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After 7: The Legacy of R&B Excellence

After 7 is an American R&B group that has carved a unique niche in the music industry with their smooth harmonies, captivating performances, and timeless hits. Founded in 1987 by brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, along with their friend Keith Mitchell, the group quickly rose to prominence with the help of their younger brother, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, a renowned pop/R&B singer-songwriter and record producer. Babyface not only named the group but also secured them a record deal with Virgin Records in 1988.

The Rise to Stardom

After 7's self-titled debut album, released in 1989, achieved platinum status and produced three hit singles: "Heat of the Moment," "Ready or Not," and "Can't Stop." Both "Ready or Not" and "Can't Stop" were No. 1 R&B hits and made it into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, cementing the group's place in the music industry.

Their sophomore album, Takin' My Time, released in 1992, also went platinum and included the R&B hit medley "Baby, I'm for Real/Natural High." Despite the absence of Babyface and L.A. Reid in the production, the album's fresh "new jack swing" sound, thanks to producers Daryl Simmons, Kayo, and Dallas Austin, resonated well with fans.

Continued Success and Reflections

In 1995, After 7 released their third album, Reflections, which was certified gold. This album marked the last before the group disbanded in 1997 and included the R&B hit "'Til You Do Me Right." The group's ability to consistently produce chart-topping songs and albums highlighted their significant impact on the R&B genre.

The Comeback

Years later, After 7 resumed touring with Jason Edmonds, son of Melvin Edmonds, replacing his father. Melvin rejoined the group for their successful 2016 comeback album, Timeless. This album featured three adult R&B top 10 hits: "Runnin' Out," "I Want You," and "Let Me Know," re-establishing the group's relevance in the contemporary music scene.

Tragedy and Triumph

Melvin Edmonds passed away on May 18, 2019, at the age of 65. Jason Edmonds subsequently left the group, and Danny McClain was added to the lineup. Despite these changes, After 7 continued to thrive, releasing their fifth album, Unfinished Business, in August 2021.

Early Beginnings and Formation

The roots of After 7 trace back to the late 1970s when Kevon Edmonds met Keith Mitchell at Indiana University Bloomington. Their shared passion for music led them to form a group with Kevon's brother, Melvin. Initially, the group performed occasionally in Indianapolis while pursuing other careers. However, the success of Babyface in the music industry provided them with a golden opportunity to make their mark.

Major Milestones

After 7's journey has been marked by numerous milestones, including:

  • Winning an NAACP Image Award for Best New Male Artist or Group in 1990.

  • Opening for Whitney Houston on her I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour.

  • Contributing to movie soundtracks like The Five Heartbeats and Soul Food.

The Legacy Continues

After 7's legacy is built on their exceptional musical talent and their ability to adapt and evolve. From their platinum-selling debut to their latest releases, they have consistently delivered high-quality R&B music that resonates with fans old and new. Their story is one of resilience, creativity, and an enduring passion for music.

As After 7 continues to make music and perform, their influence on the R&B genre remains undeniable. Their journey is a testament to their talent, dedication, and the unbreakable bond of family and friendship that has kept them together through the years.

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