Next (American band)

Next is an American R&B musical trio, popular during the late 1990s and early 2000s. They are best known for their number-one hit single "Too Close", which became the most successful song of 1998 in the United States, as well as for "Wifey" and "I Still Love You", all of which all still receive frequent airplay on Urban Adult Contemporary radio stations both in the US and internationally.

OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Years active1992–present
MembersTerry "T-Low" Brown
Raphael "Tweety" Brown
Robert "R.L." Huggar
Past membersAaron "Dee" Deponce


1992–1999: Early beginnings and breakthroughEdit

The group was formed in 1992 by Robert "R.L." Huggar and brothers Terry "T-Low" Brown and Raphael "Tweety" Brown in Minneapolis, Minnesota after being introduced by the Brown's uncle, a gospel choir director. Originally, they were first known as Straight4ward, and at one point managed by Sounds of Blackness' Ann Nesby.[1] However, after catching the attention of Naughty by Nature's KayGee, he took the group to his Arista label Divine Mill, and began work on their debut album.

They released their KayGee-produced debut single "Butta Love" in September 1997, which became a big R&B hit for the group peaking at #4 (and hitting the Top20 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart). Soon after, their debut album, Rated Next was released on September 30, and sold moderately. It was followed in 1998 by the release of their biggest hit to date, "Too Close" which hit #1 on both the R&B and the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Sales of their debut album surged, helping the album peak at #13 R&B and #37 on the Billboard 200, eventually being certified double platinum, and earning them American Music Awards, Billboard Awards and Soul Train Awards nominations.[2] A third single "I Still Love You" garnered the group another Top 5 R&B hit and a Top 20 on the Hot 100 charts.

2000–present: Label changes and hiatusEdit

In 2000, the group released the lead single "Wifey" ahead of their sophomore album for Arista. The song became another #1 R&B hit for the group and also featured singer Lil' Mo on background vocals. Their sophomore album, Welcome II Nextasy, was released in June 2000 and was certified gold on the strength of the lead single. A second single "Beauty Queen" received moderate airplay, peaking at #48 on R&B and #59 on the Hot 100. After the album's cycle, the group took a break, leading RL to record and release his debut solo album RL:Ements for Clive Davis' then-new J Records label in 2002, which achieved moderate success with the singles "Got Me a Model" and "Good Man."

The group also joined the J Records label, and released their third studio album The Next Episode in December of that same year. It featured the lead single "Imagine That" which peaked at #66 R&B and #91 on the Hot 100. Also, they collaborated with Jaheim on his single "Anything" off his debut album Ghetto Love which earned the group another Top 10 R&B hit. After leaving the J Records label, they briefly aligned with 50 Cent's G-Unit and with Matthew Knowles' Music World labels, but did not release any music. The group later broke up due to internal conflicts and member T-Low suffering from a career-ending throat condition, but eventually reunited in 2011.[3]

In 2014, the group began and completed work on a new album titled Next, Lies, & Videotape (originally titled Music 101) but it was ultimately shelved.[4] In 2016, the group was featured on TV One's "Unsung" series which prompted another reunion for the group after a couple years of being distant.[5][6] In March 2018, the group premiered their new single "Want It" to UAC radio.[7][8]


Studio albumsEdit

List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Rated Next
  • Release: September 30, 1997
  • Label: Arista Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
37 30 20
Welcome II Nextasy
  • Release: June 20, 2000
  • Label: Arista Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
12 4
The Next Episode
  • Release: December 17, 2002
  • Label: J Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
120 27


Title Year Peak positions Certifications Album
US Pop
"Butta Love" 1997 16 4 90 77 Rated Next
"Too Close" 1 1 5 26
"I Still Love You" 1998 14 4 62 44
"Wifey" 2000 7 1 40 19 Welcome II Nextasy
"Beauty Queen" 59 48 33 50
"Imagine That" 2002 91 66 70 13 The Next Episode
(Jaheim featuring Next)
28 6 Ghetto Love
"Want It" 2018 non-album release
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Billboard Awards
    • 1998 Top New Artist (winner)
    • 1998 Top Hot 100 Singles - Duos/Group (winner)
    • 1998 Top R&B Artist - Duos/Group (winner singles & album)
    • 1998 Top New R&B Artist (winner)
    • 1998 Top Hot R&B Singles Artist (winner)
    • 1998 Top Hot R&B Singles Artist - Duos/Group (winner)
    • 1998 Top Hot 100 Single (Winner)
    • 1998 Top Hot R&B Single Airplay (Winner)
  • American Music Awards
    • 1999, Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group: (Nominated)
    • 1999, Favorite New Soul/R&B New Artist: (Nominated)
  • Soul Train Awards
    • 2001, Best R&B/Soul Album by a Band, Duo or Group: Welcome II Nextasy (Nominated)
    • 1999, Best R&B/Soul Single by a Band, Duo or Group: "Too Close" (Winner)


  1. ^ "Next | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Next". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  3. ^ "R&B Group Next Reunite After Failed Label Deals, Group Conflicts & Illness". June 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Hanna, Mitchell (2010-04-06). "Tuesday Rap Release Dates: Drake, Tha Dogg Pound, Joell Ortiz | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  5. ^ Times, Music (June 12, 2016). "R&B Group Next Squashes Beef, Reunites to Bring More Great Music". Music Times.
  6. ^ "#NEXTISBACK #NOE @TheGroupNEXT_ @TweetfromNext @JustRL @TLowFromNext". June 11, 2016.
  7. ^ "Login to All Access | Breaking Radio News and Free New Music |". All Access.
  8. ^ "Tweet From Next on Instagram: "The day is finally here!!! After a long hiatus #NEXT💋 @thegroupnext_ is finally back w/ our new single "Want It". PLEASE call your local…"". Instagram.
  9. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (R&B/Hip Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Music Canada". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  14. ^ "BRIT Certified". BPI. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  15. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (R&B/Hip Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "Next Album & Song Chart History (Pop 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 394. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External linksEdit