If you are a fan of R&B music, you might have heard of the names Melvin Riley and Teddy Riley. Both are talented singers, songwriters, and producers who have made their mark in the industry. But are they related by blood or just by music? Here is the truth about the relationship between Melvin Riley and Teddy Riley.
Who is Melvin Riley?
Melvin Riley is an American songwriter, producer, and musician. He was the lead singer of the band Ready for the World before becoming a solo artist. The band had great hits such as “Oh Sheila” and “Love You Down” while Melvin was still a member
Melvin Riley was born on January 17, 1964, in Flint, Michigan. He started singing at an early age and formed Ready for the World with his high school friends in 1982. The band signed with MCA Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1985, which featured the number one hit “Oh Sheila”. The song was a crossover success, topping the Billboard Hot 100, R&B, and dance charts
The band followed up with their second album Long Time Coming in 1986, which included another hit single “Love You Down”. The song reached number nine on the Hot 100 and number two on the R&B chart. The band also collaborated with Prince on the song “Sheila E.” for his movie Under the Cherry Moon
However, by 1987, the band started to experience creative differences and internal conflicts. Melvin Riley left the group to pursue a solo career and released his debut album Ril’s in 1994. The album spawned the singles “Whose Is It?” and “Goin’ Thru a Thang”. He also worked with other artists such as Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, and MC Hammer
Melvin Riley continued to release solo albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s, such as Bedroom Stories (1998), Hot Damn! (2000), and Ghetto Love (2009). He also reunited with Ready for the World for some live performances and tours. In 2019, he announced that he was working on a new album called The Return of Ril’s.
Who is Teddy Riley?
Teddy Riley is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer credited with the creation of the new jack swing genre. Riley credits Barry Michael Cooper with giving the genre its name2 Riley was primarily known in the 1980s and early 1990s for fusing hip hop and R&B in his musical production work, with artists including Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Samantha Mumba, Doug E. Fresh, Heavy D & the Boyz, Hi-Five, Men of Vizion, Profyle, as well as spearheading groups Guy and Blackstreet
Teddy Riley was born on October 8, 1967, in Harlem, New York City. He was a child prodigy who began playing instruments in church at the age of five. His uncle owned the famed Harlem club The Rooftop, where he built a studio for Riley to work in. By 14, he was producing tracks for upstate New York rappers. Under the guidance of local music producer Gene Griffin, Riley formed the short-lived group Kids at Work. At the age of 18, Riley produced Kool Moe Dee’s 12″ single “Go See the Doctor”. The song became a crossover hit, reaching number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100
In 1987, Riley, Aaron Hall, and Timmy Gatling formed the R&B group Guy. Managed by Gene Griffin, Riley’s work with Guy pioneered the new jack swing style of R&B. Riley infused his own blend of hip-hop beats, R&B progressions and the gospel vocal stylings of Hall to create the archetypal new jack swing sound on Guy’s eponymous debut. The album featured hits such as “Groove Me”, “Teddy’s Jam”, “I Like”, and “Piece of My Love”. The group also opened for New Edition on their Heart Break tour in 1988
In 1989, Riley produced Big Daddy Kane’s “I Get the Job Done”, as well as other work for The Jacksons, The Winans, James Ingram. In that year, he also helped produce the debut album of his rap-band Wreckx-N-Effect. He also created the highly successful remix of Jane Child’s “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love”, which became a crossover pop smash
After the release and tour of Guy’s second album The Future in 1990, Riley co-produced half of Michael Jackson’s album Dangerous on the recommendation of Jackson’s long-time producer Quincy Jones. Riley worked on songs such as “Remember the Time”, “Jam”, “In the Closet”, and “She Drives Me Wild”. The album sold over 30 million copies worldwide and earned Riley a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year
After the disbandment of Guy in 1992, Riley moved to production, performance on and promotion of Wreckx-N-Effect’s second album Hard or Smooth. The album featured the hit single “Rump Shaker”, which peaked at number two on the Hot 100 and number one on the R&B chart. The song also featured a guest verse from a young Pharrell Williams, who was part of Riley’s production team The Neptunes
In late 1991, Riley formed a second group, Blackstreet. The group would go on to release several major hits, including “Don’t Leave Me” (1997), the number one single “No Diggity” (1996, featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen), and “Girlfriend/Boyfriend” (1999, with Janet Jackson, Eve, and Ja Rule). The group won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “No Diggity” in 1998
In 2000, Riley worked with Spice Girl Melanie B on the tracks “ABC 123”, “I Believe”, and “Pack Your S**t” for her solo debut album Hot. He also produced songs for artists such as NSYNC, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Robin Thicke, and K-pop groups Wonder Girls and EXO. In 2010, he reunited with Guy for a tour and a new album called Guy III. In 2016, he was inducted into the Soul Train Music Hall of Fame
Are Melvin Riley and Teddy Riley Related?
The answer is no. Melvin Riley and Teddy Riley are not related by blood or by marriage. They are both R&B stars who share the same last name, but they have no familial connection whatsoever. They have never collaborated musically either, although they have worked with some of the same artists in the industry
However, they do have some things in common besides their surname and their musical genre. They both started their careers at a young age and formed successful groups that influenced the sound of R&B in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They both also left their original groups to pursue solo careers and later reunited with them for tours and albums. They both also have large families, with Melvin having six children and Teddy having eight children
Melvin Riley and Teddy Riley are both legends in their own right, but they are not related in any way. They are simply two talented musicians who share a passion for R&B music and a common last name.