by Mark Casasanto
Now did you really think I’d do an article on Boyz II Men and not go all cliche’ for the title? Look, cheesy as it might be, it rings true. The boys are back and received mad props too boot. This afternoon, a section of Broad Street between Carpenter and Christian has been ceremonially renamed Boyz II Men Boulevard. Go ahead and type that in as your Uber destination!
Just mere blocks from where they once walked as students, friends and later band mates, (17th and Christian Streets) our Philly guys, Nathan, Wayna and Shawn basked in the breeze of a beautiful day on the steps of Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. A couple of hundred friends, fans and family members, City Representative Shelia Hess along with Council Members from the first and second districts respectively, Mark Squilla and Kenyatta Johnson, lauded the native sons for their extraordinary careers. Never losing sight of the fact the Philly is not only home, but where it all started, the former quartet, now trio, also enjoyed music from the students of CAPA and at one point stood shoulder to shoulder with them as they preformed one of the school’s signature musical selections.
Their musical accomplishments have earned them nine American Music and Soul Train Awards, four Grammy Awards, three Billboard Awards and a Star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame- just to highlight a few. They’ve toured the world as the best selling R&B group of all time, held residency at The Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and now standing high above the streets they once walked as teenagers, a street marker that anchors their musical legacy to their hometown. Philly proud to say (or sing) the least!
In conjunction with the Wawa Welcome America Event’s theme for 2017, Everyone Is A History Maker, the Boyz will be back in town on July 4th when they will be honored at the 10am Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall. Later in the evening, they’ll do what they do best on the Ben Franklin Parkway. In front of tens of thousands of revelers gathered for our countries birthday celebration, sparked by the visual of fireworks and the sounds of soulful music, Boyz II Men, no doubt will be “kickin’ it just for you…“