Posted by | Ray Cornelius
BET has recruited legendary music producers Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds for the upcoming mini-series “The New Edition Story.” The Grammy winning icons will join executive producer Jesse Collins and award-winning director Chris Robinson.
“The New Edition Story” is the brainchild of Collins who says the idea first came to him when he was producing 25 Strong: The BET Silver Anniversary Special (2005) and New Edition was set to perform. “New Edition was pure magic on stage. The first time I got to see the behind the scenes challenges that they were dealing with to function as a group was during production of the special. I reached out to Michael Bivins after the show and we started the process to produce a film based on the group,” said Collins. “Ten years later, after production delays, we were finally able to tell their story.”
The much-anticipated biopic follows the famed group (Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell & Johnny Gill) from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global mega stardom- weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personnel changes, and the ultimate cost of fame. It features an all-star cast including Bryshere Y. Gray, Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith, Woody McClain as New Edition along with La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, Monica Calhoun, Lisa Nicole Carson, Sandi McCree, Wood Harris, Michael Rapaport, Faizon Love, Duane Martin, Tank and Bre-Z.
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, with 17-Grammy Award wins collectively (11 for Babyface, six for Jam & Lewis, all receiving awards for Producer of the Year) were already an integral part of the careers of the members of New Edition. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis produced New Edition’s 1988 seminal, Double Platinum-selling album “Heartbreak,” their highest selling album to date as well as produced Ralph Tresvant’s solo breakout #1 single “Sensitivity” and Johnny Gills #1 single “Rub You The Right Way.” ‘Heartbreak’ ushered in a new, mature sound for the band, introduced Johnny Gill into the group after the group voted out Bobby Brown and featured five singles including #1 & #2 Billboard R&B tracks “Can You Stand the Rain” and “If It Isn’t Love” respectively.
“Terry and I came in at a pivotal time when they were having internal issues and growing pains. Fans will get the true behind-the-scenes story of this key phase in their personal lives and careers,” said Harris. Lewis added, “Their songs are like a time capsule, not only capturing the quintessential 80’s R&B sound but also document the New Edition journey particularly transitioning from a boy band to adult stars. ”
Edmonds will serve as the music producer for the first half of “The New Edition Story,” but ironically he and producing partner L.A. Reid were responsible for crafting almost half of the hits, including the Grammy-Award winning “Every Little Step,” from Bobby Brown’s explosive 1988 sophomore solo album, ‘Don’t Be Cruel.’ “I learned a lot about Bobby and the band dynamic during the making of ‘Don’t Be Cruel.’ But I also lived and breathed 80’s R&B because I was performing with my band (The Deele) and producing with L.A. Reid, so I make sure the feeling was captured,” said Babyface.
“The New Edition Story” will air as a six hour, three night event on January 24, 25, and 26, 2017 at 9 PM ET/PT on BET.
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