Boyz II Men Talk Boy Bands

Boy bands are all the rage now, but during the early '90s they weren't nearly as evident on the pop scene - which is why Boyz II Men stood out with hits such as "Motownphilly," "End of the Road," "I'll Make Love to You," and "On Bended Knee." More men than "boyz" now, the quartet has plenty of company as it releases "Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya," its first album in three years, and its members are waiting to see how they sit next to the likes of the Backstreet Boys , 'N Sync , 98 Degrees, and the rest.

"We've seen and heard a lot of interviews from a lot of the boy groups, and they [say] we inspired them to do what they do, and that's cool," says member Shawn Stockman. "But when we first came out, that phrase - 'boy band' - was never used to describe us. A boy band has to fit in a certain category, and I don't think we fit in any of those categories.

"As far as the other boy bands doing their thing, we're happy that we were involved in such a hugely successful era in the music business," Stockman adds. "It's always nice to know that we've inspired some pretty famous folks right now. There's really no competition because, to be honest, they're very successful and they're selling a lot of records and selling a lot of tickets." And, he says, they're doing it with the full blessing of Boyz II Men.

"We've met all of them, and everybody seems to be cool," he says. "They ask us a lot of questions, and the main thing I tell them is have fun, enjoy it, do all the things you guys want to do - go on tour, take pictures, all of that stuff. Remember it. Enjoy this moment.

"As far as we're concerned, this is their era and this is their time," concludes the singer. "Everyone has their time and their moment to shine and things of that nature. And we hope that ours is very soon."

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