Hi-Five is a five-member American R&B band. Their song I Like the Way (The Kissing Game) was the number 1 hit song on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1991. The band founding members Tony Thompson, Roderick “Pooh” Clark, Marcus Sanders, Russell Neal, and Toriano Easley founded the band in 1989 in Waco, Texas, United States.
In the beginning, they were signed to Jive Records and released their debut album; the name of the album was after their band name, Hi-Five, in 1990, which was produced by Teddy Riley. The album went viral, and its songs I Can’t Wait Another Minute, I Just Can’t Handle It, and last, but not least, I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) earned recognition in the music world.
Their second album, Keep It Goin‘ On, was released in 1992. Even though the album was not as successful as their previous one but still its some of the tracks earned popularity. The songs include She’s Playing Hard to Get and Quality Time; the lyrics of these songs were written by R. Kelly.
The next year in 1993, their third album, titled Faithful, came onto the market, and its songs Unconditional Love which was also featured in Menace II Society, and Never Should’ve Let You Go, which was in Sister Act 2 soundtrack, were liked by people a lot. Before the release of their third album Roderick “Pooh” Clark got paralyzed in his below-the-chest region when the group was involved in a vehicular accident.
What Happened to Hi-Five Members?
On June 1 in, 2007, Tony Thompson’s band Hi-Five’s vocalist was found dead. Security officers discovered his body near an air conditioning unit outside his apartment complex. His apartment was in Waco, Texas, United States.
The body was found by forces around 10 p.m. Later, through his autopsy report, it was found that he died either from the toxic effects of chlorodifluoromethane or by inhaling a toxic amount of freon. After all the last rites were over, his body was buried at one of Waco’s memorial parks, Doris Miller Memorial Park.
In 2014, the band’s former singer, Russell Neal, walked into Sheriff’s office and told him that his wife, Catherine Martinez was dead in their Houston apartment and asked for a lawyer. He was an abusive husband and used to beat his wife, and on June 28, 2014, he stabbed her. At that time, their two sons were also present but were locked in a room, and one of them walked out of the room after the incident.
He was charged with first-degree murder but got out on a $100,000 bond. He later claimed that he was insane and that his name was “Jesus Christ,” but prosecutors denied his claim, and they also refused to drop the charges. He was declared incompetent to stand in a trial and is currently receiving his mental treatment in Rusk State Hospital.
In 2012, the Hi-Five band’s current members Irby, Shannon Gill, and Marcus Sanders decided to reform the band and introduced two new members, Andre Ramseur, and Faruq Evans, on the board. They released a song, Favourite Girl, and later, Andre Ramseur left the band, and his position was taken over by Billy Covington.
One of the band’s former members, Roderick ‘Pooh’ Clark, died at the age of 49. After the band’s second album, Keep It Goin’ On, was released in 1992, the band got involved in a vehicular accident in which Roderick Clark got paralyzed. The region below his chest stopped working. He died on 17th April 2022 at the age of 49.
Roderick ‘Pooh’ Clark had a mysterious death. The reason for his death is not known. After the singer’s death, Hi-Five’s band’s former manager, Jonathan Kinloch, on his Facebook handle, wrote that they were blessed and had a great time as a family, and Roderick ‘Pooh’ Clark was a huge part of the fun. Jonathan also wrote that Clark was a serious member of the group who made sure that the guys worked hard, but they also used to have fun while working.
Hi-Five’s first album, Hi-Five musical director Martinez Little said that Pooh was the most athletic of them all. He also shared a fun moment with Clark on his Facebook account. He wrote that during basketball, he would stand right under the basket and jump straight up and dunk the ball; their play fights and super soaker battles were epic. He also wrote that they used to battle each other hard on the ball court in most cities, and he still misses the fun times.
If this doesn’t show how great Roderick ‘Pooh’ Clark was, then I do not know what will. Hi-Five’s last music video was Kit Kat which was released in 2016. Listen to the song above.