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Among the more eloquent practitioners of ‘new jack swing’ or swingbeat, Jodeci enjoyed huge success in the USA during the 90s. The band was formed by two pairs of brothers: Joel ‘JoJo’ (b. 10 June 1971, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA) and Cedric ‘K-Ci’ Hailey (b. 2 September 1969, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA), and ‘Mr’ Dalvin and Donald ‘DeVante Swing’ DeGrate Jnr. (b. 29 September 1969) The latter was responsible for most of their writing and production. Jodeci began their musical career by harmonizing in their local Tiny Grove, North Carolina church services. They signed to prominent swingbeat stable Uptown Records in 1991, and the initial results were impressive. Their silky, soulful vocals were stretched over sparse hip-hop beats to produce a debut album that was at once tough and elegant. It sold two million copies and earned Jodeci numerous accolades. ‘Come & Talk To Me’ reached number 11 on the US charts in 1992. Diary Of A Mad Band, much in the vein of their debut, also went multi-platinum, and earned them an appearance on MTV’s Unplugged showcase - a rare recognition afforded a band working in their territory. ‘Lately’, a live recording from the show, was a number 1 R&B single and reached number 4 on the pop charts in summer 1993. For 1995’s third album the band slightly altered their musical backdrop, adopting the G-funk beats made prevalent by Dr. Dre and his various acolytes. However, this softer, more resonant sound was once again subordinate to their dynamic sense of harmony. K-Ci And JoJo were featured on 2Pac’s US number 1 single ‘How Do U Want It’ in June 1996, before breaking away on their own as a successful chart act.

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