Hi-Five is an American R&B quintet based in Waco, Texas. Hi-Five had a #1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 in the early 1990s with "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)". The band was formed in 1989, and consisted of Tony Thompson, Roderick "Pooh" Clark, Marcus Sanders, Russell Neal, and Toriano Easley. Easley was later replaced by Treston Irby.

OriginWaco, Texas, United States
Years active1989–1994
  • Jive
  • N-Depth
  • Bronx Most Wanted
MembersTreston Irby
Shannon Gill
Marcus Sanders
Billy Covington
Faruq Evans
Past membersTony Thompson (deceased)
Russell Neal
Roderick Clark
Toriano Easley
Terrence Murphy
Ricky Smith
Andre Ramseur aka Dre Wonda


Rise to fameEdit

Hi-Five was originally signed to Jive Records in late 1989 and released their eponymous debut album in 1990.[1] The album went platinum and was produced by Teddy Riley; it included such singles as "I Just Can't Handle It" (R&B #10), "I Can't Wait Another Minute" (Pop #8, R&B #1), and their biggest hit to date, "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)", which went to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[2]

The group's second LP, Keep It Goin' On, came out in 1992. Though not as successful as their debut effort, several tracks from this album, including "She's Playing Hard To Get" (Pop #5, R&B #2) and the R. Kelly-penned "Quality Time" (Pop #38, R&B #3) got major airplay in East Coast (US) urban markets. Shortly after this album was released, the group was involved in a vehicular accident, which left Roderick "Pooh" Clark paralyzed from the chest down. In 1993, Hi-Five emerged with a third album, Faithful, which featured the songs "Unconditional Love" (Pop #92, R&B #21) and "Never Should've Let You Go" (Pop #30, R&B #10).[2] "Unconditional Love" was also featured in the multi-platinum Menace II Society soundtrack, and received extensive airplay on urban contemporary stations throughout the summer of 1993 as the movie increased in popularity. "Never Should've Let You Go" was featured in the Sister Act 2 soundtrack.

Later yearsEdit

After Hi-Five disbanded in 1994, Thompson released a solo album, Sexsational, in 1995. He later reunited Hi-Five on his own independent N'Depth label for the release of the album The Return in 2005.[3] On June 1, 2007, police found Thompson dead near an air conditioning unit behind an East Waco apartment complex.[4] A later autopsy revealed he had died as a result of inhaling freon from an air conditioning unit.[5]

In 2011, Treston Irby released his debut solo single "Everything" under the mantle Tru$ on his independent label, Bronx Most Wanted Ent. In 2012, Irby, Shannon Gill and Marcus Sanders reformed Hi-Five with two new members, Andre Ramseur (aka Dre Wonda) and Faruq Evans. They released a single called "Favorite Girl" also on the BMW label. Ramseur later left the group and was replaced by Billy Covington. On July 2, 2014, former Hi-Five member Russell Neal was charged with murder in the stabbing death of his wife in Houston.[6]

Hi-Five was featured on the TVOne music documentary series Unsung on August 6, 2014, chronicling the quintet's upbringing in Waco, their rise to superstardom, tragedies among group members, and their comeback. [7]

Legal issuesEdit

Criminal trial for murderEdit

Russell Neal shot to fame in the 1990s with the R&B group Hi-Five, even scoring a number-one hit. Russell felt Hi-Five was keeping him down. "Russell decided that he wanted to have more of a singing part, but the labels and the producer didn't think that that was an appropriate decision to make," said Kinloch. [8] He ended up leaving the group early on during the height of their success.

In 2014, police say they found Neal's then girlfriend, Catherine, dead. She was bashed with a blunt object, and had stab wounds from multiple strikes with a sharp object. Neal originally admitted his wrong doings to police. He was charged with first-degree murder and released on a $100,000 bond. Neal was sentenced to 80 years in prison.


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

1990 Hi-Five
  • Release date: September 25, 1990
  • Label: Jive
38 1
  • US: Platinum
1992 Keep It Goin' On
  • Release date: August 11, 1992
  • Label: Jive
82 9
1993 Faithful
  • Release date: October 15, 1993
  • Label: Jive
105 23
2005 The Return
  • Release date: October 11, 2005
  • Label: N' Depth Entertainment
2017 Legacy
  • Release date: January 6, 2017
  • Label: Bronx Most Wanted Entertainment
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title
2014 The EP
  • Release date: August 5, 2014
  • Label: Bronx Most Wanted Entertainment

Compilation albumsEdit

Year Album details
1994 Greatest Hits
  • Released: October 11, 1994
  • Label: Jive


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album


1990 "I Just Can't Handle It" 3 20 Hi-Five
1991 "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)" 1 1 42 47 41 47 43 43
"I Can't Wait Another Minute" 8 1 30
"Just Another Girlfriend" 88 41
1992 "She's Playing Hard to Get" 5 2 46 76 14 55 Keep It Goin' On
"Quality Time" 38 3 36
1993 "Mary, Mary" 50
"Unconditional Love" 92 21 Faithful
"Never Should've Let You Go" 30 10 38
1994 "Faithful" 52
"What Can I Say to You (To Justify My Love)" (with Nuttin' Nyce) 13
2012 "Favorite Girl" 36 Legacy
2013 "You Never Know"
2014 "It's Nothing"
2015 "Different Kiss"
2016 "Kit Kat"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
1990 "I Just Can't Handle It" Antoine Fuqua
1991 "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)"
"I Can't Wait Another Minute"
"Just Another Girlfriend"
1992 "She's Playing Hard to Get"[16] Lionel C. Martin
"Quality Time"
1993 "Unconditional Love" Marcus Nispel
"Never Should've Let You Go"
1994 "Faithful"
"What Can I Say to You (To Justify My Love)" (w/ Nuttin Nyce)
2012 "Favorite Girl" Treston Irby
2013 "You Never Know" Christian Marcus & Treston Irby
2015 "Different Kiss" Colin Keith & Treston Irby
"Sunshine" Mark Geohagen & Treston Irby
"Christmas" Mark Geohagen & Hi-Five
2016 "Kit Kat"


  1. ^ "Remembering Rhythm & Blues: January 2007". Rememberingrhythmandblues.com. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  2. ^ a b "Hi-Five Billboard Chart History". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ "Hi-Five's Tony Thompson Dies At 31". Billboard.com.
  4. ^ "Local Music Icon Found Dead". KXXV.com.
  5. ^ "Family and friends remember Waco singer Tony Thompson at headstone ceremony". Waco Tribune-Herald. 2010-05-05.
  6. ^ "Former R&B singer charged with murdering wife in Houston". CBS News. 2014-07-07.
  7. ^ "Hi-Five documentary to air, revisiting chart-topping Waco hip-hop group | Tv And Radio". Wacotrib.com. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  8. ^ Baumblatt, Geri Lynn; Gottlieb, Jason; Mulert, Mark (2016-12-30). "Early Indications Human-Centered Decision Aids Help People Make More Appropriate Care Decisions". Iproceedings. 2 (1): e2. doi:10.2196/iproc.6223. ISSN 2369-6893.
  9. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Hi-Five". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  10. ^ a b "US Certifications > Hi-Five". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  11. ^ "AUS Charts > Hi-Five". ARIA Charts. Archived from the original on 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  12. ^ "GER Charts > Hi-Five". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  13. ^ "NLD Charts > Hi-Five". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  14. ^ "NZ Charts > Hi-Five". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  15. ^ "UK Charts > Hi-Five". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  16. ^ ""She's Playing Hard to Get" by Hi-Five". VH1. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2011.

External linksEdit