Album:Platinum & Gold Collection
The R & B vocal trio Next topped the charts with Too Close in 1997. They had one other top ten hit. Their music was notably raunchy. Next came out of the Minneapolis gospel scene. The uncle of brothers Terry "T-Low" Brown and Raphael "Tweet" Brown was a choir director. He thought they should form a group. And they did with RL Huggar. At first they were called Straight4ward. But producer Lance "LA" Alexander formerly of the group Lo-Key? suggested the name Next which stands for Nobody Ever eXpected This. The Browns took vocal training from their godmother, Sounds Of Blackness lead singer Ann Nesby. Next was introduced to Keir "KayGee" Gist of Naughty By Nature. He signed them to his Divine Mill label with Arista distribution. Next's debut CD Rated Next was released in 1997. The debut single Butta Love was a top five R & B hit. But the second single Too Close topped the R & B Singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100. Rated Next was certified 2XPlatinum. The uncredited female singer was Vernell "Vee" Sales of the duo Koffee Brown who were also on Divine Mill. The song was written by Raphael Brown, KayGee and and Divine Mill house producer Darren Lighty who produced the record with his brother Cliff. Naughty By Nature and Adina Howard also made guest appearances on the album. So Next had to follow up one of 1997's biggest hits. And their 2000 album Welcome II Nextasy did well. The single Wifey featuring Lil Mo reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It appears that KayGee closed Divine Mill and sold it to Arista. When Arista founder Clive Davis left to form J Records, he took Next with him. RL released a 2002 solo album and then Next released The Next Episode in 2003. The album didn't do that well and Terry Brown's throat surgery was of some concern. There was also conflict over RL's outside activities. J Records dropped Next. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Next signed with Interscope and were supposed to work with producers Jermaine Dupri, Rich Harrison and Babyface. But nothing ever came of that and they signed with Music World owned by Matthew Knowles (Beyonce's dad). Apparently they recorded an album but it was never released and there was conflict within the group over explicit content. Remember these guys were all church boys. Next released a single last year but the album hasn't been released yet. And RL is working on a solo album. Here's the video for Too Close by Next.