Group 1 Crew

Balancing intensity and good times, popular Christian hip-hop/dance-pop collective Group 1 Crew are led by their one consistent member, Jose "Manwell" Reyes. The group formed in Orlando, Florida in the mid-2000s, settling into a lineup fronted by the singing trio of Reyes, Blanca Callahan (then going by her maiden name, Blanca Reyes, no relation), and Pablo Villatoro. They had a hit with their first single, "Can't Go On," a mix of melodic pop, rap, and Caribbean rhythms. It was included on the I Have a Dream EP, released by Fervent Records in late 2006. The song also appeared on the WOW Hits 2007 collection. An eponymous full-length debut followed early in 2007 and included the single "Forgive Me," which was featured on an episode of the TV drama One Tree Hill. That LP made it into the Top 40 of Billboard's Christian Albums chart. Later that year, they released the EP No Plan B, with the Ordinary Dreamers LP arriving in the summer of 2008. It landed in the Top 20. They issued two more EPs, Movin': The EP and Spacebound, before their third album, 2010's Outta Space Love saw release and climbed to number four, their highest chart position to date. It also marked their debut on the Billboard 200. Villatoro left the group in 2011, and, behind the singles "He Said" and "His Kind of Love," 2012's Fearless returned the remaining duo to the Christian Top Ten. Callahan then announced she was leaving to focus on family and a solo career. With Reyes as the sole face of the project, 2014 brought a pair of EPs titled #Faster and #Stronger, which featured guests such as Christian EDM group Capital Kings and singer Moriah Peters. Still with Fervent, their fifth long-player, Power, continued Group 1 Crew's streak of charting albums. ~ Marcy Donelson

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