During the group's first bout of fame in 1983, its members were Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant. Early hits included "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man". Brown left in late 1985 to embark on a solo career. The group continued for a time with its remaining four members, but eventually recruited singer Johnny Gill, who would be introduced on their 1988 album Heart Break. The group went on hiatus in 1990, while its various members worked on side projects, such as the group Bell Biv Devoe. Gill and Tresvant also recorded successful solo albums.
All six members of New Edition reunited in 1996 to record the group's sixth studio album Home Again. During the ill-fated Home Again Tour, both Bobby Brown and Michael Bivins eventually quit the group, forcing the remainder of the tour to be canceled. Various reunions have occurred since, usually with the 1987-1990 lineup, though occasionally also including Brown. Their last studio album was 2004's One Love. As of 2010, two New Edition descendants were recording and touring: Bell Biv Devoe and Heads of State (which features Brown, Tresvant and Gill.)
On May 3, 2011 New Edition issued a press release on their official website announcing that all six members were reuniting as New Edition to kick off the 30th anniversary celebration of "Candy Girl" with their fans.
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