Tony! Toni! Toné! was an American soul/R&B band from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. The band was composed of D’wayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins) on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley on drums, keyboards, and background vocals. Originally, the band went by “Tony, Toni, Toné” as a joke, until they realized it “had a nice ring to it”.
After their debut album Who? in 1988 followed by The Revival in 1990, the group achieved their greatest commercial success with the double platinum certified Sons of Soul in 1993. Tony! Toni! Toné! disbanded after the release of their fourth album House of Music (1996), which critics cite as their best work.
Raphael Saadiq released his first solo effort, the Top 20 Billboard hit “Ask of You” from the Higher Learning soundtrack, in 1995. Around the same time, Saadiq became a much-sought-after R&B producer, scoring hits for D’Angelo, Total, The Roots and others. Later in the 2000s, he started a solo career, releasing two albums, Instant Vintage (2002) and Ray Ray (2004).
In 2003, the members of Tony! Toni! Toné! except for Saadiq were invited by Alicia Keys to guest on her album The Diary of Alicia Keys. The song that resulted was called “Diary”, and when it was released as a single in 2004, it gave them their first Top 10 US hit in eleven years. In 2005, Dwayne Wiggins became the band leader for the Weekends at the D.L. television show hosted by comedian D. L. Hughley. Raphael Saadiq still actively influences current music as a songwriter and producer, in 2022 Saadiq was credited as a collaborator on multiple songs from Brent Faiyaz’s album Wasteland, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.
Wiggins has worked as a producer for artists like Jody Watley, Destiny’s Child and Alicia Keys on her album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” for which he won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Wiggins is also credited with developing and nurturing the early careers of Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Keyshia Cole, all of whom spent significant time in his Oakland recording studio, making music and learning the ins and outs of the music industry
In 2021 Saadiq made the announcement the group would be getting back together for a reunion tour. “But now I think it’s time for us to [come together]… [We’re] not try[ing] to have any big hit records,” Saadiq said. “But I just want people to see us together as a family and kind of celebrate one more time with our fans.”
If you want to catch one of their reunion shows, Tony Toni Tone will be live in concert at The Anthem (Sat, Oct 8, 2022). Tickets can be purchased via ticketek.
16 Sep Fri: Tracy, CA – Grand Theatre Center for the Arts