Today in Music History (April 6): Johnny Gill releases debut album at age 16

April 6, 1983: Johnny Gill releases debut album at age 16

D.C. native Johnny Gill possesses one of the clearest, strongest Soul voices of his generation, and has achieved fame both as a solo artist and as part of the supergroup New Edition.

Born one of four boys to Minister John Gill, Sr. and his wife Annie, young Johnny sang in the family act Wings of Faith from the time he was a child.  When his friend Stacy Lattisaw hit the charts as a young teen singer with "Let Me Be Your Angel," she helped Gill submit a demo to her record label, Cotillion. 

The demo resulted in the signing of then-fifteen year old Gill and his pairing with producer Freddie Perren (known for his work with teen singers the Jackson 5 and the Sylvers) for Gill's eponymous 1983 debut.  The combination worked well, and Gill’s debut album hit radio when he was just sixteen years old.

April 6, 1983: Johnny Gill releases debut album at age 16

D.C. native Johnny Gill possesses one of the clearest, strongest Soul voices of his generation, and has achieved fame both as a solo artist and as part of the supergroup New Edition.

Born one of four boys to Minister John Gill, Sr. and his wife Annie, young Johnny sang in the family act Wings of Faith from the time he was a child.  When his friend Stacy Lattisaw hit the charts as a young teen singer with "Let Me Be Your Angel," she helped Gill submit a demo to her record label, Cotillion. 

The demo resulted in the signing of then-fifteen year old Gill and his pairing with producer Freddie Perren (known for his work with teen singers the Jackson 5 and the Sylvers) for Gill's eponymous 1983 debut.  The combination worked well, and Gill’s debut album hit radio when he was just sixteen years old.

Johnny Gill delivered the upbeat hit "Super Love" as well as a number of solid ballads.  And Gill wowed with his incredibly deep, passionate voice, deftly handling love ballads like "Show Her Love" and growling like a soul veteran on his cover of Sam and Dave's "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby."

This began a career that grew leaps and bounds when Gill teamed with Lattisaw on a duet album, and then shot to the moon when he joined New Edition. But the world first discovered this talented young singer and musician through a modest first teenage album, released on this date in 1983.

By Chris Rizik

 

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