Song:If You Love Me
Album:From The Bottom Up
The R & B girl group Brownstone had success in the 90s mostly on the R & B charts. If You Love Me was their only top ten pop hit in 1994. They only recorded two albums. The most interesting thing about Brownstone is they were on Michael Jackson's label MJJ Music. The three members of Brownstone were Nicci Gilbert, Charmayne "Maxee" Maxwell and Monica "Mimi" Doby. Nicci is from Detroit but she moved to Los Angeles and met the other two at auditions. They formed Brownstone and signed with MJJ Music with Sony distribution. Michael Jackson owned the label but it was run by veteran music exec Jerry Greenberg who was very close to then Sony Music head Tommy Mottola and Mariah Carey. Brownstone worked with various producers on From The Bottom Up. If You Love Me was the second single and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nicci wrote the song with Dave "Jam" Hall and Gordon Chambers and Hall produced the record. He had previously worked with Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey. The album was certified Platinum. So they're off to a good start. Then in an interview with BET host Donnie Simpson, Monica announced she was leaving Brownstone due to health problems. Later there were rumours that she wasn't getting along with the other two girls. She was replaced by Kina Cosper for the 1997 CD Still Climbing. But that album didn't do as well as the first album and there were no hit singles. Brownstone split up in 2000. Sony released a Super Hits comp. But for some reason they put the shorter radio edits of Brownstone's hits on that CD. So instead I recommend From The Bottom Up which is available as a budget CD. Charmayne released a couple of singles as Maxee on Mercury Records in 2000. Then she married Danish producer Carsten "Soulshock" Schack and moved to Europe. She died in an accidental fall in Denmark on Feb. 28, 2015 at age 46. Nicci recorded an album in 2002. But more recently she is the creator and exec producer of the TV One reality series R & B Divas: Atlanta and the spinoff series R & B Divas: Los Angeles. She has created a new reality show From The Ground Up which will profile once popular R & B singers. This is set to debut early 2016. Here's the video for If You Love Me by Brownstone.