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Boyz II Men Reveal How Their Bond Only Got Stronger After Experiencing 'Ups and Downs' in Their Career

boyz ii men celebrate s nostalgia brotherhood
Source: COURTESY OF CHILI'S

Nov. 24 2023, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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Boyz II Men have captivated the world for almost four decades, and the musical trio's award-winning ballads continue to stand the test of time — something they don't take for granted.

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boyz ii men celebrate s nostalgia brotherhood
Source: COURTESY OF CHILI'S

Boyz II Men reimagined Chili's 'Baby Back Ribs' jingle.

In 1991, the group released Cooleyhighharmony, and the album was influenced by Motown and the soulful sounds of their hometown: Philadelphia.

"We just started singing in school just to have fun and hear each other's voices. It was something that occupied our time outside of what we did in class," Nathan Morris exclusively tells OK! while talking about the group's recent musical collaboration with Chili's. "The formation of the group and all that stuff we just did it for fun."

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boyz ii men celebrate s nostalgia brotherhood
Source: COURTESY OF CHILI'S

Boyz II Men released their first studio album in 1991.

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Due to Boyz II Men's almost 40 years of experience, they are able to help one another navigate the entertainment world still to this day.

"We've been working together in the industry for over 32 years, and God played a big part in that because he humbles us to know that it's important to take care of yourself as well as the people around you," Wanyá Morris shares. "When you see that they care, it keeps you on track."

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boyz ii men celebrate s nostalgia brotherhood
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Boyz II Men is aware of their cultural impact.

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Aside from their new venture with Chili's, the musical band is aware of the cultural importance of their comradeship.

"I don't think a lot of people understand how significant our ability to be together — as long as we've been together — is for other groups, organizations and Black men," Shawn Stockman says. "We experience going through the ups and downs, supporting each other, lifting each other up and holding each other down as a band of brothers."

"Just our existence exudes that example of no matter what anyone goes through, it's important to have a circle of friends and a base of people that you can count on," Shawn continues.

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boyz ii men celebrate s nostalgia brotherhood
Source: COURTESY OF CHILI'S

Many Chili's customers assumed Boyz II Men sang the original 'Baby Back Ribs' jingle.

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The vocalists also touched upon how they've maintained momentum despite many claiming the R&B genre lost its prominence.

"R&B is not dead, but it's just dormant in the sense of when we were out, there was a type of quality that R&B music had to have in order for it to even get played on the radio," Shawn explains. "That's changed a little bit, and we don't mind change because I think change is healthy."

"What makes great music, not just R&B music, but what makes great music is really having a tinge of the past in order for the [generational] bridge to be completed," he reveals.

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In 1997, Chili's dropped their "Baby Back Ribs" advertisement at the same time Boyz II Men released their fourth studio album, Evolution. While Evolution was No. 1 on the Billboard charts, Chili's ring became an unforgettable sound, and because of Boyz II Men's unique melodies, many listeners assumed the vocals were originally performed by them.

Although the triad wasn't behind the 1997 promotion, Boyz II Men can now say they added their "East Coast Swing" to the rhyme.

"It's actually one of those unexpected partnerships," Wanyá confesses. "Who wasn't a fan of the old Chili's commercial? The history and the legacy of the record itself made us want to do it because there were a lot of iconic people that did it."

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Wanyá also celebrated the threesome reimagining Chili's popular "Baby Back Ribs" jingle and how their connection helped them pay homage to the '90s.

"There are blessings that come from us staying together for so long, like being able to do a commercial for Chili's," Wanyá adds. "It's a blessing being able to come back 32 years later and still hold up the nostalgia of the '90s, an era that by the grace of God we were able to musically dominate."

Starting November 14, fans can listen to the new jingle on Spotify and YouTube or purchase a limited-edition vinyl — featuring the new and original jingle — via the Chili’s Online Merch shop.

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