Not only is his voice as smooth as ever, but his personality and demeanor match him as well. Johnny Gill is not only a singer who has one of the most memorable tones, there is not the way you can leave his presence without having felt like you just had dinner with a good friend. On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, I had the great pleasuring of interviewing an R&B icon.
If ever a saying could summarize an individual’s life, it would be “Like a fine wine, it gets better with time.” No phrase could more aptly describe GRAMMY®-nominated Johnny Gill, arguably one of the greatest R&B crooners to ever live.
With an unmistakable, unique trademark style, Johnny Gill has altered the sound of R&B music for over three decades with a signature sound that pairs superior singing with extraordinary showmanship, bringing the world classics such as “My, My, My,” “Rub You The Right Way,” “Where Do We Go From Here,” “Perfect Combination,” “Boys To Men,” “Can You Stand The Rain,” “My Body,” and the timeless wedding song, “You For Me” from Tyler Perry’s hit movie Madea’s Family Reunion. With a seemingly endless list of hits, ranging from his time in New Edition to the all-star trios L.S.G. (the late Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat) and Heads of State (Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant), it’s easy to see why Johnny Gill serves as the prototype for the supreme R&B singer. He is the only artist that has been in three highly successful groups, achieving both international and critical acclaim as a solo artist and group leader.
Johnny’s new album, Game Changer, was released Dec 9, 2014, on his label, J Skillz Records in partnership with Caroline Music/Capitol Records. Game Changer features songs produced by GRAMMY® Award-winners Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Tony Dixon, Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, and Vidal Davis. The first single, “Behind Closed Doors,” peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Urban Adult Contemporary charts. The video featured guest stars Nicole Murphy and actress Nadine Velazquez in a plot twist worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. His latest single, “Game Changer,” produced by Babyface and includes additional songwriting by Anthony Hamilton, peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top 10 R&B Adult Airplay Single charts. “This One’s For Me & You,” ft. New Edition, the albums third radio hit release resonated with radio stations and fans across the country, which kept it in the #1 spot at radio for several weeks and at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 10 R&B Adult Airplay Single charts for 4 weeks as fans highly anticipated New Edition receiving the much deserved Star On The Hollywood Walk of Fame Jan 23, 2017, and the hugely successful BET biopic The New Edition Story Jan 24, 2017, which broke viewership records for Docu-Series. The fans are also in for a special treat from Johnny Gill just in time for Valentine’s Day, the release of his 4th Single from the Game Changer CD which is being called the “event song of 2017 and beyond” called “5000 Miles” featuring Jaheim. Says Johnny, “I figured the ultimate compliment to a woman would be to tell her that her beauty surpasses heaven 5000 Miles”
The Nation’s Capital serves as Johnny’s birthplace and the rearing site for this music prodigy, who was discovered by a friend and hit-making collaborator Stacy Lattisaw. Before he achieved his dreams, Johnny honed his indelible singing skills in the gospel group Wings of Faith with his three brothers Bobby, Jeff and Randy Gill. Not long after, Stacy convinced Johnny to record a demo, later leading to his self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records. However, Johnny’s humble beginnings would soon lead to global success, and today Johnny can proudly say he has performed in countries across the world, including Russia, Europe, South Africa, and Japan for millions of fans as a multi-platinum selling solo artist and member of three legendary singing groups. A savvy businessman, Johnny has also ensured his legacy as the founder and CEO of J Skillz Records, where he has helped groom today’s talent. For Johnny, success is not only measured in fame but in longevity as well.
Simply providing enjoyment to the world was not enough Johnny. A true humanitarian of the highest kind, he was appointed as the national spokesman for the Points of Light Movement—a campaign that recognizes everyday men and women making a difference in their communities—by President George H. W. Bush.
Never one to sit idle, Johnny is one of the few artists regardless of genres to tour consistently throughout his career. From his 2014, 2015 & 2016 tour with New Edition and Heads of State, to his 2011 album Still Winning, which included singles “In The Mood,” “It Would Be You,” and “Just The Way You Are,” all of which received rave reviews and chart-climbing success. Johnny will continue to tour supporting his album “Game Changer” which has been out now almost 2 ½ years and still going strong. Feb 2017, Johnny Gill embarked on an amazing 30 city tour with his “Uncle” Charlie Wilson and Fantasia, “The In It To Win It” Tour, giving the fans a “night they will never forget” from 3 power house entertainers.