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Three Stripes: Bell Biv DeVoe continues its R&B legacy

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 05: (L-R) Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, and Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe accept the Soul Train Certified Award onstage at the 2017 Soul Train Awards, presented by BET, at the Orleans Arena on November 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for BET)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 05: (L-R) Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, and Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe accept the Soul Train Certified Award onstage at the 2017 Soul Train Awards, presented by BET, at the Orleans Arena on November 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for BET)

Earlier this year, Bell Biv DeVoe released its fourth album, “Three Stripes” (eOne Music). It was the first new studio project since 2001’s “BBD” for the R&B group, performing at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ron DeVoe, who first hit the charts in the 1980s as members of New Edition, didn’t sit idle between albums. The singers took a few minutes recently to discuss Bell Biv DeVoe, performing and new music.

DeVoe: "One of the things that's almost like a gift and a curse for us is the fact we really started in the industry to be entertainers. We just love to perform and we're out there doing 75 shows a years, give or take, plus or minus. We weren't moved to record a new album but once we made the decision to go ahead and jump and release this new project, it was just a matter of phone calls. We've been in this industry for a long time and, fortunately, we have a lot of friends that have been sitting in the wings waiting for us to jump back in the game. The recording process was pretty easy. It was maybe a month-and-a-half total, from start to finish, to knock out this project."

Bivins: "The new album is an independent release. When we came to eOne we already had a record that had chart movement and had radio so they could see that people still enjoy us. We broke the record and we just needed eOne to run it up the charts and handle the distribution for the hard copies for the fans that are of the age that still want to go buy a CD more than a download. Plus, in so many years things revert back to us. It's our first investment. It's a great business move."

Bell: "We were doing the same concert for a little while so having the new music gave the show a little life. The audience that bought the album was happy, and the same fans have been holding us down all this time, so we were able to spice it up and do something different for them. It felt fresh for us, too, because after doing the same songs for 20-something years, you want to do something a little different. We hope to make more music so we feel like we're moving forward and make sure the concert has more fresh material that helps the show. We're just going to keep working and extending our legacy."

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at donaldthrasher8@aol.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Bell Biv DeVoe

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton

When: 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27

Cost: $42-$72

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.ticketcenterstage.com

Artist info: www.bellbivbevoe.com