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Blackstreet Biography


Home > Music > B > Blackstreet > Biography


Birth Place: New York City, New York, U.S.
Years Active: 1991 – present
Genres: R&B, Hip Hop Soul


BLACKstreet is an American R&B group founded in 1991 by Thomas R. Taliaferro Jr. and Teddy Riley, the inventor of New Jack Swing known for his work as a member of . Chauncey Hannibal and Levon Little were signed under contract with Thomas Taliaferro and were merged into what became Blackstreet with Joseph Stonestreet featuring Teddy Riley. The current members are, Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister, Mark Middleton, and Eric Williams. The first original members of BLACKstreet were Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Levi Little, and Joseph Stonestreet.

The original lineup released their first single in 1993 on the soundtrack to the movie CB4 starring Chris Rock titled "Baby Be Mine" featuring Joseph Stonestreet on lead and produced by Teddy Riley and written by Teddy Riley and Joseph Stonestreet. Stonestreet however left the group shortly after the single was released due to personal differences with Riley and was replaced by Dave Hollister.

The original lineup released their first single in 1993 on the soundtrack to the movie CB4 starring Chris Rock titled "Baby Be Mine" featuring Joseph Stonestreet on lead and produced by Teddy Riley and written by Teddy Riley and Joseph Stonestreet. Stonestreet however left the group shortly after the single was released due to personal differences with Riley and was replaced by Dave Hollister.

Their debut album, “Blackstreet,” was a moderate success due to the singles "Booti Call", "Before I Let You Go", and "Joy" – two of the three songs were Top 40 hits ("Before I Let You Go" hit the Top 10). The follow-up, 1996's “Another Level “was a breakthrough success due to the top single "No Diggity" (with Dr. Dre), which was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Top 40 hit "Don't Leave Me" which was a big hit in 1996. “Another Level” eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart.

“Another Level” featured Mark Middleton & Eric Williams in place of Dave Hollister & Levi Little. The success of the album "Another Level" landed them a guest appearance on Jay-Z's "The City Is Mine" and they teamed with Mya and Mase for the hit "Take Me There" from the Rugrats soundtrack.

The first single from their third album, "Girlfriend/Boyfriend", a collaboration with Janet Jackson featuring Ja Rule and Eve – Blackstreet finally had a top ten album with “Finally.” But personnel shifts wrecked the group and contributed to the relative failure of “Finally” and Blackstreet soon broke up. After rumors of legal action and a preemptive countersuit, the group re-banded and released “Level II” in 2003.

Blackstreet now consists of members original members Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister and new member Sherman "J-Stylz" Tinsdale. Also Kermit Quinn formerly of the R&B group Intro performs with Blackstreet. Mark Middleton & Eric Williams left do to differences with Teddy Riley & Chauncey Hannibal over money distribution. They started going oversees singing Blackstreet's music with another guy Jeremy "Remy" Hanna. They eventually came up with the group name MER to avoid being sued by Teddy & Chauncey

Riley recorded a reunion album with Guy in 2000, and subsequently began working on material for his first solo record. However, he had second thoughts about disbanding Blackstreet, and patched things up with Hannibal; Middleton and Williams, returned to restore the Another Level lineup, and Riley's solo project became a Blackstreet reunion. The resulting album, Level II, was released in early 2003. Apparently now Blackstreet consists of Teddy Riley Dave Hollister, Levi Little, Mark Middleton, & Eric Williams. Chauncey is no longer with the group.