"Live and direct from Philly town" is a lyric from the 1991 single "Motownphilly" that launched the career of Boyz II Men, who 23 years later stand as the most successful R&B group of all time. The group was formed at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and on Sunday night the trio of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman return home to perform at halftime when the Eagles host the Giants. Fans who will not be at the game can watch on PhiladelphiaEagles.com or our mobile app.
Boasting five No. 1 singles, including "One Sweet Day" which spent a record 16 weeks atop the Billboard charts, Boyz II Men discuss their love for the Eagles, the lessons learned during such a storied career and their new album, "Collide," which will be available on October 21.
Chris McPherson: What will it be like performing again in Philadelphia? At a prime-time, nationally televised game?
Boyz II Men: "This is a perfect homecoming for us. It's always a treat for us to perform for our hometown fans in Philly, but to do it at a big Sunday Eagles game, on the cusp of releasing our new album, will make it a really special show."
CM: Boyz II Men continues to perform around the world and has a show in Las Vegas. How much do you still follow the team?
BIIM: "We grew up as Eagles fans, and these days we love going to games whenever we get the chance. We're all big sports fans and have been since we were kids. For us, whenever we have a Sunday off during football season, we're watching, and even when we can't we still check the scores if we're traveling. It reminds us of home!"
CM: Just like the Eagles, Boyz II Men is a team effort. What are the keys to building and maintaining a successful musical team?
BIIM: "Like any team, we all bring something different to the table and we all respect each other's individual talents for what they bring to the group as a whole. We've all been performing together for so long that we have a great group chemistry. We want everyone to shine and I think the fans appreciate that we all get to showcase our talent."
CM: What is your favorite Boyz II Men song and why?
BIIM: "It depends! Songs like 'Motownphilly' or 'I'll Make Love to You,' are songs that audiences have always connected with and we love how excited fans still are when we play them now. On the other hand, we always love sharing our new songs and our new material with audiences too — and we love the reaction we've been getting from the crowds when we play tracks off of "Collide." It has been incredible."
CM: Do you ever wish you were athletes instead of entertainers?
BIIM: "We love sports but we can't imagine being anything other than musicians. Performing for the fans - whether it's on the road, or at the Mirage in Las Vegas where we have a residency on weekends or at a special event like an Eagles game - is a rush unlike any other for us. We love performing and putting on a great show for the fans."
CM: What is one bit of advice that you wish you had years ago that you know now?
BIIM: "This is something that we've always known throughout our career, but it has really come to define us as a group: Over the last 22 years, we've really learned that the secret to a long-lasting career is committing to making quality music. It's such a simple philosophy, but the fans really respond to that, and it's amazing how multi-generational our music has become. Making quality music has always been our focus - and it's amazing to see how much our fans continue to support and grow with us years later."
CM: What can fans expect from the new album, "Collide?"
BIIM: "'Collide' is truly a collision of different sounds, styles and genres. It fuses rock, pop and funk with classic R&B. The result is a very big sound and wide-ranging record. This is an album with the type of sound that works in any era with big drums and lush piano; it grooves."
CM: What are the emotions, thoughts when listening to "Cooleyhighharmony?"
BIIM: "Releasing our first album 'Cooleyhighharmoney' in 1991 was a definite highlight for us. It was really surreal - and it still is. Every time we hear it, it remind us how far we have come, and how blessed we are to still be doing what we love 23 years later."