Melvin Edmonds, a founding member of Indianapolis R&B group After 7 and older brother of Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, died Saturday following a short illness. He was 65.
His death was confirmed by his son, also named Melvin.
After 7 landed three singles in the Top 20 of Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart in the early 1990s: “Can’t Stop,” “Ready or Not” and “Heat of the Moment.” A 2016 comeback album, “Timeless,” sent three songs — “Runnin’ Out,” “I Want You” and “Let Me Know” — into the Top 10 of Billboard’s adult R&B songs chart.
R&B singer Melvin Edmonds, center of top row, died Saturday at age 65. He co-founded Indianapolis group After 7 with his brother, Kevon Edmonds, left, and Keith Mitchell, seated. Jason Edmonds, right, is the son of Melvin Edmonds. Jason joined the group before the release of 2016 album “Timeless.” (Photo: Provided by Entertainment One Music)
Edmonds was the second oldest of six sons born to Marvin Edmonds Sr. and Barbara Edmonds: Marvin Jr., Melvin, Michael, Kevon, Kenny, and Derek. Marvin Sr. died in 1972, followed by Marvin Jr. in 2011 and Barbara in 2012.
Led by the success of Babyface, an 11-time Grammy Award winner, the Edmonds have been described as Indiana’s most prominent musical family since the Jackson 5.
The roots of After 7 trace to when Kevon met Keith Mitchell on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, where they were members of the IU Soul Revue.
“Weekends and during the summer months we would come to Indianapolis and hook up with my brother Melvin and we’d sing harmony parts together,” Kevon told The Indianapolis News in 1990. “It just kind of culminated over a period of years.”
After 7 was nominated for a Grammy in the category of best R&B performance by a duo or group for 1990 single “Can’t Stop.” After 7 won an NAACP Image Award for best new male artist or group that year.
Melvin exited the lineup of After 7 following the release of the group’s third album, “Reflections,” in 1995. His son, Jason, joined Kevon Edmonds and Mitchell in After 7 when the group re-emerged as a touring entity following Kevon’s solo debut, 1999’s “24/7.”
The “Timeless” album brought Melvin back into the group, which became a quartet for the first time.
Melvin Edmonds is survived by four children: Melvin, Jason, Chris and Courtney.
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