Cool It Now: New Edition to Be Honored at 2024 NAACP Image Awards

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New Edition will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame during the 55th NAACP Image Awards, which will air live on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and CBS. Queen Latifah is set to host the show.

New Edition is the seventh group to receive this honor, following The Four Tops, The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Dells, Earth, Wind & Fire and The Isley Brothers.

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R&B singer and songwriter Frankie Beverly will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award during the NAACP Image Awards Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, March 14 in Los Angeles. The award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights in addition to their contributions in the entertainment industry.

“It is our distinct honor to celebrate New Edition and Frankie Beverly – two musical icons that have been instrumental in shaping our cultural landscape with their remarkable talent and enduring influence,” NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “We recognize the power of their artistry in showcasing the enduring power of Black excellence in the arts.”

Connie Orlando, EVP specials, music programming & music strategy at BET, added: “New Edition and Frankie Beverly’s influence has laid the foundation for modern R&B, shaping the genre’s sonic landscape and resonance in numerous ways. … We are thrilled to celebrate these musical luminaries, whose melodies are intricately woven into the very fabric of our culture.”

Both acts have received Lifetime Achievement Awards on the separate BET Awards. Beverly’s group, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, received the honor in 2012. New Edition was honored five years later. In addition, BET aired the miniseries The New Edition Story (produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment), which aired over three nights in January 2017.

New Edition landed five No. 1 hits on what is now Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the 1980s and ’90s: “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Can You Stand the Rain” and “Hit Me Off.” In addition, group members Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and the members of spinoff group Bell Biv DeVoe (Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe) have achieved success on their own. New Edition’s The Culture Tour was named the top R&B concert of 2022. Most recently the group has embarked on a residency at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly had a pair of No. 1 hits on what is now Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in the ’80s – “Back in Stride” and “Can’t Get Over You.” The group had 29 hits on that chart between 1977 and 1994. Remarkably, Beverly was the sole author of every single one of them. In 2019, Beyoncé covered Beverly’s 1981 hit with Maze, “Before I Let Go,” on Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé and in her corresponding album, Homecoming: The Live Album. Beyoncé was born two weeks after Maze’s record entered what is now known as Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, a sign of the staying power of Beverly’s songs.

Both New Edition and Beverly have been under-recognized by the Grammy Awards. New Edition received just one Grammy nod — best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal for “If It Isn’t Love” 35 years ago. Beverly has never been nominated for a Grammy – on his own or with Maze.

NAACP will recognize winners in non–televised Image Awards categories from March 11-13 on its website, during the Awards Dinner on March 14 and Fashion Show on March 15.

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