The group consisted of four female members, Joanne „JoJo“ McDuffie (lead vocalist), Candice „Candi“ Ghant, Kimberly „Maxi“ Wuletich, and Cheryl „Cheri“ Bailey; stage name Cheri Wells. Each member came to this project with a long list of credits in the entertainment industry spanning many mediums ie. Recording Artists: both lead and background, Songwriters, Film, Commercials, Theater, and National and Intl. Tours; as well as diverse training in Voice, Dance & Acting. Each member participated fully in both the creation of their characters as well as all studio recordings. Every member had at least one lead vocal on each album that showcased their particular talent; in addition to recording background vocals for each other on all tracks. Every member of the group brought their own unique talents to the table. Rick could see the magical possibilities when he brought the four girls together. The rest is history. The origin of the group’s name is commonly believed to be an homage to James’ affinity for marijuana, which is sometimes called „Mary Jane.“ The four group members took on distinctive character looks with matching personalities:
Joanne „JoJo“ McDuffie (lead vocalist) – Sexy and streetwise, very like James himself.
Kimberly „Maxi“ Wuletich – leather queen/dominatrix.
Candice „Candi“ Ghant – Model/Vamp.
Cheryl „Cheri“ Bailey aka Cheri Wells – Valley girl/cheerleader.
Cheri left the group shortly before their next album was released in 1985 and was replaced by Yvette „Corvette“ Marine, who is the daughter of disco singer Pattie Brooks. Marine filled the role of the Valley Girl/Wild and Trendy Girl in the group after Cheri’s departure.
Their self-titled debut album was released in 1983 and yielded the group their first R&B hits: „Candy Man,“ „All Night Long“ (which was included in the soundtrack of the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), and „Boys“. The group released their second album, Only Four You, in 1984. The lead single, „In My House,“ became the group’s biggest hit. The song peaked at #3 on the R&B chart and, soon after, crossed over to the Hot 100 chart, where it reached #7 and spent 12 weeks in the Top 40. To date, this is the Mary Jane Girls’ only Top 40 hit in the U.S. It also charted on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, where the song went to #1 for two weeks in April 1985. „Wild and Crazy Love“ was the second single from this album and it also fared well on the R&B (#10) and dance charts (#3). It barely missed the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #42. The last single, „Break It Up,“ only reached #79 on the R&B chart and did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at all. The group covered the Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons hit, „Walk Like a Man,“ which was included on the soundtrack of the 1986 film A Fine Mess. The Girls’ next single, „Shadow Lover,“ was released in the spring of 1986, but problems with Motown and with James himself resulted in little promotion for the single, although it was performed on Soul Train. They didn’t record a third album and the group officially broke up in 1987.
In the 1990s
Ghant and Wuletich left the group in the ’90s, and McDuffie carried on solo. McDuffie also recorded with Rick James on his Urban Rhapsody CD on the track „Never Say You Love Me Again,“ which was originally written for Teena Marie.
After leaving the Mary Jane Girls, Cheryl Bailey sang lead for Morris Day’s studio group „The DayZs.“
Yvette Marine went on to sue Virgin Records in 1991, claiming that she had shared the lead vocals on the songs „Opposites Attract,“ „Knocked Out,“ and „I Need You“ on Paula Abdul’s debut album Forever Your Girl. In 1993, a jury eventually ruled against Marine.
In 1995, McDuffie, Ghant, and Wuletich, under the name „MJG,“ appeared on daytime talk show Jenny Jones as the show’s first musical guests. Between 1996 and 1997, Ghant and Wuletich left the group once again.
Bailey continues to perform and is living in Portland, Oregon.
McDuffie continues to perform as „JoJo“ Original Lead Singer Mary Jane Girls. She is also a television/movie composer. JoJo has also released a solo project entitled „Slightly Dangerous,“ produced by Danny LeMelle. In the hourly intros to the 2009 VH1 special 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s, McDuffie says she is proud to be a one-hit wonder.
Ghant is still in the music business.
Marine is a married mother of two, and is the host of In The Mix with Yvette, a celebrity profile show.
Wuletich is a successful celebrity chef who just published a cookbook and is developing a T.V. cooking show.
The group appeared on VH1’s Where Are They Now? in 2003. Bailey, Wuletich, Ghant, and Marine appeared in a separate segment from McDuffie, who had just returned from Europe touring with Barry White. JoJo was recently featured on VH1’S 100 HIT WONDERS discussing her new project „Slightly Dangerous“ and showing a recent clip from a concert performance in 2009.
Bearbeitet von sascha1es am 1. Mär. 2010, 16:54
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