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Although Bryant was never Atlantic Starr's only lead singer -- Wayne and David Lewis also provided their share of lead vocals -- she was a major asset. So it came as quite a disappointment when she left Atlantic Starr in 1984 to pursue a solo career. But all was not lost. The talented Barbara Weathers was hired as a replacement and 1985's As the Band Turns -- Atlantic Starr's first post-Bryant album and sixth album overall -- found the outfit unveiling a smaller lineup that consisted of Weathers, the Lewis Brothers, and Phillips. Sudderth, Daniels, Archer, and Carroll were all gone, but despite those personnel changes, Atlantic Starr was still distinctive and recognizable. As the Band Turns, which contained the major hit "Secret Lovers," turned out to be Atlantic Starr's last album for A&M; in 1987, they moved to Warner Bros. and fared well with the album All in the Name of Love and the smash hit "Always." A syrupy adult contemporary ballad, "Always" reflected the Lewis Brothers' desire to have the type of crossover success that Whitney Houston and Lionel Ritchie had been enjoying in the '80s; they got their wish when "Always" soared to number one on both the pop and R&B charts.
After All in the Name of Love, Weathers left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Porscha Martin, who was featured on 1988's We're Movin' Up. Martin was around for a few years before being replaced by Rachel Oliver (Atlantic Starr's fourth female vocalist) in the early '90s. Atlantic Starr's relationship with Warner Bros. ended after 1991's Love Crazy, and in 1994, the band recorded one album for Arista: Time. That album was a commercial disappointment and the single "I'll Remember You" only made it to the fifties on Billboard's R&B and pop singles charts. Time (which was David Lewis' last album with the band) found a fifth female singer, Aisha Tanner, replacing Oliver. And when 1999's Legacy was distributed by the small, independent Street Solid label, Atlantic Starr unveiled yet another lineup -- one that consisted of two Lewis Brothers (Wayne and Jonathan) as well as Oliver (who had returned and replaced Tanner) and a new male singer named DeWayne Woods. Although Legacy received very little attention, Atlantic Starr hung in there and was still performing for die-hard fans when the 21st century arrived. ~ Alex Henderson