One of my producers recently worked with Maxine Jones. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of hearing their song, “Did I”.
It’s such a pleasure reconnect with the voice I’ve often heard in the 90s. She was one of the members of R&B girl group En Vogue and I played them often!
Ladies of R&B
While other groups like SWV and Jade were very hip and trendy, En Vogue brought style and perfected harmonies. They were the ladies of R&B at the time.
Obviously, this collaboration made me wonder what happened to the group.
En Vogue Members
In the late 80s, two producers had a an idea for a girl group. They auditioned many singers and, even though they only wanted three, they settled on four members: Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Terry Ellis and Dawn Robinson.
No Leading Lady
All four are equipped to sing lead, so the roles got equally divided. A very rare thing before then.
Those First En Vogue Songs
The singles “Hold On” and “Lies”, from their first album “Born To Sing”, got the world’s attention.
The second album “Funky Divas” took it a whole different level.
With the release of the song “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”, no one could get around En Vogue anymore. The video, which took inspiration from the Chicago musical, was such a timestamp for the 90s. The song was something fresh.
“Giving Him Something He Can Feel” followed it up, but that didn’t prepare the world for what was coming next.
Free Your Mind
The next single, “Free Your Mind”, took it to a different level. It was so in your face, no one could get it out of their heads. There was no other song so on key with what was going on in the world. With strong vocals and a fierce sound, En Vogue laid it down.
Success comes with hard work – In fact, getting to the top is the easy part. Staying there is a whole lot of work. So, after their hit with Salt n Pepa (“Whatta Man” ), the ladies needed a little bit of time for other girly things.
While En Vogue was on break, some of the members got married, had children or went on to explore solo ventures.
Don’t Let Go and EV3
Two years into their break, the ladies got back together for a one off song for a soundtrack (“Don’t Let Go”). The success was immediate and the world seemed to want more, so they recorded an album. Well, most of them. Dawn left to go solo and even though “EV3” was supposed to start a new era for the group, it never did. The group split, after all.
Then, the group’s been through what most groups go through. Three of the original members come back together (“The Riddle”) and fall apart. Some members get replaced and they try again… and again… and again. Sometimes, they have success and sometimes they don’t.
The group is actually still around. Next month, they’ll be performing alongside many other 90’s R&B stars in the US.
Below, some solo videos: