Pretty Ricky Biography

Featured on Music Choice's exclusive music show of �Fresh Crops,� Pretty Ricky gloriously scored another attainment as they were among the nominees for Best Soul Rhythm & Blues - Favorite Band Duo or Group category at the 2005 American Music Awards. The band previously has joined Jill Scott and T.I. to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at the International Association of African American Music Foundation's "Cater 2 U" luncheon, which took place at Negril Village restaurant in New York. The year 2005 apparently has been a good start for the quartet to build a solid reputation as one of the most celebrated artists in American music industry.

Originated from Miami, Florida, Pretty Ricky consists of four talented brothers: Corey "Slick'em" Mathis, Ala Diamond "Baby Blue" Smith, "Spectacular" Blue Smith, and Marcus "Pleasure" Cooper who is the group's only singer since the rest of them take roles as rappers. The name of the band unexpectedly was taken from a character in Martin Lawrence's comedy series, �Martin� (1992-1997). �We all used to dress alike, really different to everyone else. We wore fur in the summer when everyone else was in t-shirts,� Pleasure explained. �On the show was a character called 'Pretty Ricky.' He was slick and always dressed different to everyone else, so all the girl's at school started calling us 'Pretty Ricky'.�

Supported by their father, Joseph Blue Smith, who also served as the band's manager and taskmaster, these four boys, also was joined by their older brother, Joseph Smith, Jr., set out to develop their music career in 1997 under the name of Pretty Rickie and the Maverix. At first, it was Joseph who was called Pretty Rickie while they were the Maverix. Upon his departure from the group, plus the objection issued by an American country band, The Maverick, to change their name, the remaining personnel decided to apply their original idea of the band's identity, using back the name �Pretty Ricky.� With the help from a producer named Jim Jonsin of Unusual Suspects production team, Pretty Ricky began to gain a desirable attention through their local performances. However, it was not until 2002 that the group encountered their initial success as their song, "Flossin'", became a huge hit on Miami radio station Power 96. Following this early attainment, they were appointed to be the opening act for some famous artists, such as Run DMC, Lil' Jon, Trick Daddy, Trina, and Pitbull.

In 2004, Pretty Ricky created sensation when their next tune entitled "Grind With Me" made its way to be the most requested song ever on Power 96 shortly after it was first played during 'Love Hour' program. The station's interim program director, Tony the Tiger, afterwards sent the tune to Craig Kallman, Co-Chairman and also Chief Operating Officer of Atlantic Records. Upon his arrival in Florida by December, he was amazed by the commotion the band had ignited at a Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Hallandale. "It was complete pandemonium," Kallman recalled. "Hundreds and hundreds of screaming, shrieking girls basically stormed the stage and bum rushed the guys as they came off, chasing them down the field, jumping on the van, trying to climb on the van."

Invited by Kallman to have an impromptu audition in his hotel room at Loew's Miami Beach, Pretty Ricky was immediately offered a record deal on the spot. Pouring down their remarkable skills in rapping, composing, and writing songs, the result was 'Bluestars' which came up on May 17, 2005. Much to their delight, this debut album satisfyingly was included in the top 20 of The Billboard 200 while its two tracks, 'Grind With Me' and 'Your Body', brilliantly took the 7th and 19th rank on The Billboard Hot 100. Within several months, 'Bluestars' was certified Platinum by RIAA, leading the group to obtain popularity as well as commercial success. Embarked on BET Presents Scream Tour IV Festival: The Heart Throbs 2005 together with Bow Wow, Omarion, Marques Houston, Bobby Valentino, and B5, it seemed that they were already on the way to be one of the biggest music acts South Florida has produced.

On January 23, 2007, the band then released their second album 'Late Night Special' only to enjoy another chart success. It peaked at #1 on Billboard Hot 200, thanks to its strong singles like 'On the Hot Line', 'Push It Baby' and 'Love Like Honey'. Nobody expected a break-up from the band when member Marcus Ramone Cooper aka Pleasure suddenly announced in October that year that he decided to quit the band. Apparently, the management had kept the separation quite well that when the announcement came, they were ready for a replacement for Pleasure. On the reason why he quit, Pleasure wrote on his MySpace blog that he was pursuing solo career while maintaining a good term with his ex bandmates. "I want to say that it is true I have been replaced by someone else in the group Pretty Ricky, so if you see the group on stage, it's not me but another person," Pleasure wrote. "I love my brothers and I will always love them. We have no beef but I feel it's time for me to give y'all what y'all been waiting for, an R 'n' B album! If it wasn't for Pretty Ricky they would never be no Pleasure. I'm not here to diss the group but I'm here to let you know what's going on."