Jade was one of my favorite girl RnB groups of the early 90's. Jade consisted of Tonya Kelly, Joi Marshall, and Di Reed. They debuted on the "Class Act" soundtrack in 1992 with the hit single "I Wanna Love You". With that success an album quickly followed. Although Jade was a "manufactured" girl group, one would have never known. The chemistry these girls had on record and video was undeniable.
The debut album was eventually certified Gold, thanks in part to the now classic singles "Don't Walk Away" (recently covered in 2004 by British flop reject singer Javine), and "One Woman". Jade capitalized on this success even further by releasing a live album the following year. With no break in between albums, Jade presented their sophomore effort in 1994, "Mind, Body, & Song". The second album had a more refined sound and definitely showed a lot of maturity. Over 12 years after its release it still sounds fresh. The girls not only improved their sound but also their image! Giant Records must have given them a new hairstylist because the girls embraced the album cover with some fierce weave! Maybe this is where all of the "Beyonce's" of today got their inspiration?
The first single, "5,4,3,2 (Yo Time Is Up!) failed to make a big impact at radio and a "sophomore slump" seemed imminent. However, the second single quickly changed that and saved the album. "Everyday Of The Week" was featured on the popular Fox television show "Beverly Hills 90210" and was subsequently placed on the "College Years" soundtrack. The song was a Top 40 pop hit and was all over radio and video stations. Jade couldn't be stopped....or so it seemed.
Jade abruptly split up while "Everyday Of The Week" was still on the charts and further promotion for the album was cancelled. I remember listening to Casey Kasem's weekly top 40 countdown and hearing the sad news. Very little explanation was given. I was heartbroken and for years wondered what went wrong. I have had a hard time finding information on these lovely ladies, but to my surprise Diva Planet caught up with Tonya a few years ago. In the interview she explains how the girls quickly became disillusioned with the music business and realized they would be better off financially pursuing normal careers outside of Hollywood. She claims the group didn't break up due to internal strife and there was even a brief reunion for a funeral in 2001.
I would be very curious to hear what the other 2 girls have to say! As I ponder that question, I leave you with their smash hit, "Every Day Of The Week".