The Stylistics

Philadelphia soul pioneers The Stylistics formed in 1968. They are best known for a string of hit singles in the early 1970s including “Betcha by Golly Wow”, “I’m Stone in Love with You”, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New”. The Stylistics’ smooth, passionate, pop-soul sound introduced audiences to what was soon referred to as Philadelphia Soul, a genre that dominated the charts in the mid-1970s just prior to the disco revolution. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Fronted by main vocalists Airrion Love and Russell Thompkins, Jr., the group made its recorded debut in 1970 with the single “You’re a Big Girl Now”. Hooking up with producer and songwriter Thom Bell and his songwriting partner Linda Creed, The Stylistics began their string of hits that landed in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles and Hot R&B Singles charts. Their highest charting singles on the Hot 100 were “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (Number 2), “Betcha by Golly Wow” (Number 3), and “Break Up to Make Up” (Number 5). When Bell and The Stylistics parted ways in 1974, their commercial success in the U.S. began to wane. However, their popularity in Europe – particularly in England – was on the rise and they continued to have charting hits including “Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)”. A label change to Philadelphia International Records and a reunion with producer Bell helped the band regain some commercial momentum. However, the loss of several members – including lead falsetto vocalist Russell Thompkins, Jr. – led to another commercial downturn. They Stylistics continued to tour and release new studio material. Since leaving the original band, Russell Thompkins, Jr. formed a new vocal group called The New Stylistics.

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