Groove Theory was an R&B duo comprised of singer-songwriter Amel Larrieux and actor/producer/songwriter, Bryce Wilson. The duo signed with Epic Records, and in 1995, they released their self-titled debut album Groove Theory. This featured such singles as “Tell Me”, which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B charts, “Baby Luv”, which reached #18 on the R&B chart, and “Keep Trying”, which reached #36 on the R&B charts. The Groove Theory album was certified gold.
While Groove Theory the album was doing well, the group itself was fighting to hold on. Between having different views on the direction of their next album and the label having a totally different view than both Amel and Bryce, making music was no longer fun.
As a result, in 1999 Amel Larrieux left the group to pursue a solo career. She released her solo debut album, Infinite Possibilities, on Epic Records in 2000. The album peaked at #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the R&B charts. Not quite the numbers the label, or Amel, were expecting which subsequently lead to Amel being dropped from the label. In 2003, Amel founded her own independent label, Blissful Records, where she released her next three albums.
Bravebird, Amel’s second solo album and first Blissful Records album, was released in January, 2004. It failed to break the Billboard Hot 100, yet managed to reach #28 on the R&B charts and #5 on the Independent Albums charts. It featured a few notable singles such as “For Real”, “Giving Something Up” and a collaboration with Stanley Clarke and Glenn Lewis on a cover of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack’s “Where Is the Love,” which received a Grammy Awards nomination in 2004 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Morning, Amel’s third album, was released in April 2006. It reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100, #8 on the R&B charts and #5 on the Independent Albums charts, making Morning her highest charting solo album to date. It featured such singles as “Weary”, “No One Else” (which was on the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s 2007 Why Did I Get Married?), and “Gills and Tails”.
Lovely Standards, a jazz standard, Amel’s fourth album was released in May 2007. It failed to break the Billboard Hot 100 however; it did reach #3 on the Top Jazz charts.
Bryce carried on with Makeda Davis, Amel’s replacement. With a new singer and a new label, Columbia records, Groove Theory worked on their new album The Answer, which was set to be released in 2001. However, Bryce became displeased with Columbia’s handling of the project and asked to be released from the label causing the album to remain unreleased.
After severing ties with Columbia, Bryce went on to produce for such acts as Amerie, Beyonce, Brandy, Changing Faces, Mary J. Blige, Mya, and Whitney Houston as well as countless others. His productions helped sell more than fifty million copies and won him 2 Grammy Awards.
He then went on to act in a number of films from 2000 to 2008. Most notably in 2004, when he played a character named Drake in the movie Hair Show. He followed up Hair Show in 2005 when he played a character named James in the movie Beauty Shop.
Both received modest success on their own but they announced in February 2010,that they were currently in the studio working on Groove Theory’s second official album. The duo had their first live show together in October 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. I will be the first to say, I am very excited to hear that Groove Theory is back together and working. I am looking forward to hearing that second album and hopefully they will remain the dynamic duo of Amel Larrieux and Bryce Wilson.