For Real

For Real were a contemporary R&B vocal act who arrived in the wake of new jack swing, though the ballads and slow jams that dominated their output were rooted more in traditional soul -- and singers such as Deniece Williams and Anita Baker -- than it was in hip-hop. Formed in 1993, the group featured singers Latanyia Baldwin, Necia Bray, Josina Elder, and Wendi Williams. They debuted on major-label A&M the following year with It's a Natural Thang, an album that produced three charting singles, including "You Don't Wanna Miss," a Top 30 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop hit that narrowly missed the upper half of the Hot 100. In 1995, they were part of the all-women cast heard in "Freedom (Theme from Panther)," and they also appeared on the multi-platinum, Babyface-produced soundtrack for Waiting to Exhale with "Love Will Be Waiting at Home." The latter song was also contained on the group's Free in 1996. Issued on Dallas Austin's Rowdy label, Free, the second and final For Real full-length, was highlighted by the Motown throwback "Like I Do," which peaked at number 72 on the Hot 100. After that, the members went their separate ways. Most notably, Williams provided the singing voice of Dorothy Dandridge -- as portrayed by Halle Berry -- in the 1999 television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. ~ Andy Kellman

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