Poor Tink Tink: Group Members Who Never Got To Shine
When you’re in a group type setting, there’s always going to be a leader, the strong one, someone who plays their position quietly in the background and the person who gets completely overlooked, lost in the sauce. We’re finally giving these folks the shine they were missing in their careers in a boy band or girl group.
J-Boog of B2K
Aww look at our collective boo J-Boog. I say our collective boo because all of the girls I knew growing up around the B2K era all thought J-Boog was the cutest member of the group. (Lil Fizz could get some play when he took his hair out.) But despite Boog’s looks, he didn’t get to really do much when it came to singing the actual songs. He was to B2K what Flavor Flav was to Public Enemy, a hype man. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what Boog’s actual singing voice sounds like. But since the end of the B2K reign, Boog has been busy. He has three children, Anaia, Jarell Jr. and Tru Carter Houston, supporting that pretty boy theory we discussed earlier. He and Lil Fizz are also the cofounders of Popular Entertainment, which includes a record label called, naturally, Popular Records.
Chris Kirkpatrick of N’Sync
Even these hilarious white boy braids/dreds couldn’t direct any attention Chris’ way. Aside from the fact his hair was literally all over the place and he had a penchant for wearing goggles on his head, indoors, I didn’t know anything about Chris when he and N’Sync were still together. In fact, I had to look his name up for this story. But since his N’Sync days, Kirkpatrick’s life has been pretty sweet. He’s done voice acting for “The Fairly Odd Parents,” he participated in a reality show where he proved he had talent as a song writer and last year he married his longtime girlfriend. We see you Chris.
Howie of Backstreet Boys
When I think of the Backstreet Boys, I immediately think of Howie, the Puerto Rican and Irish band member. Not because he was the front man. Quite the contrary. During the Backstreet era, I had a friend who was in love with the man in the shadows and felt it was a true injustice that he didn’t get the shine he deserved within the group. And since he wasn’t being appreciated in the public, she plastered every inch of space in her room with his face to show her love and appreciation. After Backstreet disbanded, Howie pursued a solo career and had moderate success with his single “100.” He even went on tour with Britney Spears in 2011. He also did voice work and played the Santa Claus on an episode of “Dora The Explorer” and made a special appearance on the cartoon “Arthur.” Today Howie owns a real estate company with his brother, is married and has two children.
Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees
Another group member whose name I never even knew. Really, when it came to 98 Degrees I only knew the brothers Nick and Drew Lachey. I don’t know what it is but when you have siblings in a group, the public is always drawn to that dynamic and everyone else is kind of pushed to the background. And that’s certainly the case here considering Timmons is actually the man who founded the group. Though 98 Degrees are currently working together, they took a years long hiatus, during which time Timmons released a solo album that did very well overseas. Today Timmons is very involved in charities, including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and has a multimedia company . He is married and has four children.
Kyle Norman of Jagged Edge
That brother thing is real y’all. And it was heightened with Jagged Edge because the brothers in this group were twins, Brandon and Brian Casey. Brandon and Brian were the lead singers, wrote a lot of the group’s material and even wrote for other big named artists like Usher and Toni Braxton. So of course the other two members would get lost in the shuffle. And since Wingo was a last minute suggestion by Kandi Burruss and his name was Wingo, he got more attention than Kyle. After the group’s success slowed a bit, Norman found himself in trouble with the law. Police found drugs and weapons in his home. We last saw Kyle at the 20th anniversary of So-So Def but judging from his active Twitter account, he seems to be doing well.
Tamika Scott of Xscape
Tamika may be front and center in this picture but in the group… probably not so much. Though we don’t doubt that she could sing, (She and LaTocha were trained by their father and sang in church), she’s just not thee person you think of when someone mentions the name Xscape. LaTocha sang lead all the time, Tiny had a distinctive look and a name that fit and described her to a tee and Kandi could hit those high notes and was obviously about her business. Tamika kind of faded to the background. We saw her most recently when she and her husband reunited on the “R&B Divas” set and then when the two performed at the So-So Def anniversary.
Randy Jackson of The Jackson 5
Must be hard being a Jackson when you haven’t yet proven that you have the family gift of music. When The Jackson Five was formed, Randy was only 3 years old so he wasn’t an original member. Obviously, Michael was the star, Jermaine was on the cusp of what would become a pretty successful solo career and Tito had that cool name and Marlon, after working hard to sing and dance properly, became the choreographer for the group. Though Randy didn’t get to join the group until 1971, seven years the group started, he and Michael would go on to cowrite the Jacksons’ most successful single, “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).” Many regard Randy as the most talented instrumentalist of the group considering he played percussion, keyboards, piano, bass and guitar. When the Jacksons decided they were going to reunite and tour again, Randy opted out. He now has three children.
Mr. Dalvin of Jodeci
You already know Jodeci is two sets of brothers. So instead of both pairs being celebrated equally, it becomes more about which set you’re going to ride for. Clearly, the people spoke and K-Ci and JoJo won that battle. They had the voices. And we all know K-Ci had the stage presence. Devante was the brains of the group, bringing them all together and writing virtually all of their songs. So what was Mr. Dalvin’s role? He rapped and played drums sometimes. And he faded to the background. Sadly, the last we heard of Mr. Dalvin, he was falling off the stage.
Slo Down of The St. Lunatics
Would it be rude to say that Slo Down was basically the mascot for the St. Lunatics? I mean, like a mascot, he got the crew hype. He was fun to look at and he never spoke. I could have missed something but I’ve never heard the man say anything…ever. That’s not true he spoke about his beef with Nelly and the rest of the St. Lunatics in this interview here.
Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child
You knew our girl Michelle was going to make the cut. Now, the decade-long running joke is that Beyoncé didn’t find her worthy to really be in the group. I sincerely doubt all of that. But we will say, coming into Destiny’s Child after a couple of switch ups was no easy feat. And because of the uncertainty with the group’s makeup, I’m sure the founding members, (read: Matthew Knowles) didn’t feel comfortable giving her a prominent role. Plus everybody knows Bey sings lead. And since Kelly was the second lead singer, the only part for Michelle to sing was the bridge…like, on every song. That girl was the most bridge singingest vocalist ever. Which kind of sucks because her voice is so unique. And not only was she relegated to the bridge, her fall on 106 & Park forever solidified her position as the girl in the shadows. But being the shadow girl in DC, with the opportunity to travel the world, have people even know your name and getting to perform at the Superbowl over a decade later is not such a bad deal. Plus Michelle’s done more than well for herself since the ladies parted ways. She has a successful gospel career, starred in Broadway’s Chicago and is getting her acting career off to a nice little start. The come up is real.