New Edition is stopping by Tamron Hall on Tuesday (Feb. 15), and Billboard has an exclusive preview of the boy band looking back on the time they surpassed Michael Jackson on the Billboard charts.
“You topped Michael Jackson!” host Tamron Hall exclaims during the interview. “I can’t even understand how you process that, knowing how [he] influenced you and then your song beats Michael Jackson’s song on the Billboard [charts.]”
“At the time, we didn’t know either,” replies lead singer Ralph Tresvant as Ronnie DeVoe nods in agreement. “We didn’t know what we did; we didn’t know what type of accomplishment the Billboard charts were and all that. We just heard that … you know, we knew that that was a countdown of the music and the best music that’s out right now.”
He continued: “So when we heard that we beat Michael, that was just all that meant to us. ‘Oh we beat Michael Jackson, we must be doin’ good!’ But overall, we didn’t really understand the charts then. We were just little boys getting into the industry, figuring it all out.”
The moment in question came when the boy band’s breakout single “Candy Girl” rose to No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for one week in May 1983, edging out the King of Pop’s “Beat It,” which came in at No. 2. (Jackson would take the top spot the following week.) New Edition would go on to top the chart four more times throughout their career with “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Can You Stand the Rain” and “Hit Me Off.”
The group is currently readying their recently announced 30-city Culture Tour, which kicks off April 10 in Miami with openers Charlie Wilson and Jodeci.
Watch Billboard‘s exclusive preview of Tuesday’s Tamron Hall below. Check local listings for air time.