• R&B vocal group founded in 1991 from New York New York. The original members were vocalists Chauncey “Black” Hannibal, Teddy “Street” Riley, Levi Little and Joseph Stonestreet. Their most success lineup was Hannibal, Riley, Eric Williams and Mark Middleton. Hannibal and Riley co-wrote their music, along with other contributors outside of the group.
  • Riley grew up in Harlem and was a musical prodigy, playing musical instruments at the age of five. His uncle owned a club in Harlem which had a music studio, and Riley spent most of his free time there. By the age of 18, he was producing hip-hop for other artists. In 1987, he formed a group called Guy, which released albums in 1988 and 1990, both of which were certified platinum. During this time, he continued to produce for other artists, including Michael Jackson. The group split up after disputes with their manager.
  • In 1991, Riley formed another group – Blackstreet, bringing in Hannibal, Little and Stonestreet. In 1993, they contributed the song Baby Be Mine to the soundtrack for the film CB4. It became their first single, reaching #17 on the R&B chart. Stonestreet handled lead vocals on the song, but soon after its release, he left the group, replaced by Dave Hollister. They were signed to a recording contract, and in 1994 their self-titled debut album was released. It reached #7 on the R&B albums chart, and was certified platinum. Baby Be Mine was re-recorded for the album, with Hollister on vocals. The highest charting single from the album was Before I Let You Go – it reached #2 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Hot 100 chart, and also featured Hollister on lead vocals. Little contributed lead vocals to the single Joy, which reached #12 on the R&B chart and #43 on the Hot 100.
  • Hollister and Little left the group to pursue solo careers, and they were replaced with Williams and Middleton. This lineup released an album in 1996 titled Another Level. The album was a huge success, topping the R&B album chart and peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart. Ultimately, it was certified 4x platinum, driven by their hit No Diggity. The song featured vocal contributions by Dr. Dre and Queen Pen. It topped the Hot 100 and R&B chart, and it was top 10 on 16 international charts. It won the 1998 Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Another single from the album, Don’t Leave Me, topped the R&B Airplay chart and reached #6 on the UK Singles chart.
  • In 1998, Blackstreet was the featured artist on The City Is Mine by Jay-Z, and a remixed version I Get Lonely by Janet Jackson. They also were featured on Mýa’s 1999 single Take Me There. Soon after, Middleton left and was replaced by Terrell Phillips. In 1999, Blackstreet released Finally. Even with high profile featured artists like Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder, it was less successful, reaching the top 10 album chart for only one week. The music video for Girlfriend/Boyfriend, featuring Janet Jackson, was one of the most expensive music videos of all time, but it only reached #17 on the R&B chart and #47 on the Hot 100. Another single, Think About You, barely charted. Riley and Hannibal had a falling out, and Riley left to reform his old group Guy. Blackstreet was immediately dropped by their label, and the group disbanded.
  • After releasing an album with Guy, Riley began to work on a solo album. He reconnected with Hannibal, and they reconciled. Middleton and Williams were brought in, and Riley’s solo album turned into a Blackstreet album. Level II was released in 2003. It reached #4 on the R&B album chart, but singles were not successful, and the members went back to solo careers.
  • Teddy Riley is considered a pioneer in the new jack swing genre, and Blackstreet exemplifies that sound. Hear it at its peak in the video for No Diggity.

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