Ralph Tresvant sang lead on New Edition's hits and had his own gold number one R&B hit with the silky "Sensitivity." He was the last member to release a solo project of his own. All of the group's previous members had number one R&B hits: Bobby Brown with "Girlfriend " and Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronald DeVoe as Bell Biv DeVoe (aka BBD) with "Poison." Besides this, Tresvant had New Edition's formidable chart success to contend with: four number one R&B singles, "Candy Girl" (gold), "Cool It Now," "Mr. Telephone Man," and "Can You Stand the Rain." Could Ralph Tresvant have hits after New Edition as a solo artist? But then again having Tresvant's record come out after his previous bandmates could be an advantage because he could gauge what his music should be like based on the response of the fans.
Born May 15, 1968, to Patricia Ann Tresvant and Ralph Tresvant, Sr., Ralph Tresvant grew in the Roxbury section of Boston. He joined Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronald DeVoe in a group formed by producer/songwriter Maurice Starr. Starr's concept was to form a group that was basically a "new edition" of the Jackson 5. Paradoxically, Motown founder Berry Gordy wanted to mold the Jackson 5 into a "new edition" of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Signed to StreetWise Records, the group scored with "Candy Girl." The hits continued with "Is This the End" (number eight R&B), "Lost in Love" (number six R&B), "Count Me Out" (number two R&B for two weeks), "Earth Angel" from the movie Karate Kid Part 2 (number three R&B), "Once in a Lifetime Groove" from the Gregory Hines/Billy Crystal movie Running Scared (number ten R&B), "Tears on My Pillow" with Little Anthony of Little Anthony and the Imperials, "If It Isn't Love" (number two R&B, number seven pop), "You're Not My Kind of Girl" (number three R&B), and "Crucial" (number four R&B).
School has also always seemed more important to Ralph than music.
When he joined New Edition, he wasn't sure how serious he should be about his music.
Even when New Edition released their debut album, he still wasn't sure a music career at such an early age was worth quitting school for.
He still wanted to live up to his parents insistence of him staying in school.