Late 1990’s and early 2000’s singing-in-the-rain grooves may be making a big comeback. R&B singers Donell Jones, Dave Hollister, and Carl Thomas have formed a supergroup ready to put on for the Windy City. The three men who all hail from Chicago have decided to name their group The Chi and revealed the news to fans on social media.
“The music…the voices finally coming together to give your ears and hearts what you’ve been waiting for…we started talking about this in 2009 and now the time has finally come,” Hollister wrote on Instagram. “Brothas I count it an honor and privilege to Rep home with you both! LETS GO!
“New R&B Group ‘The Chi,'” Jones wrote on his own account, on the same platform, tagging his groupmates. “Yesssss it’s happening! The level of music and songwriting will be impeccable and you already know the voices! It’s only right for us to come together and represent Chicago and R&B to the fullest.”
Thomas’s big reveal simply stated “Next up! ‘The Chi’” and added the hashtag #SoulMusic.
Though all three careers share a similar timeline, the men have yet to officially collaborate musically in any capacity. While a release date for new music has not been announced, once issued it will end the hiatus of Thomas, who has not dropped a project since 2011, and Hollister who has slowed down since 2016. Jones released a solo project 100% Free this past Valentine’s Day.
Although he has not released new music in almost a decade, Thomas’s discography includes classic radio hits and deep cuts. The 49-year-old singer was signed to Bad Boy Entertainment in 1997 and his break-out hit “I Wish” reigned supreme on the R&B charts. His debut album Emotional was certified platinum and he was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for a collaborative effort with Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, and the late Gerald Levert.
Hollister began in the industry as one of four men in the group Blackstreet, before launching his solo career. The 52-year-old has released eight individual LP’s including Ghetto Hymns and Chicago ’85: The Movie, both of which are certified gold. His last project was 2016’s The Manuscript.
Jones released his debut album My Heart in 1996, however, his breakout moment was with his sophomore project Where I Wanna Be. The youngest of the trio, at 48, Jones’ biggest hits include the title track to his second album and “U Know What’s Up” from the same certified platinum LP.
R&B supergroups could be a warmly welcomed trend in 2021. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars teamed up to form the duo Silk Sonic and so far have released the chart-topper “Leave The Door Open.” As VIBE reported, the two plan to release a joint album titled An Evening With Silk Sonic. Its release date has yet to be announced.