Multi-Platinum Hit Record Producer, Songwriter, Music Publisher, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Artist, Michael “Space Cowboy” Jonzun of the Jonzun Crew, aka Michael Johnson, who has collectively sold in excess of 200+ Million Records, Videos, and Digital Media units Worldwide, on over 50 Super Star Artists and numerous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Legends, is being honored by ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) with a 2018 ASCAP Screen Music Award for Top Cable Television Series for The New Edition Story.
While Jonzun’s character was disappointingly not portrayed in the story, his music, including Candy Girl (New Edition’s first release that hit #1 on Billboard), Is This The End, Popcorn Love, and Jealous Girl , that he Co-Wrote and Co-Produced with his brother Maurice Starr, played front and center, throughout The New Edition Story, as well as in the promos and advertising, as an integral part laying the foundation of the New Edition’s journey to the top; both in the miniseries and in real life. For this reason, this award is especially meaningful to Jonzun, because it celebrates the true story and history behind the hits, that so often gets washed away. For early day fans and those in the know in the industry, The New Edition had three, not two, dynamic and pivotal Writer/Producer duo teams in their international careers – Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, L.A. Reid & Babyface, and Michael Jonzun & Maurice Starr.
Reports widely agree, The New Edition Story, pulled record ratings of “28.4 million viewers to BET, through the initial run and subsequent encores over the week of premiere…” (Variety Magazine), making it BET’s, “highest-rated and most- watched telecasts in five years (since 2012’s Season 5 premiere of The Game),” as well as “the No. 1 most social episode on both Facebook and Twitter all three nights” (Deadline.com). In fact, it was among the “top 20 trending topics on Twitter [that] included #BobbyBrown, #Betamac, #MikeBivins, #CandyGirl and #LukeJames” (Billboard.com).
Playing music, since the age of two, starting in his family’s band, The Johnson Bros., consisting of six brothers – Ray, Elvin, Sonni, Calvin (now deceased), Maurice (then known as Larry), and himself — Jonzun is no stranger to the music business and receiving accolades and awards for his works. Often referred to by critics as a Music Pioneer & Innovator, and named the Forefather of Hip Hop by Source Magazine, Jonzun’s credits are too extensive to list, and read like a Who’s Who, but highlights include, (18) #1 Billboard Chart Hits, 75+ Charting Hits across Billboard and other Major Magazines, 100’s of Certified Gold & Platinum Records worldwide on such legends and icons as New Edition, Mick Jagger w/ Peter Wolf, New Kids On The Block, Tommy Page, Mase, Sean “Puffy” Combs & The Notrious B.I.G., Lil’ Bow Wow, Bootsauce, LL Cool J, D4L, Another Bad Creation, Apollonia, Ben E. King, Laverne Baker, Mark Wahlberg, Aztec Camera, Englebert Humperdink, and Madonna, among many other luminaries, Music Co-Producer of the Top 3 Music Videos in History (“Hangin’ Tough”, “Hangin’ Tough Live”, “Step By Step”), involved in Grammy winning projects, and has been the recipient of shared American Music, Jack The Rapper, JUNO, People’s Choice, and ASCAP Awards, including not only this year’s, but also the ASCAP 2007 Pop Music Award for Laffy Taffy that was “Among the Most Performed Songs of 2006,” and the largest selling ringtone in history, to name a few.
Jonzun and Starr, who beat the odds of making it out of a racially divided Jim Crow south, coming to Boston with their brothers in the early 70’s, at the invitation of their Uncle who recognized their talent (world renowned oil on canvas Visual Artist Arthur Rayford), never stopped believing in the power of music and experienced the strength found in unity; putting everything they had together – time, talent, and treasure — to make it work.
Both brothers had the musical genius, and later would become known as the architects of the boy band phenomenon. Jonzun had the studio, Boston International Records Recording Studios, in Roxbury, MA, where the recording and production of The New Edition’s early hits took place, and he also had the notoriety as leader of his own electro boogie funk posse Jonzun Crew, that brothers Maurice and Sonni were also members of in the early days, (Space Cowboy, Pack Jam, Space Is The Place, Ground Control, We Are The Jonzun Crew – 20+ Million sold worldwide in various formats to date), which catapulted the New Edition onto the national music scene, and “steer[ed] [them] to the top,” (Boston Herald; Boston’s Space Cowboy Michael Jonzun Is In Control,10/23/83).
Jonzun has fond memories of working with the New Edition when they were kids, and wishes them nothing but many continued blessings.
Currently, Jonzun is engaged in the writing of several musical theater productions, creating syndicated media content, Co-Producing his Award Winning son’s JonzunRadioKids dot com broadcasts, and is in the development for the soon to be launched MUSIC ROYALTY NETWORK of AMERICA — an organization advocating for change in copyright laws better protecting and monetizing Artists’, Writers’, and Producers’ brands and works, that will also offer its members access to Jonzun’s private legendary State-of-the-Art SSL Hybrid (Analog/Digital) Mission Control Studios, which is undergoing redesign for the forthcoming kickoff. Jonzun welcomes inquiries at his website www. BostonInternational Music.com.
The 33rd annual ASCAP Screen Music Awards in Los Angeles will be returning to the Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 23rd. The invitation-only dinner and awards ceremony will honor the composers and songwriters of the top box office film music, top-rated series and the most performed television music of 2017.