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Troop began as a teen group that won $1000 on Puttin' on the Hits, a nationally televised contest, by dancing and lip-synching to New Edition's "Cool It Now." The Pasadena, California quintet -- Rodney Benford, John Harreld, Allen McNeil, Steve Russell, and Reggie Warren -- were then signed to Atlantic, and their 1988 debut single, the LeVert-produced "Mamacita," taken from their self-titled album, reached number two on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart. Their second album, 1989's Attitude, featured two number one Hot Soul singles -- including the Chuckii Booker collaboration "Spread My Wings" -- and earned an RIAA gold certification. Deepa, released in 1992, was a creative step forward and contained yet another Hot Soul chart topper in "Sweet November," a Deele cover, but the group subsequently went independent with two more full-lengths released later in the decade. Troop went inactive for several years but occasionally recorded and toured. In 2013, they released a single titled "Forever." Within the music industry, Russell had the most success outside the group as part of the songwriting and production team the Underdogs. ~ Ron Wynn & Andy Kellman