Michael McCary Reveals Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis And Impact It Had On Boyz II Men
We told you last week that for Fix My Life, Iyanla Vanzant was bringing some well-known men along with everyday brothas into her House of Healing to unpack their pain and, well, find some healing. Some of those men included singer Kevin McCall and former Boyz II Men singer Michael McCary, otherwise known as Mike Bass, who we all knew for his insane bass work in the group.
In an attempt to be open with Vanzant and the other men in the house, McCary talked publicly about having multiple sclerosis for the first time, and how it impacted his work with the iconic group, sending him spiraling. People heard rumors that he’d been ill, but what exactly McCary had been going through, the singer kept to himself for years.
According to McCary, his MS “sent me into a depression” and “put the fear of God in me.”
“I was in Boyz II Men when I first saw some of the ailments start to happen,” the 44-year-old said. “It was little back spasms at first. And then it would get stronger and stronger. Each time it would get more harsh. Once I was about 22 it started going into full scale. They were saying I have a nerve around the side that was locked in place that could sever if I step wrong. ‘It’s a possibility that you could be paralyzed.’
Just two years ago his former band mates were telling a different tale. According to their understanding, he had scoliosis. However, they thought he quit in 2003 because his heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
As Nathan Morris told Marc Lamont Hill on Huffington Post Live in 2014, “He didn’t want the dance rehearsal. Every now and then he’d want to do some of the studio stuff. But he enjoyed the fame and everything else that we enjoyed. But I mean like Shawn said, it seemed like he kind of gave up when things didn’t go well. It was great when everything was fine because you can make mistakes and nobody cares. But when you put out records and nobody buys them and your career takes a dip. The heart of the group was these three that kept it going because he was just off on his own thing. Some gigs he didn’t show up. He wouldn’t come to rehearsal. Some records he wasn’t on. When it was bad, he wasn’t there and that’s when we really needed him the most.”
But as McCary pointed out, the depression due to his struggles with MS could have been the reason he wasn’t all the way there after years of the same song and dance. Not to mention the physical limitations the illness caused since he was a young man likely held him back. Still, as Vanzant pointed out, his willingness to share his story now proves that he’s ready to make changes to improve his situation and open his heart. And while I don’t see a full Boyz II Men reunion happening in the near future, hopefully he can clear the air with his former group mates so they understand what he’s really been going through.