Born Cedric Hailey (K-Ci), September 2, 1969; Joel Hailey (JoJo) born, June 10, 1971; both brothers born in Charlotte, North Carolina; parents were gospel singers; children: K-Ci, a son; JoJo, a daughter.
Brothers K-Ci & JoJo—Cedric and Joel Hailey, respectively—began their careers in music during childhood as members of their father’s gospel group, Little Cedric and The Hailey Singers, in North Carolina. In the late 1980s, they met another pair of brothers, Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate and Dalvin DeGrate, who, like the Haileys, performed with their dad in the De-Grate Delegation. In 1990, the quartet formed Jodeci, a group that blended the vocal histrionics of gospel with R&B sounds. The quartet shopped its demo tape to several record label executives in New York City. One of the first stops was Andre Harrell’s Uptown Entertainment, for whom Jodeci performed a cappella. Harrell offered them a deal that subsequently led to three platinum albums, Forever My Lady, Diary of a Mad Band and The Show, The After Party, The Hotel. In 1996, when the promotion of the latter album slowed, K-Ci & JoJo decided to temporarily split from Jodeci to record on their own. As with Jodeci, K-Ci & JoJo’s success came swiftly. The Haileys collaborated with 2Pac (Tupac Shakur) on the song “How Do U Want It”/”California Love,” which was later nominated for a Grammy Award. K-Ci & JoJo, along with Babyface and two of his brothers from the R&B act After 7, recorded “I Care ’Bout You” for the Soul Food soundtrack in 1997.
The brothers made their side projects into a full album, Love Always. Released on June 17, 1997, the album spawned two top-ten R&B hits: “You Bring Me Up” and “Last Night’s Letter”. “All My Life” was the number-one song on the Hot 100 for three weeks, a feat that K-Ci and Jo-Jo had never achieved with Jodeci.Love Always went on to sell four million copies, and the success of the album put Jodeci’s reunion on hold indefinitely.
Their second album,It’s Real,was released on June 22, 1999. It spawned one major hit “Tell Me It’s Real” which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard’s R&B charts. K-Ci and Jo-Jo returned with X on December 5, 2000. “X”, the Roman numeral for ten, was picked as the album title to celebrate the Haileys’ tenth anniversary in the music business. They made a strong return to the Billboard Hot 100 early in 2001 with the song “Crazy”, also included on the Save the Last Dance soundtrack. “Crazy” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
The fourth K-Ci and Jo-Jo album, Emotional, was released on November 26, 2002, but failed to find commercial success. K-Ci and JoJo released a greatest hits album on February 8, 2005. They are believed to have teamed back up with DeVante Swing and Mr. Dalvin for a Jodeci reunion album.