Founding member Melvin Edmonds of the Grammy-nominated group After 7 has died at age 65. No cause of death is being reported at this time but Edmonds’ brother Kevon, acknowledged some years back that Melvin struggled with substance abuse problems over the years.
Melvin’s son, Jason Edmonds took to his Facebook profile to speak on the passing of his father:
“I’ve been receiving and reading everyone’s messages and texts about my Dad. I appreciate the kind words and I’ll have something to say in return. For now, I just need time to process.”
After 7 was founded in Indianapolis in 1987 by Babyface’s brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, as well as Keith Mitchell who was marketed as the cousin of producer L.A. Reid although he is not. He was just a college friend of the two brothers. Jason Edmonds, Melvin Edmonds’ son, later joined as well. Melvin left the group some years back after their third album, but rejoined them recently for After 7’s 2016 release, Timeless.
The group recorded 4 studio albums and is known for their hits “Ready or Not,” “Can’t Stop” and “Nights Like This” from The Five Heartbeats soundtrack.
Writer A. Scott Galloway shared a tribute to Edmonds via his Facebook page.
Saddened this Sunday morning to share that MELVIN EDMONDS (64) of vocal group After 7 has passed on into Soul Heaven…his rightful destination. In all my years of reporting about music at Urban Network in the late `80s through the `90s, he was the cat that came closest to the NATURAL all true soul men that I grew up admiring such as Dennis Edwards, Wilson Pickett and Bobby Womack. Just listen at him on my all-time favorite recording of his, “Can He Love U LIke This” from the trio’s sophomore CD, Takin’ My Time (1992). All you need to hear about the brutha is right there! He also takes the opening verses on their hit cover of The Originals’ “Baby I’m For Real” and the timeless hit ballad “Ready or Not” (one of my favorite music videos of the era). Whewwww… Melvin brought the manhood and the masculinity yet with a cool and smoothness that was the perfect black coffee no cream compliment to the plaintive, higher pitched tenor of his brother Kevon. Melvin was my favorite member of one of my favorite groups of the era…and I’m happy to say HE knew it… They ALL knew it. I always wished he had done just one solo LP.
Just to give you a TASTE of what it was like to chop it up with Melvin…from a 1995 interview I conducted with the group at Virgin Records in Beverly Hills (I rarely do this, y’all, so this is MAD love), HERE is his answer to my question, “Describe the perfect romantic evening?”
Melvin: A romantic evening for me begins with getting rid of the kids `cause I’m truly “married with children!” So that’s an important thing to do. Ya know, romance for me and my wife is quiet time together at home because I’m on the road 75% of the year when we do work. I don’t like the nightlife. I’m talkin’ `bout dinner by candlelight at our house – dressed comfortably with not too much on, you understand what I’m sayin’ – flowers and a little champagne. And just reflecting and being thankful for the things God has allowed us to do, like raise our kids and to be able to approach TRYIN’ to pay all our bills!
My deepest condolences to his four surviving brothers (there were six sons altogether, including Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds – to whom Melvin prophetically gave him his first guitar – and Kevon Edmonds, with whom he sang alongside faithfully for decades), his son Jason who is doing a magnificent job stepping into his shoes, the entire Edmonds family and to fans of After 7 around the world. The planet just lost what no less than The Temptations once defined as “A Lot O’ Soul” this Sunday… Respect.