Not since the '70s heyday of The Jackson 5, and the more recent '90s frenzy of *NSYNC, has a young act stirred crowds to such a feverish pitch, creating mass hysteria wherever they appear.
But how did a relatively unknown family act emerge as one of the biggest new groups of 2005? Ever since the brothers' love for entertainment expanded into a career as one of the most popular acts in Miami back in 1997, they stayed on the grind, working their hometown's music circuit with performances at every show under the hot Florida sun. Their father, Joseph "Bluestar" Smith, kept his boys rocking fly gear and catching radio programmers' ears until their notoriety reached the ears of Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman in late-2004. When Kallman was nearly trampled by thousands of concertgoers at a Pretty Ricky show, the group quickly landed a deal with Atlantic Records.
Over the course of a few months, Pretty Ricky became hugely popular, bringing heightened awareness to the urban Miami music scene. It seems fans just couldn't get enough of Pretty Ricky. Brothers Pleasure (Marcus Cooper), Slick 'Em (Corey Mathis), Diamond Blue Smith (Baby Blue), and Spectacular Blue Smith, became unable to even go to a local movie theater without causing pandemonium. "Blue Stars," one of the best-selling albums of 2005, spawned three hit singles - "Grind With Me," "Your Body," and "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number".
After landing nominations for a Billboard Award, a World Music Award, and an American Music Award, Pretty Ricky believed that it was important to make a comeback in 2007 with an album just for the fans. In an effort to include their burgeoning and loyal audience in the process of creating the new CD, the group went so far as to advertise a contest on the Internet in which fans could submit a potential title for the album.
The Dead's last ever shows will be available online for a fee.
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