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Jodeci

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Charlotte NC, United States (1990 – 1996)

Jodeci was an American musical group, active from 1990 to 1996, whose repertoire included R&B, soul music, and new jack swing. The group consisted of two pairs of African-American brothers from Charlotte, North Carolina: the DeGrates (Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate, the group founder/leader, and Dalvin DeGrate) and the Haileys (main lead singer Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and second lead singer Joel “Jo-Jo” Hailey). The group’s name is a combination of the names of its members: Jo-Jo, DeVante and Dalvin, and K-Ci.

If Boyz II Men are portrayed as a clean-cut, wholesome R&B vocal group, then Jodeci’s wild, sexual, bad-boy image represents the other side of the coin. Made up of two sets of brothers, the group’s name is a consolidation of three members’ aliases: “JoJo” Hailey, Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate, and Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey; the group also includes Dalvin DeGrate. Natives of Charlotte, NC, all four members toured the South as young boys singing gospel music, even recording albums; both families belonged to the Pentecostal church, and the DeGrates’ father was a minister. The boys were able to hear each other’s gospel songs played on the radio, and eventually were introduced through girlfriends as teenagers. However, when they did meet, K-Ci was with a girl Dalvin had been dating, and a fight nearly broke out. The Hailey brothers and DeVante started hanging out together, partying and talking about making R&B records together, coming up with the name Jodeci at this time.

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