Public Announcement is an R&B and hip hop group, which was formed in 1990 in Chicago, Illinois, originally backing singer R. Kelly on their first album.
1990-1994: Born Into The 90's
The group signed with Jive Records after R. Kelly met the members from Public Announcement and auditioned the guys to be his back up singers and dancers. R. Kelly & Public Announcement released their debut album, Born into the 90's in January 1992. One of the last albums to be released during the new jack swing period of the early nineties, the album yielded the hits "She's Got That Vibe", "Honey Love", "Dedicated", and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)" all of which was led by Kelly, eventually leading to the album reaching a million copies domestically and going platinum. The group was billed as R. Kelly and Public Announcement essentially making the group backup members for Kelly rather than a cohesive unit. After a successful tour ended in 1993, Kelly parted ways with Public Announcement to focus on a solo career, whereas the group was suddenly left in limbo after his departure. Boykins decided to stick with Kelly instead of continuing on with the group. According to his myspace page, Boykins is currently a songwriter and producer at the Chocolate Factory studio in Chicago, he often tours with Kelly, and has been featured in many of Kelly's videos such as "I Wish", "When a Woman's Fed Up", and "Contagious" by The Isley Brothers to name a few.
1995-1998: All Work, No Play
During 1994 and 1996 Public Announcement were unsigned and each member worked on solo projects. In 1996 fellow Chicago, Illinois natives Feloney Davis and Euclid Gray replaced R. Kelly and Andre Boykins. Davis took over as the lead singer. In 1997 they eventually scored a record deal with A&M Records and started working on their sophomore and solo debut album All Work, No Play. In 1998 they scored their first and only top ten hit without Kelly, named Body Bumpin (Yippie-Yi-Yo), which peaked at #5. This album featured Feloney Davis taking over the lead vocals. Though having only one single hitting the Billboard charts, the album was a top twenty success on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. After only a few years of being signed, they were dropped again.
1999-2002: Don't Hold Back
Shortly after touring and being dropped by the label, Euclid Gray left the group after the tour was over because he didn't want to sing the secular music the group was singing anymore. After bumping heads with Earl, Glenn, and Feloney he left the group to pursue a gospel singing career.
Euclid Gray was replaced with another Chicago native named Ace Watkins and they started work on their next album Don't Hold Back.
In 1999 a new song called "John Doe", from their album Don't Hold Back on Epic was released and was a minor R&B/Hip-Hop hit, which led to the album release being delayed. A few months later in 2000 a new lead single called "Mamacita" was released. It was a moderate success entering number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. After that, "John Doe" was re-released and went on to enter the Hot 100 at number 95. Another single named "Man ain't Supposed To Cry" was a top forty R&B/Hip-Hop hit.
After being let go by Epic Records Ace left the the group to pursue a solo career and in 2004 was replaced by current member Mar-K a native of Louisville, Kentucky. Mar-K is the youngest member of the group and also the only member that isn't from Chicago.
2005-present: When The Smoke Clears
In 2005 the group released their fourth album When the Smoke Clears on their own label Boss Entertainment through Fontana Music/Universal Records. After a short hiatus to pursue solo interests Earl, Glenn, Feloney, and Mar-K are working on the follow-up album to When The Smoke Clears and is gonna be ready for release in 2009.