The 80’s R&B group New Edition captured our hearts with classic hits like “Cool it Now”, “Mr. Telephone Man”, and “Candy Girl” as young boys that were friends turned group mates. Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, and Ralph had us swooning over their melodic tones and creative dance moves. As they were growing up so were many of us and we saw the transitions of group members with R&B vocalist Johnny Gill joining the group. “Can You Stand The Rain” was an anthem of the trials and triumphs of relationships not only in personal but professional. Now nearly 30 years later these boys that have grown into men are still selling out tour dates, received the Hollywood Walk of Fame yesterday, and BET Networks has an original mini-series premiering tonight, and Bell Biv DeVoe are releasing their highly anticipated new album this weekend.
Actor and Model Keith Powers is playing a teenage to adult “Ronnie” in the upcoming series and we had a chance to chat about his role protraying Ronnie DeVoe.
Let’s talk New Edition. Your playing the role of Ronnie Devoe in the upcoming New Edition mini-series and what was that experience like casting for this role?
It was a long process kind of because first I tested for Ralph (Tresvant) but I did not get it. However, I was still put in practice with the other leads even though I wasn’t booked yet. It was a bit stressful because I’m not a dancer but I look back and I’m glad it went they way so I’m playing Ronnie DeVoe.
What would you like people to know about Ronnie DeVoe?
He was the smoothest and most effortless dancer in the group. He was invited to the group last and he was the middle. He was the one keeping everyone together through it all and he was never for himself. He was about the best interest of the group and I can relate to him about that.
What’s your favorite New Edition song?
Definitely “Can You Stand The Rain”.
What can viewers expect from watching the New Edition mini-series?
Your going to find out about stuff that you didn’t know about the group. This was before social media or TMZ so they kept things professional and under the wraps. Your going to find out a lot of stuff that went on behind the doors and dealing with drama before performances that were some of their best performances that you may have seen growing up. The issues of janky managers, Bobby, and everyone going solo. Everything is accurate because New Edition was very hands on this was their baby.
Watch the Extended Preview: Tune in at 9P/8C tonight on BET
Photo Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images North America