Who is Maurice Starr?
Maurice Starr is an US musician, producer and songwriter, best known for writing songs with renowned pop & soul bands such as New Kids on the Block, Con Funk Shun & New Edition. At one point in time he attempted a solo music career, but that didn’t yield him good results. It is interesting to note that he was born as Larry Curtis Johnson in 1953 but changed his name to Maurice Starr in 1980.
Where is Maurice Starr today?
It is difficult to say how Maurice Starr is today, as he is a man of very few words. A few years back there was a strong rumor that he was dead, but that was untrue. Maybe people speculated such as he was less seen in public, and there was hardly any information about him. The truth is that Maurice Starr is still very much alive, and as per records in 2018, he is 65 years of age and managing NK5.
Maurice Starr Bio: Early Life, Parents, Siblings and Education
Maurice Starr is originally from Deland, Florida. Born in 1953 he was raised in his birthplace and completed his schooling and graduation in Florida. In the early part of the 1970s, Maurice moved to Boston, Massachusetts.
Willie Mae Johnson, mother of Maurice Starr, played the organ in a local Baptist Church, and Ray, his father, was a trumpet player. Starr always says that his parents were very strong people. In fact, even today, Starr credits his mother for some of his good habits which includes his abstinence from drinking and smoking. Believe it or not, he doesn’t even drink coffee.
Maurice Starr is one of six brothers, and together they formed a music band. He launched his music career as one of the key members of the Johnson Brothers. He once harbored a dream of forming a group a la Jackson Five but it seemed that the world was never ready for another Jackson Five.
Maurice Starr: Career
Maurice was barely 10 years old (1970s) when the six brothers began touring Florida and the Southeast US, known as “The Johnson Brothers from Deland”. The brothers were a huge hit in the local area but that success did not transpose onto the bigger stage i.e. out of town. In 1972, when Maurice was all of 17 years of age, the family decided to move to Boston with the hope that they would have a change of luck and fortune. However, things did not materialize as they had hoped.
However, things started to fall into place in 1980, when Larry Curtis Johnson changed his name to Maurice Starr. He went on to record a couple of albums – “Flaming Starr” and “Spacey Lady” – but neither of these albums did well. At this point of time he decided to form a band and perform songs that he had himself written. In 1982 he added a 5th boy to the group of four black kids which performed in the Boston area.
In 1982 the new band was formed with the name “New Edition”, and their first single ‘Candy Girl’ was released in November 1982, from the album of the same name. The single was a huge hit and rose to the 11th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100, and zoomed to the # 1 spot on the UK singles chart in 1983. There was little doubt that the band was an instant hit, but within a year the band found a new management, so Starr filed a lawsuit which he eventually lost; the formal split with New Edition left him totally devastated and demoralized.
New Kids on the Block
But he soon realized that with his former band, New Edition, he was actually finding success in the black teen market. He now decided to form a white boys group and target a larger audience. Starr and his business partner, Mary Alford, were now determined to create a white group that would rival New Edition. Donnie Wahlberg who was only 15 years of age hugely impressed Starr to become the 1st member of the group, and he then assisted Maurice to recruit the other members of the group, and rehearsed on a regular basis with the group named as Nynuk. They managed to secure a recording contract with Columbia Records, and but they insisted on a change of name, finally settled on the name – News Kids on the Block.
Fate finally smiled upon Maurice Starr as the new boy band earned massive success in the ‘80s and ‘90s – Maurice Starr honestly believed that had New Edition been an all-white group then they would have earned similar success, if not bigger. By the end of 1989, New Kids on the Block had gained massive popularity in the US and was the fastest rising band. Starr was responsible for handling the marketing and merchandise of the group, that included posters, T-shirts and various spin-offs.
Working with other artists
Maurice was elated with the success of New Kids on the Block, and later attempted to epeat this success with various artists such as Tommy Page, Heart Body & Soul, Homework, Rick Wes among others butnone of these groups or artists achieved the popularity of either New Edition or New Kids on the Block.
Starr has assembled and is managing another boy band which is known as NK5. Just like his previous boy bands, Maurice is responsible for producing and writing the songs for the group.
Maurice Starr Net Worth
As per reports and independent assessments in 2018, Maurice Starr has a net worth estimated at over $10 million.
Maurice Starr Personal Life
The musician Maurice Starr has successfully kept his personal life at a very low profile. His personal life is so well guarded that we do not know even if he is single or married, as there is absolutely no information available about this aspect of life. Some people have opined that he is either gay or bi-sexual, but even these allegations are totally baseless, and it’s confirmed that he is straight.