Tony! Toni! Toné! Biography
This swingbeat trio from Oakland, California, was formed by brothers Dwayne (14 February 1963, Oakland, California, USA; lead vocals, guitar) and Raphael Wiggins (b. Charlie Ray Wiggins, 14 May 1966, Oakland, California, USA; lead vocals/bass), and their cousin Timothy Christian (b. 10 December 1965, Oakland, California, USA; drums). They arrived with Little Walter in 1988, a US R&B number 1 hit, which combined the best traditions of soul with new age rap. The trio remained at their most successful when moving, unceremoniously, from tight, gospel-tinged harmonics to assured, laconic hip-hop, as on 1990s hit, It Never Rains In Southern California. Despite their high profile (notably as support on Janet Jacksons 1993 US tour), they still retained a sense of propriety and musical history. Christian played for his church when at home, while Raphael made his public debut at age seven playing bass with his fathers semi-professional blues band. Their name (pronounced Tony on each of the three occurrences) was taken from a character they invented when they went out shopping to buy vintage clothing. After four albums of high-quality, modern R&B the trio split-up to concentrate on solo projects. Dwayne Wiggins was the first member to release a solo album with March 2000s Motown Records debut, Eyes Never Lie. His brother, going under the name of Raphael Saadiq, teamed up with DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad (ex-A Tribe Called Quest) and Dawn Robinson (ex-En Vogue) in the R&B supergroup Lucy Pearl, before also embarking on a solo career.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.