Johnny Gill (born Johnny Gill, Jr. May 22, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter and actor. He is the sixth and final member of the R&B/pop group New Edition, and was also a member of the supergroup called LSG; with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat. He is currently in the new group Heads of State with New Edition members Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant touring. He is a graduate of Temple University's Honors Program.
Gill was born on May 22, 1966 in Washington, D.C, his mother had four boys and his father was a minister. He started singing at the age of five singing along in church in a family gospel group called Little Johnny and "Wings Faith" which included his brothers Bobby, Jeff, and Randy Gill (himself a solo recording artist and member of the group II D Extreme). Gill attended Kimball Elementary, Sousa Junior High, and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. His career dictated that he complete his high-school education through the services of a tutor. Gill planned to attend college to pursue a degree in electrical engineering, but decided instead to focus on his singing career.
Gill's recording career began in 1983, at the age of 17, when his childhood friend Stacy Lattisaw convinced him to record a demo. This demo fell into the hands of the president of Atlantic Records, and his first self-titled debut album was released shortly thereafter on Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion Records. Gill then teamed up with Stacy for the duet album Perfect Combination. A second solo album on Cotillion Records, Chemistry, was released in 1985.
Gill began a new chapter in his career in 1987, when he was recruited by Michael Bivins to join New Edition. Bobby Brown had been voted out the group and Gill was brought in to replace lead singer Ralph Tresvant, who was rumored at the time to be leaving to pursue a solo career. Gill became the only member of New Edition who was not from Boston.
With Gill, the oldest member, as one of the lead singers (along with Tresvant, who ended up staying with New Edition and delaying the launch of his solo career) on the album Heart Break, the group developed a more mature, adult sound, hitting the charts with songs such as "Can You Stand The Rain", "N.E. Heartbreak", "If It Isn't Love", and the Gill-led "Boys To Men".
Continuing his role as a romantic balladeer while emerging as a new jack swing star, he released a second self-titled album in 1990, which included the hits "My, My, My", "Rub You the Right Way", "Fairweather Friend", and "Wrap My Body Tight". In 1991, he was featured in Perri "Pebbles" Reid's hit single "Always" from the album of the same name, along with Pebbles' cousin, R&B singer Cherrelle. The single made the R&B Top 20 shortly after its release.
In 1993, Gill released another solo project, Provocative, which included the songs "Quiet Time to Play", "A Cute, Sweet, Love Addiction", and the gospel song, "I Know Where I Stand". Provocative failed to chart.
In 1995, Gill released Let's Get the Mood Right, which included the title song, "Love In an Elevator", and the single "Maybe" which is considered by many to be one of his greatest vocal performances. Let's Get the Mood Right also failed to chart.
In 1996, Johnny reunited with New Edition and recorded the album Home Again.
In 1997, he collaborated with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat to form the supergroup LSG (Levert/Sweat/Gill), which yielded the multi- platinum debut album, Levert.Sweat.Gill. and their final album LSG2 in 2003.
In 2004 he reunited with New Edition; they signed with Bad Boy Records and released the album One Love which included the single Hot 2Nite which hit number one.
In 2011 Johnny Gill returned with the solo album Still Winning on his new label Notifl Records.
In 2014 Gill released the new album Game Changer on J Stillz Records and Caroline Records with the new singles Behind Closed Doors and This One's For Me And You Featuring New Edition; his first release with New Edition since 2004.
Gill has had over 80 television and film appearances as a singer and actor. He had a cameo role on the TV show Family Matters (TV series), and sang "You For Me" in the 2006 movie Madea's Family Reunion.
Gill starred in the 2009 stage play A Mother's Prayer, which also starred Robin Givens, Shirley Murdock, and Jermaine Crawford
Awards and accolades
In 2008, Gill, as a member of New Edition, received the Golden Note Award at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
He has received four Grammy Awards nominations- one with New Edition and the other one with LSG.