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Who are the members of color me badd?

Color Me Badd was an American contemporary R&B group that was popular in the 1990s. The group formed in Oklahoma City and originally consisted of four members – Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Sam Watters and Kevin Thornton. They released their self-titled debut album in 1991 which produced several major hits and launched them to stardom. At their peak, Color Me Badd was considered one of the top R&B acts in the world. Let’s take a closer look at the four original members of this influential 90s boy band.

Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams was born on November 16, 1969 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He sang both lead and background vocals for Color Me Badd. Abrams handled most of the lead vocal duties on the group’s signature songs such as “I Wanna Sex You Up”, “I Adore Mi Amor” and “All 4 Love.” His distinctive falsetto and vocal runs were a big part of the group’s sound. Abrams also co-wrote some of the group’s songs along with other members. Prior to forming Color Me Badd, Abrams sang in his church choir and local gospel groups. He met the other members of the group while in high school in Oklahoma City in the mid 1980s.

Mark Calderon

Mark Calderon was born on September 17, 1970 in Hawaii. He sang both lead and background vocals for Color Me Badd and was also a songwriter. Calderon took the lead on songs such as “Slow Motion” and “The Earth, The Sun, The Rain.” He composed or co-wrote several tracks on the group’s first two albums including their number one hit “I Wanna Sex You Up”. Calderon played some instruments on the albums as well. Prior to Color Me Badd, he had been in a group called Black Men United. Calderon and Bryan Abrams were the two consistent members of Color Me Badd throughout the band’s run.

Sam Watters

Sam Watters was born on July 23, 1970 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was one of the group’s main background vocalists and also played keyboard. Watters left Color Me Badd in 1993 after their second album to pursue a career as a producer and songwriter. He co-wrote the group’s number one hits “I Wanna Sex You Up” and “I Adore Mi Amor.” After leaving Color Me Badd, Watters found success writing and producing hits for artists such as Jessica Simpson, Anastacia, Kelly Clarkson and more. He has won several Grammys for his production work. Watters was a key member of Color Me Badd during their most popular years.

Kevin Thornton

Kevin Thornton was born on June 17, 1969 in Oklahoma City. He sang background vocals for Color Me Badd and was known as the “quiet storm” of the group. Thornton left after the band’s first album in 1992 and embarked on a solo career. He released a solo album in 1996 titled One Truth. The album’s song “How Can I Get Close to You” reached #1 on the R&B charts. Thornton later worked as a counselor and youth pastor. He revealed in a 2020 interview that he has been living with multiple sclerosis since 1999 but continues to sing when able. Though his time in Color Me Badd was brief, Thornton contributed vocals to their early hit songs.

Band History

Color Me Badd got their start singing together in Oklahoma City as teenagers in the mid to late 1980s. The original members were Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Sam Watters and Kevin Thornton. They practiced together for years and did talent shows before auditioning for producers and record labels. Color Me Badd signed with Giant Records in 1990 and released their debut album C.M.B. in July 1991. The album was a huge success, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. It spun off multiple top 10 pop hits including “I Wanna Sex You Up”, “I Adore Mi Amor”, “All 4 Love” and “Slow Motion.” Their signature harmonies, hip hop inspired beats and steamy lyrics made them standout stars in the early 1990s new jack swing era. They won the 1992 Grammy for Best New Artist.

Year Key Events
1991 Debut album C.M.B. released and reaches #1. Features hit singles “I Wanna Sex You Up”, “I Adore Mi Amor”, “All 4 Love” and “Slow Motion.”
1992 Win Grammy for Best New Artist
1993 Release second album Time and Chance. Reaches #6 and goes platinum. Sam Watters leaves group.
1996 Release third album Now and Forever. Fails to achieve success of first two albums.
2000 Greatest Hits album released. Group goes on hiatus.
2003 Bryan Abrams and Mark Calderon reunite as a duo version of Color Me Badd
2011 Reunite with original members for 20th anniversary tour

Color Me Badd’s fame declined in the late 1990s as music trends shifted away from new jack swing. Their third album Now and Forever did not achieve the same success as their first two records. Greatest Hits compilation albums were released in the late 90s and early 2000s. The group officially went on hiatus in 2000. That same year, Bryan Abrams had a solo single “Let Me Be The One” that appeared on the soundtrack for the film The Next Best Thing.

In 2003, Abrams and Calderon reunited as a duo version of Color Me Badd without Watters and Thornton. They have continued touring theaters, casinos and festivals as a duo throughout the 2000s and 2010s. In October 2011, the original four members reunited for a 20th anniversary tour. However, both Thornton and Watters left again after the tour ended. Abrams and Calderon remain the core of Color Me Badd today.

Over their career, Color Me Badd won 2 American Music Awards, a Soul Train Award and had 5 songs reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. At their peak from 1991-1993, they were one of the most successful R&B groups in the world. Their sexy image and best-selling debut album made them hugely popular pop culture icons as well. While lineup changes and shifting musical tastes decreased their fame, Color Me Badd’s hit songs remain popular on radio stations and in compilation albums decades later.

Where are they now?

Here’s a look at what the four original members of Color Me Badd are up to today:

Member Current Activities
Bryan Abrams Still touring and performing as part of duo version of Color Me Badd with Mark Calderon. Also does music production.
Mark Calderon Still touring and performing with Abrams as half of Color Me Badd. Also engaged in music production and songwriting.
Sam Watters Successful career as a producer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. Has won Grammy awards for production.
Kevin Thornton Pursued solo career in 90s and early 2000s. Now works as counselor and youth pastor. Living with multiple sclerosis.

After disbanding in 2000, the members of Color Me Badd pursued various careers in and out of music. Bryan Abrams and Mark Calderon continue to keep the group alive as a duo that plays nostalgia shows at fairs, casinos and smaller venues. Though past their hitmaking days, they still entertain audiences with Color Me Badd’s big catalog of early 90s hits.

Sam Watters left the group at the peak of their fame but found even greater success as a songwriter and producer based in Los Angeles. He has won multiple Grammy awards for his production work with pop artists like Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson and Jordan Sparks. Watters helped write some of Color Me Badd’s signature hits early on.

Kevin Thornton departed the group shortly after their debut album. His solo career stalled after initial success. He now works as a counselor and youth pastor while battling multiple sclerosis, which he went public with in 2020. Thornton only appears with Color Me Badd for rare reunion shows.

Though their time together at the top was brief, the four original members of Color Me Badd made a huge impact on popular music in the 1990s. Their sexy image and multi-platinum selling album dominated radio, MTV and the Billboard charts. Hits like “I Wanna Sex You Up” and “I Adore Mi Amor” are still remembered today as classics of the new jack swing era. Color Me Badd’s legacy lives on through continual airplay, sample usage in hip hop, and their important place in 90s pop culture.


Color Me Badd was one of the most popular R&B groups of the early 1990s. Their multi-platinum debut album C.M.B. launched them to stardom on the strength of hit singles like “I Wanna Sex You Up”, “All 4 Love” and “Slow Motion”. The original four members were Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Sam Watters and Kevin Thornton. Their signature harmonies and new jack swing sound defined the era.

Though later albums did not match their early success, Color Me Badd’s hit songs remain popular today. Bryan Abrams and Mark Calderon still tour as a duo version of the group. Sam Watters found further success as a producer and songwriter, while Kevin Thornton left the industry altogether. At their peak though, Color Me Badd’s sexy image and best-selling music made them one of the hottest acts in pop. They remain an iconic 90s boy band that helped define the new jack swing genre.