The Graduates

Heaven "Can't Wait"

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For Tony Thompson (1975-2007) who was the lead singer of the '90s R&B group Hi-Five. The 31-year-old crooner died on June 1 in his hometown of Waco, Texas. Authorities said Tony's body was discovered by security officers outside of his apartment complex. The cause of death was not immediatey known and police have requested an autopsy.

Hi-Five was a popular R&B quintet of the New Jack Swing era who were often compared to R&B counterparts New Edition. In 1990, the Waco, Texas-based group signed with Jive Records and released their eponymous debut effort, which was produced mainly by New Jack Swing pioneers Teddy Riley and Benard Belle. The collection garnered two chart-topping hit singles, "I Can't Wait Another Minute" and "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)," which went to No. 1 on both the Billboard R&B and Pop charts.

Hi-Five released two more follow-up albums Keep It Goin' On (1992) and Faithful (1993) before the group disbanded in 1994.

After the split, Tony pursued a solo career and dropped his debut album Sexsational on Giant Records in 1995. Ten years later, Tony resurrected Hi-Five with four new members, including his younger brother Jordan, and released The Return in 2006 via his indie label, N'Depth. Before his untimely death, Tony was working on new music for an upcoming album.

Family friend Reggie Reed, who was once Hi-Five's tour manager during the group's heyday, described Tony as an significant R&B singer "with a great voice who came out of Central Texas."

My all-time favorite song from Hi-Five was "Unconditional Love" from the Menace II Society soundtrack.

Hi-Five -- "I Like the Way (Kissing Game)" (music video)

Hi-Five -- "I Can't Wait Another Minute" (music video)

Hi-Five -- "I Like the Way (Kissing Game)" (Live at the Apollo performance)

Rest In Power, Tony!