112 is an American R&B quartet from Atlanta, Georgia. Formerly artists on Bad Boy Records, the group signed to the Def Soul roster in 2002. They had great success in the late 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as “Only You”, “Anywhere” and the Grammy Award-nominated single, “Peaches & Cream”. The group most notably won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for featuring in the song “I’ll Be Missing You” with Sean Combs and Faith Evans.
The group had its start when the members met while attending high school. The original group consisting of Daron Jones, Michael Keith, & Reginald Finley sang together while Jones & Keith were in middle school & Finley was in high school. Once they joined Finley in high school they met fellow schoolmate Aldon Lagon who was working at a local McDonald’s in Atlanta & added him due to his deep bass voice. They then met a gifted high tenor vocalist Marvin Scandrick they sang with in the school chorus. Known as “Forte” at the time, the group performed talent shows and performed at churches and schools around Atlanta. After Wales was able to secure an audition for the group outside of Atlanta’s Club 112 in the Buckhead of town the boys sang for Combs & impressed him & after another audition for Combs in front of Bad Boy producer Chucky Thompson, Bad Boy Records artist Faith Evans & Combs protégé Usher & a co-sign from Thompson & Evans, Combs signed the now quartet of Michael Keith, Marvin Scandrick, Daron Jones, & Quinnes Parker to Bad Boy Records. The group then changed their name from Forte to 112 after the Atlanta club where Combs first had the boys to audition.
Soon afterwards they found themselves living in New York City, recording their debut album 112. Released in 1996, the album eventually went double platinum. The album which was primarily produced by Tim & Bob entered into the top 5 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, and went on to sale over two million copies. It featured the hit singles “Only You” and “Cupid”, both of which peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 and #3 and #2 on the R&B charts respectively. The group also contributed to records by artists including The Notorious B.I.G., Sean Combs (as Puff Daddy) and Mase. The group eventually went on the road as the opening act for the Isley Brothers at Ron Isley’s request, the first of four separate tours that saw the group criss-crossing the U.S. with Keith Sweat, New Edition and finally Puff Daddy and the Family, over an 18-month period. In the years that followed, they toured with other performers such as Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson.
A series of single tracks by 112 populated the charts in 1997, beginning with the Tim & Bob produced single “Come See Me,” which hit the top 40 in January. “Cupid,” Produced by Arnold Hennings, released in May, made the top 10 and was certified gold in the same month. By August “Cupid” went platinum. Another 1997 single, “I’ll Be Missing You,” hit the top 40 in June and was certified triple platinum by July. Attaining the number one chart position by August, the song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1997. “I’ll Be Missing You” sat at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for eleven weeks and spent nine weeks at the top of the Hot Singles sales. The track also topped the R&B singles, R&B singles sales, and rap singles charts for eight weeks running. The group booked tours with the Isley brothers, Keith Sweat, and New Edition, as well as with Puff Daddy and the Family, totaling four separate tours. The group spent 18 successive months on the road fulfilling tour commitments.
Their second album, Room 112 was released in 1998, and featured the hits, “Love Me” featuring Mase and “Anywhere” featuring Lil Zane. Both the album and the song “Love Me” were certified gold. Album sales surpassed the platinum level by January 1999, and double platinum sales were recorded in 2002. To continue supporting the album further, 112 went on tour with singer Whitney Houston for her U.S. My Love Is Your Love Tour in the summer of 1999.
A 2001 single, “It’s Over Now”, charted at the top of the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs. The group’s third album, Part III was released in 2001, spun the hit Peaches & Cream, and earned the group their first and only Grammy nomination in the Best R&B Group or Duo category. While the group was in production on a new album for 2001, however, executive producer Combs was called to court repeatedly, regarding a shooting incident. Instead of taping at the usual accommodations in Combs’s studio, 112 went to Nashville, Tennessee, to record the new disc. It was a move that signaled a pending split with Bad Boy Records. The album, Part III, was released on March 20, 2001, following an intensive barrage of advance radio publicity. Even in the absence of Combs, Part III took off with a running start. It raced up the charts to debut at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. Surpassing gold sales in April, the album went platinum in May. To promote the album further, 112 joined Janet Jackson that summer for her U.S. All for You World Tour. Among the singles released from the album, an upbeat track called “Peaches and Cream”—which was credited in part to Combs—scored another crossover hit for the band. Released in June, the track soared to number one on the Rhythmic Top 40 and peaked at number four on the Hot 100. The group earned two award nominations for the song that year: an MTV Best Video nomination in September, and a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.