The WanMor family is about to start making headlines again, nearly 30 years after Boyz II Men first made it big. Why? Because they are one of 30 families competing on Nickelodeon’s new singing competition series America’s Most Musical Family.
The series debuts Friday (Nov. 1) and the WanMor family is going to absolutely blow the judges away with their rendition of the 1991 Boyz II Men classic “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
There’s no doubt the WanMors are in it to win it with this competition, so here’s what you need to know about them as you watch them compete for the $250,000 cash prize and recording contract.
1. The family name is a tribute to papa
“WanMor” is a tribute to the family patriarch, Wanya Morris. Morris is a founding member of the singing group Boyz II Men, along with Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and former members Michael McCary and Marc Nelson.
Boyz II Men burst on the music scene with their debut album Cooleyhighharmony in 1991, which was certified nine times platinum and spawned four hits that rose to 3rd or higher on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Motownphilly,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” “End of the Road” and “In the Still of the Nite (I’ll Remember).”
Their follow-up studio album, “II,” went 12 times platinum and spawned three hits that were at 1 or 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “I’ll Make Love To You,” “On Bended Knee” and “Water Runs Dry.”
They also had a huge hit in 1995 when they collaborated with Mariah Carey on “One Sweet Day,” which sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 16 weeks, making it the longest-running No. 1 song at the time, a record it held for 23 years until it was dethroned by “Old Town Road” in 2019.
2. But the name is also about themselves
Each of Wanya’s sons is actually named “Wanya” too, according to their official website. Wanya II is nicknamed “Big Boy,” Wanya III is called “Chulo,” Wanya IV is nicknamed “Tyvas” and Wanya V is “Rocco.”
They range in age from nine years old to 15 years old, but they have a sound well beyond their years. “The way you can feel the music if you close your eyes and listen to the track, like really feel it,” says youngest member Rocco in this America’s Most Musical Family behind-the-scenes video, adding that it’s a “big blessing” to be on the show.
For those wondering about the boys’ exact ages, Rocco is nine, Tyvas is 12, Chulo is 14 and Big Boy is 15.
3. The WanMor boys are their own little Boyz II Men
Wanya married Traci Nash in 2002 and together they had four sons, who make up the WanMor family group competing on America’s Most Musical Family. All you have to do is listen to this small clip from Instagram to see how they are a mini Boyz II Men in the making.
But their range is not limited to Boyz II Men songs. In fact, they are so good at covering songs by fellow ’90s R&B group SWV that the Sisters With Voices invited these young men with voices up on stage to perform with them recently.
4. Nathan Morris is not their actual uncle
A common misconception about Boyz II men is that Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris are brothers. They are, in fact, not related at all. The group was formed because all of its members met at the Philadelphia High School for the Performing Arts.
The WanMor boys call Morris and Shawn their uncles in social media posts, but they are not actually the boys’ biological uncles.
5. They were cut from ‘America’s Got Talent’
The official WanMor site and Instagram account have footage of the boys backstage at America’s Got Talent and a little Reddit digging reveals they were part of a montage during season 14 this past summer. But they must have been cut from the show because they were not shown advancing past the initial audition round.
It’s hard to imagine anyone cutting this talented group of youngsters, but what is America’s Got Talent’s loss is America’s Most Musical Family’s gain.
America’s Most Musical Family premieres Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon, or you can watch the premiere episode free on YouTube.