Last night at the BET Awards when New Edition received their award for Lifetime Achievement, Ricky Bell gave a special shout-out to all the parents out there who introduced their kids to their music.
I responded with a resounding, “YOU ARE WELCOME”, before I turned to look at my 17-year-old daughter who was pre-occupied with trying to remember how the choreography for New Edition’s song, “If It Isn’t Love”, went.
Now she may not be quite the NE For Lifer just yet (In case you’re wondering, “NE for Life” is a term used to describe a die-hard New Edition fan. One who’ll be a fan for life. Hence, “NE of Life”.) but she definitely loves their songs. And I couldn’t be more happy that she appreciates their music as much as I do.
In a previous post, I mentioned that my daughter was a pretty big One Direction fan. When she first discovered them, her dad told her it was probably just a phase and that she would probably be over them in about a year.
This didn’t sit well with my then 14-year-old Directioner. She made it a point to tell us two years into her One Direction fangirl journey that her love for the biggest boy band was still as strong as Day 1.
I countered by asking her whether she thought One Direction would still be around after 5, 10, 30 years the way my favorite groups were. At the time, it was a moot point for her. How long New Edition and Duran Duran have been together was no concern to her.
Last night, she had a different perspective.
Older, wiser and a One Direction break-up later, my daughter could finally appreciate what groups like New Edition have accomplished. They survived the ups and downs of the music industry — rising to fame as young teens, experiencing problems with their record label, kicking out a member, launching their solo careers, attempting to reunite to produce new records — and now look at them. Still going strong, still able to work the stage, still doing their thing and gaining new fans, younger fans, along the way.
My daughter let out a deep sigh before admitting that she didn’t think One Direction would survive their break up. They’re all busy with their solo careers which is what they all wanted before they were brought together to become the biggest boy band in the history of boy bands. It would take a while before they even began thinking about reunion.
As I sympathized with my daughter assuring her she just needed to give it time and not to lose hope, I silently thanked my lucky stars that New Edition was still going strong. (Not to mention my other all-time favorite band, Duran Duran.) In fact, stronger than ever. And there’s always room for newer, younger fans in the New Edition family and fandom. Plenty of space for my daughter to join in.
NE for life!