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SIMPLY JESSICA: Johnny Gill talks about New Edition

Johnny Gill calls himself an ambassador of love.

He was a little boy who loved playing musical instruments. His love of musical instruments evolved into a singing career.

Gill became a member of the singing group New Edition in 1987 when Michael Bivins asked him to join the group to replace lead singer Ralph Tresvant, who was leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Bobby Brown had been voted out of the group.

“The New Edition Story” aired on BET in January. It tells the journey of the singing group as child singers and their rise to fame.

“We all have a journey,” Gill said. “This is the story about our journey. You see the ups and downs and at the end of the day it is about how we all have prevailed.”

Gill felt his life was put into perspective when he saw an actor play him in a movie. It helped Gill live in the moment and see life clearer.

“To take a minute and watch someone tell your journey, it takes you all over the place,” Gill said. “It’s scary and a weird feeling.”

It’s that scary feeling of watching their life on screen that made New Edition fans connect to their story about their ups and downs.

“People connected to it because we stayed on the set day in and day out making sure they got it right,” Gill said. “We wanted to make sure the story was being told accurately.”

Johnny Gill joined New Edition in 1987, replacing Ralph Tresvant as lead singer. (Courtesy photo)

Gill’s favorite scene was having a conversation with Ralph Tresvant in the studio about replacing him as lead singer of the singing group.

He saw it as a cool experience to see that scene played out on screen.

“From that day forward, Ralph became my ride and die brother,” Gill said. “We think the same way. We are the closest out all of us.”

It is the group’s name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that makes Gill heart sing. He calls it a highlight that can’t be erased.

“Our name is written in stone on Hollywood Boulevard,” Gill said. “To be able to have the level of impact in the music industry and to have a movie made about your life that is written in stone is humbling.”

Gill is thrilled that New Edition is part of musical history.

“We have worked really hard for 33 years,” Gill said. “It is awesome to finally get that level of recognition and we will be around forever.”

His favorite New Edition song is “Can You Stand The Rain.” He also loves to sing “If It Isn’t Love.” His favorite New Edition video is “You’re Not My Kind of Girl.”

Gill is proud that New Edition was able to provide a blue print for singing groups that have come after them.

“We’ve been able to overcome challenges that we went through as a group,” Gill said. “We butt heads and disagree, but we are one of the only few groups that have been able to pull it together and be as successful as we all have been individually and together.”

Gill was ecstatic to watch the New Edition movie with his son.

“It was a sweet moment to watch the movie with my son,” he added.

Gill has his own record label where he puts out his own music.

He has a new song called “5,000 Miles,” featuring Jaheim.

He is currently touring promoting his “Game Changer” album.

“It’s going to be one of the hottest tours of 2017,” Gill said. “’5,000’ Miles is about the highest compliment you can give a woman.”

Gill’s favorite book is “Make Your Life Worthwhile” by Emmet Fox.

“‘Make Your Life Worthwhile’ talks about not going back to things that happen in life because that’s like reopening the grave,” he said. “Once it is done then you have to move forward. It’s a book about a lot of metaphors but it has helped me throughout the years.”

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.