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Brownstone was a Grammy Award nominated female R&B group popular during the mid-1990s. They are best known for the 1995 hit single, “If You Love Me”. They also had some success with the singles “Grapevyne”, and “I Can’t Tell You Why”, a song originally recorded by the Eagles.
The three original members of Brownstone were Nicole “Nicci” Gilbert, Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell and Monica “Mimi” Doby. The group was founded in Los Angeles after the three singers met each other after going to different auditions around the city. They formed the group, and less than a year later were signed to Michael Jackson’s MJJ Music Record Label. They recorded their debut album, From the Bottom Up which spawned the hit “If You Love Me”. In 1995 the band was awared with a Grammy nomination and a Billboard Music Award.
After extensive touring around the globe, Doby left the group after what was released in the media in an interview with BET Video Soul host Donnie Simpson as a medical problem of bronchitis, but was later revealed to be because of internal strife with the other two members of the group[citation needed]. She was replaced by Kina Cosper and after a difficult transition period where their audience was not very receptive to the change, Brownstone had a brief showing with “5 Miles to Empty”. However, the group never regained their popularity, and their subsequent albums were considered commercial failures.
Since the group broke up Nicole “Nicci” Gilbert has acted in the 1998 film Woo, staring Jada Pinkett Smith and Dave Chappelle, as well as television shows Living Single, Sister, Sister, New York Undercover, and Martin and the 2004 Tyler Perry play Meet the Browns as Aunt Vera.
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