Color Me Badd

Color Me Badd
Color Me Badd
Origin Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Genres R&B, New Jack Swing, hip-hop, soul
Years active 1987–2000
Labels Epic Records, Giant Records
Bryan Abrams
Kevin Thornton
Mark Calderon
Sam Watters

Color Me Badd was an R&B vocal group that was formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. The original members of the group were Bryan Abrams (born November 16, 1969); Mark Calderon (born September 27, 1970); Sam Watters (born July 23, 1970) and Kevin Thornton (born June 17, 1969). The group sold 8.8 million records worldwide.



The a cappella, and hip-hop group, whose R&B harmony vocals were offset by mild rap interjections and a post-New Kids on the Block street-dance image, were discovered by Kool & The Gang's Robert Bell in 1990.

Early success

Color Me Badd had five U.S. hit singles from their debut album C.M.B. throughout 1991 and 1992. These were "I Wanna Sex You Up" (U.S. #2), "I Adore Mi Amor" (U.S. #1), "All 4 Love" (U.S. #1), "Thinkin' Back" (U.S. #16) and "Slow Motion" (U.S. #18). "I Wanna Sex You Up" was also on the New Jack City soundtrack and hit number one on the UK Singles Chart.

Their debut album, C.M.B., was released in September 1991. It sold over 6 million copies worldwide and became certified 3x platinum in the United States by the RIAA.

Color Me Badd performed at the 1991 Smash Hits Poll Winners' Awards in the UK, winning the Best New Group trophy. In January 1992, they were awarded the Favourite Single R&B/Soul trophy at the 19th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In March 1992, Color Me Badd won the Best R&B/Soul Single and Song of the Year categories at the sixth annual Soul Train Music Awards.

In October 1992, the group released a remix album entitled Young, Gifted & Badd: The Remixes. It contained the hit single "Forever Love" (U.S. #15), which was also featured on the Mo' Money soundtrack. However, the album peaked at U.S. #189.

The group's third album Time and Chance was released in November 1993. A hugely ambitious project, consisting of nineteen new tracks, this album represented a slight shift in musical style for Color Me Badd. Working with top producers including David Foster, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a more soulful and funky sound had clearly emerged. Although some critics gave it positive reviews, the album did not fare well on the Billboard Album Charts, peaking at #56. It was certified gold in the U.S., for shipments of more than 500,000 units. With the music industry at the time embracing groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, it was difficult for Color Me Badd to deliver the same success on the singles charts as they had done before. The album's title track "Time and Chance" peaked at U.S. #21, while its follow up "Choose" also topped out at U.S. #23.

The group re-emerged in 1996 with their fourth album called Now and Forever. With high-profile producers including Narada Michael Walden, Babyface, Jon B and Boyz II Men, this album was well received by both critics and R&B fans alike. However, once again, sales were well below those expected from the group at around four thousand copies in the U.S. alone.

The album produced one major hit single, "The Earth, The Sun, The Rain," which peaked at U.S. #19. However, it became a popular airwave staple and remained on the Billboard Charts for 19 weeks (the group's second-most-enduring single). The second single, "Sexual Capacity," was a minor hit and appeared on the soundtrack to the Demi Moore film Striptease. This song was co-produced by Robin Thicke under the name Rob Thicke.

After moving to Epic Records, Color Me Badd's fifth album, Awakening, was released in July 1998. Remaining true to their R&B roots, they again received critical acclaim for their vocal harmonies. "Remember When" achieved minor success on radio and has a companion video shot as well.


After Epic Records decided not to renew the band's recording deal, Color Me Badd officially disbanded in May 2000, culminating in the release of their best of set,The Best of Color Me Badd.

Sam Watters pursued a second career as a record producer, achieving success in later years with Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Fantasia, Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield, Kelly Clarkson, 98 Degrees, Blake Lewis, and The Runaways. Watters married R&B singer and former American Idol contestant Tamyra Gray in 2006.

Kevin Thornton released a solo album that features contemporary hip-hop/rap material with gospel and soul music.

Mark Calderon currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and works for a local insurance company.

In 2001, Bryan Abrams released a solo album entitled Welcome to Me.[1] In 2007, Abrams participated in the VH1 reality TV series Mission: Man Band.[2] In 2007, Abrams recorded an appearance on the Insane Clown Posse song "Truth Dare", which was released on the Psychopathic Records compilations Psychopathics from Outer Space 3 (2007) and Featuring Freshness (2011).

In 2010, the group reunited as a trio: Bryan, Kevin & Mark and appeared in the "DirecTV Gameshow: Rock and a Hardplace" hosted by 'Meatloaf.' They were raising funds for an L.A. charity group called "FACE" (raising alcohol awareness to young kids) and competing against 1970s R&B group "Divas." It wasn't revealed why 'Sam Watters' wasn't present.



  • 1991: C.M.B. (Giant) (U.S. #3, U.S. R&B #10, UK Albums Chart #3[3])
    • (U.S. 3x Platinum), (UK: Gold), (Canada: 2x Platinum)
    • Worldwide sales: 6 million
  • 1992: Young, Gifted & Badd: The Remixes (Giant)
  • 1993: Time and Chance (Giant) (U.S. #56, U.S. R&B #10)
    • (U.S. Platinum)
  • 1996: Now and Forever (Giant), (U.S Gold)
  • 1998: Awakening (Epic), (U.S. Gold)
  • 2000: The Best of Color Me Badd (Giant),


Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&R Pop U.S. R&B UK Singles Chart[3] Album
1991 "I Wanna Sex You Up" 2 2 1 1 C.M.B.
"I Adore Mi Amor" 1 1 1 44
"All 4 Love" 1 2 3 5
"Color Me Badd" - - 56 -
1992 "Thinkin' Back" 13 5 1 -
"Slow Motion" 18 6 10 -
"Heartbreaker" - - - 58
"Forever Love" 15 3 11 - Young, Gifted & Badd
1993 "Time and Chance" 21 23 9 62 Time and Chance
1994 "Choose" 23 4 5 65
"Let's Start with Forever" 87 52 30 -
"The Bells" 100 - 73 -
1996 "The Earth, The Sun, The Rain" 19 4 10 - Now & Forever
"Sexual Capacity" 56 60 10 -
1998 "Remember When" 48 48 25 - Awakening


  1. ^ Samaad, Michelle A. (December 21, 2006). "Color Me Badd Singer Back On The Black: Decade in the Making, Bryan Abrams Poised for Solo Debut in 2007 -- Pt2". EURweb. 
  2. ^ Samaad, Michelle A. (December 19, 2006). "Color Me Badd Singer Back On The Black: Decade in the Making, Bryan Abrams Poised for Solo Debut in 2007 -- Pt1". EURweb. 
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 116. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links

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