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Boyz II Men Songs: 12 Top Tunes Sure To Have You Crooning Along

We take an East Coast swing at the best tracks from these phenomenal Philly talents!

“Wherever we went, we always wanted to make sure people knew what Philly was about and what it meant to us. It was like a badge of honor to us that we had to carry everywhere,” Nathan Morris told Philadelphia magazine of his teaming up with Wanyá Morris (no relation), Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts in the mid 80s to become Boyz II Men.

Throughout the following four decades, they’ve gone on to sell more than 64 million albums and score four Grammys and nine Soul Train Awards, plus they’ve been inducted into the both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the R&B Music Hall of Fame. From early releases such as their 1991 debut Cooleyhighharmony to 1994’s II, 1997’s Evolution, and beyond, the guys (minus McCary, who exited the group in 2003 due to his multiple sclerosis) have continued to soothe the ears and won the hearts of legions of fans, and they’ve even landed their own Las Vegas residency that dates back to 2013. Their next run of shows this August in Sin City will feature special guest Robin Thicke.

men with awards; boyz II men songs
Boyz II Men (1995)DAN GROSHONG / Staff / Getty

Known for their upbeat and danceable hits, plus sensual tunes and heartfelt ballads, Boyz II Men songs never fail to disappoint — or keep their fans guessing. “We understood that to be artists, you have to show range. You have to show different faces in order for people to stay interested,” Stockman — who’s recently branched out with his own solo side project, Shawn Stockman and the Brown Noize Experience — explained to People. “If you keep giving them the same thing, then after a while you’ll get played out. We didn’t want to be those guys that do that one thing, be known for that one thing.” The now-trio’s latest album, 2017’s Under the Streetlight, for example, finds them tackling a collection of beloved doo-wop classics.

And just as the group reveres those classics from yesteryear, they also hope that Boyz II Men songs become classics in their own right as time marches on. “When you look back and ask what music was to someone 27 years from now, I wonder what they’ll do, what they’ll say,” Wanyá posed to Billboard. “We want Boyz II Men to be one of the first things that comes to their mind. We want the II album to be one of the first things that comes to their mind.… We want the II album to be a blueprint. We want it to be somewhat of a standard in music school. We want people to put this on and say, ‘This is what lyrical content is supposed to represent.’”

four men smiling
Boyz II Men (1992)Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer / Getty

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Added Nathan, “Our music is all about feeling and emotion. We always hoped that when someone heard our songs, they understood the message we were trying to get across. However they took that song in their life or however it pertained to them in that moment, as long as it was something positive, they took that song with them.”

Here then are 12 stellar Boyz II Men songs that have certainly stuck with us, as well as for the group’s fans all over the world.

12. “Water Runs Dry” (1995): Boyz II Men songs

The stunning video for this song was shot at White Sands National Park in New Mexico, and it was one of Nathan Morris’ favorites to do, he’s said. The tune, which peaked at No. 2, proved to be popular with artists of several genres. “My band [had] been covering ‘Water Runs Dry’ as a part of our set for the past eight months,” country star Brett Young told TV Insider of what led to CMT doing a Crossroads special with Young and the Boyz. “They came to us with the idea, which was an obvious ‘yes’ from me because I idolized them,” said Young, who duetted with the group on the song, which Kelly Clarkson has also covered on her popular Kellyoke segment.

11. “4 Seasons of Loneliness” (1997)

The group went to the top of the charts with this Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis track, a “heart-rending ballad that underlines the act’s signature harmonies with a quietly rumbling R&B groove,” according to Billboard, which foresaw its chart success when it was released, writing, “Others may be able to duplicate Boyz II Men’s technical sound, but you can’t manufacture vibe and personality, both of which are in ample supply here. The countdown to No. 1 starts now.”

10. “In the Still of the Nite (I’ll Remember)” (1992): Boyz II Men songs

Boyz II Men took this Five Satins classic all the way to No. 3 on the charts after they performed an a cappella version of it for the TV miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. The guys got the thrill of appearing in the series in a cameo, which “was really fun,” Wanya Morris told Bay Area HQ, adding that it was a memorable experience just being able to be in the actual Gary, Indiana, house where Michael, Janet, and the rest of their musical siblings grew up.

9. “Doin’ Just Fine” (1997)

“When you go through a really bad breakup and you thought you’d never be able to get over it, [but] you found the [spiritual] strength to overcome that hurt, ‘Doin’ Just Fine’ is written with the inspiration of those moments,” Shawn Stockman told YouKnowIGotSoul, which crowned this track “one of the saddest songs of all time.” Stockman, who penned the emotional ballad, added that it’s about “finding that internal strength to…legitimately get over that person. Not to just say it, but to feel it and say, ‘I’m done and I’m a better person now. You messed up because you left probably the best thing that’s going to happen to you.’”

8. “Uhh Ahh” (1991): Boyz II Men songs

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…4, 3, 2 … 1. Injection, fellas.” This No. 1 R&B hit turns the heat way up and it’s about, well, just what you’d think it’s about based on its sensually euphoric title. Members Nathan Morris and Wanya Morris teamed with Bell Biv DeVoe’s Michael Bivins to pen the sexy track, and Beyoncé sampled its countdown intro for her 2011 song called — you guessed it! — “Countdown.” “I was like a mad scientist, putting lots of different songs together,” she told Just Jared at the time, noting her history with the guys. “Boyz II Men were the first ones to put Destiny’s Child on tour. They showed us how to treat an opening act and I will never forget that.”

7. “On Bended Knee” (1994)

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis — known for their work with Janet Jackson — wrote this No. 1 winner for Boyz II Men. “Our thought was that they sing what we’d like to call ‘begging’ songs really, really well,” Jimmy Jam told Songfacts, “and when they played us their album and said, ‘We want you guys to add something to this,’ we didn’t sense that there were any begging songs on there. And so that’s how we came up with ‘On Bended Knee.’”

6. “A Song for Mama” (1997): Boyz II Men songs

Mama, mama, you’re the queen of my heart. Your love is like tears from the stars.” This No. 1 R&B hit from famed songwriter/producer Babyface also reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The heartfelt musical tribute to mothers, which was featured in the film Soul Food, not only hit listeners in the heart with its emotional lyrics, but singer Nathan Morris recently succumbed to them onstage while trying to sing them for the first time after losing his own mom, whom he called his “best friend,” to COVID in 2020.

5. “One Sweet Day” (1995)

This killer collaboration with Mariah Carey spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and has gone 4x Platinum here in the U.S. “I just thought that the chorus was, like, crying out for what [Boyz II Men] do. Their vocals are really incredible, and especially on a big song like that, the way they layer their vocals,” Carey explained in an interview about knowing the guys would be magical on the track. She was right: The teaming earned them all a Best Pop Collaboration nomination at the Grammys.

4. “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994): Boyz II Men songs

With a song title that gets right to the point, Boyz II Men dominated the No. 1 position on the Billboard charts for 14 weeks straight (breaking their previous record: see #3, below) thanks to this smooth and sensual entry written by Babyface, who recalled that the guys almost didn’t include it on their second album, titled II.

“When I first submitted it, I think the guys liked it but then at one point the record was voted off their album. At the last minute they voted it back in again,” Babyface told SingersRoom. Smart choice: The track earned the guys a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal.

3. “End of the Road” (1992)

This Grammy-winner for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal spent 13 consecutive weeks in the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at the time dethroning the King of Rock ’n’ Roll himself from the record books: Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”/“Don’t Be Cruel,” from 1956, previously held the longest run in the books at 11 weeks.

“End of the Road” was written and produced by the all-star lineup of Babyface, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, and Daryl Simmons, and the guys “really only had one day to get it [recorded]. We just wanted to knock out the song, so we were definitely turning our focus to that,” Nathan Morris has explained of their short but ultimately sweet work on the tune, which was featured in Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang.

2. “Motownphilly” (1991): Boyz II Men songs

Boyz II Men’s irresistible breakthrough single took them all the way to No. 3 on the charts as they shouted out their “East coast family,” which included Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv DeVoe. This song, the guys told VIBE, contains their most memorable melody of all time. “[It’s] definitely the ‘Do-do-doom da-da’ you hear in ‘Motownphilly,’” Wanyá Morris declared, adding that it captured “the catchy ‘doo wop’ we are known for,” while it showcased not only their Philly roots and the group’s origins but the influence that Motown had on them as well.

1. “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” (1991)

While it may not have enjoyed as much chart success as other Boyz II Men songs — peaking at No. 2 — it’s hard to deny this stunner’s emotional wallop thanks to the guys’ heavenly harmonies. It’s a remake of a tune from the 1975 film Cooley High, sung by G.C. Cameron, but this updated version ramps up its emotional impact due to its sensitive a cappella interpretation.

In a tragic twist in 2020, the group was asked with little more than a moment’s notice to perform the song with Alicia Keys at the Grammys, shortly after learning that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. “Kobe is from Philly. I know him, I played games with him years ago.… If there was anybody that could’ve sang that song, or given a tribute to that guy from Philly, it would be us,” Nathan Morris told GQ of their brilliant but emotionally draining tribute.

“Music is that universal language that tends to bring people together. God has given us the ability to use it, and that’s what our focus was.… Kobe deserved a hell of a lot more than what we were able to give him. We just gave him what we had. It came from our hearts, and that’s all we could do.”

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