for their efforts. Tour budget and expenses were presented as the explanation as to why they were not paid more. Their mums fired the manager and got a white one. Still, they did not read between the lines again. The new manager did not sign them to MCA records directly. He signed them to his production company. They borrowed $100,000 to buy themselves out from him to be signed directly to MCA Records.
2. Never allow success to change who you are.
They became so successful that it changed who they were. The New Edition forgot their poor background and started living like kings. They went hiatus and almost became poor at a time. They did not finish the Homecoming tour of 1996 because they were too big to rehearse and to sing together. Bobby Brown messed everything up by sleeping at rehearsals and not coming to perform at the time due.
3. Take away the bad apple
Bobby Brown was the bad apple of the group. The group voted him out because of his unruly behaviour. He was into drugs, chasing many ladies and skipping rehearsals. Bobby believed without him they could not function. No man is an island. It pained them to let him go, but at the end of the day, it was a good decision.
4. Fans are like prostitutes
If you are not giving the fans what they want, they will look for other musicians. You have to keep on giving them what they want. Release good songs. If your songs are not good to them, they move on. Lack of good songs also translates to a lack of money. When the New Edition were hiatus, things became bad for them financially except Mike who was wise to start his record label. He signed Boys 2 Men and other acts. Ricky went bankrupt and lost his home; Ralph wife left him, Ronnie studied Real Estate and was being mocked by fellow students.
5. Forgive, learn from your mistake and forget the wrongs
They came back together on Ronnie’s wedding day. They forgave each other and moved on. They were signed to perform at the 25th anniversary of BET Tv. It was a great outing for them. They even let Bobby Brown performed his own songs.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia