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Maurice Starr

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b. USA. A Boston-based entrepreneur who was the svengali behind New Kids On The Block and New Edition. Described in one newspaper article as ‘a cross between Berry Gordy and P.T. Barnum’, Starr was a failed R&B singer when he decided instead to create, manage and produce an act which would perform his songs. He assembled New Edition in 1982, hand picking the five black teenagers that comprised the group. They went on to have several US Top 10 R&B hits (with ‘Cool It Now’ also making the pop Top 5) before its key members split, most notably Bobby Brown, who has had a successful solo career. In 1984 Starr applied the same formula to a quintet of white teenagers and by 1989, New Kids On The Block were the fastest-rising act in the USA. Starr also handled the group’s lucrative marketing of posters, T-shirts, and other spin-offs. He later attempted to repeat his success with artists such as Rick Wes, Perfect Gentlemen, Homework, the Superiors, Tommy Page and Ana.

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1953 in DeLand, FL

Years Active:

'80s, '90s