Tokyo, 13 July 2009 – Tokyo 2016’s international appeal was reinforced today as Grammy Award-winning and record-breaking Rhythm & Blues group Boyz II Men, gave their soaring voice to the Bid to host the most compact and sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games in history.

The group is the most successful male R&B vocal group of all time in terms of sales. In a letter to the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee, they declared:

“Tokyo is a city we have been fortunate enough to have performed in since 1993. It is a multicultural place full of friendly faces, and we know it is also somewhere our fellow entertainers love to come. From its cutting-edge technology to its people’s hospitality and passion for sport, Tokyo is the perfect stage for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“The Olympic Games is a very special time for people all around the globe. We had the honor of singing “The Star Spangled Banner” during the closing ceremony of the Atlanta Games in 1996, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of our career and our lives. Boyz II Men is writing today to share with the world a very special city that we like to call our second home.

“Boyz II Men hopes that through the greatest sporting show on earth, the world will be united in Japan’s dynamic capital city for Tokyo 2016.”

Dr. Ichiro Kono, Tokyo 2016 Chair and CEO, said:
“We are delighted to have the support of a group which has inspired people of all ages and throughout the world for many years. Their love of Japan and our nation’s people is clear and a source of pride for us.

“Music, like sport, is universal, and both have are able to unite people and transcend borders. Our dream is that the entire Olympic Movement gets the opportunity to create treasured memories of Tokyo in the way that Boyz II Men have, and Tokyo 2016 is setting the stage for heroes to ensure that this becomes a reality.”

Formed in 1988, Boyz II Men recorded five #1 R&B successes between 1992 and 1997 and have sold more than 60 million albums. Three of the group’s #1 hits, “End of the Road”, “I’ll Make Love to You”, and “One Sweet Day”, set records for the longest period of time a single remained at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “One Sweet Day” still holds that record.

The group will make their latest visit to the Land of the Rising Sun in late July for its JAPAN TOUR 2009, during which they will perform with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. The tour includes dates in Osaka on 28 and 29 July, Nagoya on 1 August and Yokohama on 4 August.

For further information, please contact:

Masa Takaya (Mr), Manager, International Communications, Tokyo 2016