Tony! Toni! Toné! was an American soul/R&B group from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. During the band's heyday, it was composed of Dwayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins) on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley on drums and keyboards. Other members were Elijah Baker, Carl Wheeler, Randall Wiggins, and Amar Khalil, who is the current lead singer of the group, and Antron Haile.
Originally, the band went by "Tony, Toni, Toné" as a joke, until they realized it had a nice ring to it.
After their debut album Who? in 1988 followed by The Revival in 1990, the group achieved their greatest commercial success with the double platinum certified Sons of Soul in 1993. Tony! Toni! Toné! disbanded after the release of their fourth album House of Music (1996), which critics cite as their greatest work.
Their first album, Who?, produced and co-written by Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, was released in 1988. The album went gold and had several hit singles. The first of these, "Little Walter" went to #1 on the R&B charts. While none of the singles went gold, the next three singles, "Born Not To Know", "For The Love Of You" and "Baby Doll" were all Top 10 R&B singles.
The group's second album The Revival was released in 1990 and reached platinum status. The album spawned several #1 R&B hits with "It Never Rains In Southern California", "Feels Good", "The Blues", and "Whatever You Want" all topping the R&B charts. "Feels Good" was the group's first single to breach the Top 10 of the Hot 100 and managed to go gold.
The single "Me & You" appears on the soundtrack to the motion picture Boyz n the Hood.
Furthering the group's success, they released their third studio album to date, Sons of Soul, in 1993. The album went double platinum and had hit singles "If I Had No Loot" which hit #7 on the Hot 100, "Anniversary" which reached #10 on the Hot 100, and "(Lay Your Head On My) Pillow" which reached #4 on the R&B charts.
Following the release of Sons of Soul, the group was a part of the R&B supergroup Black Men United, Silk and H-Town was included in the group as well with the song "U Will Know" which appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Jason's Lyric.
In 1996, the group released their final studio album to date, House of Music. The album lacked the strong singles of earlier entries, only getting "Thinking Of You" & "Let's Get Down" into the top 10 on the R&B charts, with "Thinking Of You" hitting #22 on the Hot 100. The album still managed to reach platinum status.
Tony! Toni! Toné!, with Amar Khalil singing lead vocals (in place of Saadiq), has been touring since late 1998.
Raphael Saadiq released his first solo effort, the Top 20 Billboard hit "Ask of You" for the Higher Learning soundtrack, in 1995. Around the same time, Saadiq became a much-sought-after R&B producer, scoring hits for D'Angelo, Total, The Roots, and others. Later in the 2000s, he started a solo career, releasing two albums, Instant Vintage (2002) and Ray Ray (2004). Regarding changing his surname to 'Saadiq' for a solo career, in February 2009 Raphael stated to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul: "I just wanted to have my own identity".
Lucy Pearl was an R&B supergroup formed in 1999 as the brainchild of Raphael Saadiq. The other members of Lucy Pearl were Dawn Robinson (En Vogue) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest). They released their self-titled debut album in 2000. After two singles, "Dance Tonight" and "Don't Mess with My Man", Dawn Robinson left and was replaced by Joi. The new line-up released the track "Without You". The group split up shortly after, releasing no other material.
In 2005, D'wayne Wiggins became the band leader for the Weekends at the D.L. television show hosted by comedian D. L. Hughley, which aired on the Comedy Central cable network until 2006.
D'wayne Wiggins solo album, Eyes Never Lie, was a disappointment only selling approximately 150,000 units despite its acclaim as some of the most innovative writing and artistry from the Tony's founder.
A recent episode of Saturday Night Live featured a skit which mentioned a fictional new jack swing supergroup named Tone, Toni, Tony Shalhoub.
In 2003, members of Tony! Toni! Toné!, except for Saadiq, were invited by Alicia Keys to be guest artists on her album The Diary of Alicia Keys. The song that resulted from that session was called "Diary", and when it was released as a single in the fall of 2004, it gave them their first Top 10 US hit in eleven years.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license