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Guy Biography

Home > Music > G > Guy > Biography

Years Active: 1987–1991, 1999–2000, 2005–present
Genres: New Jack Swing, R&B

Guy is a hip hop, R&B and soul band most closely associated with the new jack swing style of the 1980s and 1990s.

Guy was formed in Harlem, New York in 1987 by young musician/record producer Teddy Riley and R&B singer-songwriters Aaron Hall and Timmy Gatling. Riley and Gatling were childhood friends growing up in Harlem, and previously collaborated in the band Kids At Work. As Riley's reputation as a Hip hop producer grew in the mid-1980s, Hall was recruited to be the lead vocalist of what would become Guy. As well as writing songs for their trio, Riley and Hall collaborated on songwriting and production for Johnny Kemp ("Just Got Paid") and Bobby Brown ("My Prerogative").

Under the guidance of manager Gene Griffin, the group signed to Andre Harrell's Uptown Records, releasing their self-titled debut, “Guy,” in 1988. Gatling left after recording was completed and was quickly replaced by Aaron's younger brother Damion Hall for the promotion and tour (with New Edition) of the record. The album contained the hit singles "Groove Me", "Teddy's Jam," "I Like" and "'Round And 'Round (Merry-Go-Round of Love)" as well as "Piece of My Love" and "Goodbye Love". The album earned Riley and the Hall brothers international fame as it went triple platinum.

Following on from this success, in 1989 the band featured on the soundtrack to Spike Lee's film “Do The Right Thing” with the song "My Fantasy." However, in the same year they split acrimoniously from Gene Griffin, while Riley continued to produce and remix for other artists, firmly establishing himself as the figurehead of and driving force behind the New Jack Swing movement.

In 1990, Guy released their second album, “The Future.” The singles "Do Me Right" (Featuring Heavy D), "Wanna Get Wit U" and "Let's Chill" exposed them to a broader, more mainstream audience. At this time, the band was featured in Mario Van Peebles's film “New Jack City,” performing the song "New Jack City". However, once the album's promotion ended in 1991, the band disbanded with Riley later citing "the tragedy of our ex-manager" as the reason for the split.

In the 1990s, Riley focused on producing other artists (such as Heavy D and Michael Jackson) and formed the R&B group Blackstreet. The Hall brothers both pursued solo careers during the 1990s, with Aaron in particular finding success.

Guy have reformed periodically since their initial break-up, the first of which occurred in 1995, with the release of the song "Tell Me What You Like," but an album did not follow at that time.

In 1999, Riley and the Hall brothers reunited to release their first album in nine years titled “Guy III.” The album featured the modest hit "Dancin'", which peaked at #22, becoming surprisingly their biggest hit on the pop charts. However, the album was poorly promoted and as quickly as it was released it dropped from the public consciousness. The group disbanded again soon after, but reformed periodically from 2005 onwards, and despite rumors, have yet to release another album.