Ralph Tresvant Turns 50 – Keeping the New in New Edition

By Barry Anderson

Ralph Tresvant sang and danced into our hearts and one of the lead singers of the legendary supergroup, New Edition. With songs like “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now,” Tresvant and New Edition were a household name in the late 80’s.

Ralph Tresvant was born prematurely on May 16, 1968, to Patricia Tresvant and Ralph Hall, Sr. Ralph grew up in an apartment in the Orchard Park Development of Roxbury, Massachusetts on #8 Adams Street. He says about growing up in the projects, “We were really poor and real pressured; but I had a strong family, and that’s what helped me keep it all together.”

New Edition once again became a household name with the 2017 three-night biopic of the group that aired on BET. The series broke ratings records and had everybody talking about Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike and of course Ralph.

Venturing out on a solo project, his 1990 debut solo album, Sensitivity, was released and the title track spent 20 weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. R&B Singles chart. The album also included the hit singles “Do What I Gotta Do” and “Stone Cold Gentleman.”

 

Tresvant’s vocals were also featured on songs on the soundtracks for the films Mo’ Money (“Money Can’t Buy You Love”) and The Preacher’s Wife (“Somebody Bigger Than You and I”). He made a cameo appearance in the popular urban comedy House Party 2.

“When I did ‘Sensitivity,’ it was a time when I wanted to show that it’s cool to show your feelings to care about somebody,” said Tresvant.

Whether performing on his own or with the New Edition family, Tresvant says he tries to do the same thing on stage: to keep the crowd entertained.

(photo from ralph tresvant twitter)

(photo from ralph tresvant twitter)

“That’s the ‘new’ in New Edition,” says Ralph. “We always try to find something new or current or a new way to do something in order to keep it fresh every night in every city. That’s what I do, that’s what we do.”

In the midst of doing something new, he still sticks to his core fan base. Ralph is obviously in shape and keeps his six-pack and slim build.

One magazine reported that Ralph still plays basketball in order to keep in shape and keep his endurance up on the stage.

Besides touring for nearly two-thirds of the year, the 50-year-old Tresvant loves spending time with his grandson (yes, he’s a grandfather) who is nearly 5 years old now.

In the BET biopic, Tresvant is portrayed as Bobby Brown’s closest friend in the group, and as a good-natured guy who chose to share the spotlight and the solos despite having the best voice. That portrayal gets to the heart of what does seem to be true to Tresvant even now. He’s a loyal, dedicated member of the band, and still reps New Edition to this day. He’s also a generous person who’s dedicated time to promoting and helping others. So even without a record-breaking solo career, Tresvant is still a valued New Edition member for both his musical skills and his great personality.

Tresvant currently hosts “Inside the Ride,” a radio show in his native Boston that combines R&B, hip hop, and soul, genres that Tresvant should know very well from his many years in the industry. And according to the BASS radio station, Tresvant kicked off his debut on the station with a charity drive.

 

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