Black History Month Salutes Musicians of the DMV – Johnny Gill

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

[photogallerylink id=100874 align=right] All month long, WPGC Salutes Black History Month with a focus on artists from the DMV. Today, we turn the spotlight on DC native [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Johnny Gill[/lastfm]!

Johnny was destined to be an engineer. He was a native DC kid who attended Kimball Elementary and Sousa Junior High, and he had big plans for college. But when he was 16-years-old, his best friend, Stacy Lattisaw stepped in and changed his fate when he convinced Johnny to record a demo tape.

Johnny was no stranger to the microphone. In fact, he started singing when with his family’s gospel band “Wings of Faith” when he was only five years old. But that teenage demo tape was the game-changer. It landed in the hands of the president of Atlantic Records, and a short time later, Johnny’s self-titled debut album was released.

Johnny teamed up with Stacy for a duet album, then a second album on Atlantic called “Chemistry,” with the hit single “Half Crazy.”

Then in 1987, New Edition contacted him about replacing Bobby Brown. A new sound was born – and the hits rolled in. “Can You Stand The Rain,” “N.E. Heartbreak,” and “Boys To Men.” burned up the charts, and during the group’s downtime, Johnny recorded a string of solo projects, including “My, My, My,” “Rub You the Right Way,” “Fairweather Friend” and “Wrap My Body Tight.”

At last year’s BET Awards, Johnny announced that he will be releasing a new CD this year – after a SIXTEEN year hiatus.

[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Read more about Johnny at Lastfm.com[/lastfm]

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