Boyz II Men’s Rendition of Chili’s Jingle as a Heartfelt Love Song

To set the record straight, despite their many adored songs, Boyz II Men did not perform the original version of the iconic Chili’s jingle. You know, the one that goes: “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs,” with a touch of (in a deeper voice) “barbecue sauce.”

Nevertheless, if you thought they did, it’s forgivable. It wouldn’t be the first time someone mistakenly credited the R&B group with the catchy tune that made its debut in 1997, the same year the band released their fourth studio album, Evolution, following their second album, II, which included hit singles like “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee.” This feat made them the third artists ever, following Elvis and the Beatles, to replace themselves at the top of the Billboard charts. They were everywhere. Thus, it’s understandable why people might have made that assumption.

“A vast majority of the public confused us as the original singers of the jingle because our style was so similar,” remarked members Nathan Morris, Wanyá Morris and Shawn Stockman told Yahoo Entertainment in an email interview. “The a capella, soulful harmonies, and baritone aspects you hear throughout the jingle were very similar to the music we were releasing that decade.”

Regrettably, the original jingle performer, Willie McCoy, passed away in 2012. He was honored with a baby back ribs-themed funeral, reportedly featuring live pigs, a barbecue sauce fountain, a smoker-shaped casket, and harmonizing pallbearers singing… you guessed it.

Now, the Boyz have taken on the familiar tune in a new ad, presenting what the restaurant calls a “smooth ’90s-inspired makeover.” As fans of the group might expect, they transformed it into a love song, performing it as “I Want My Baby Back.” Needless to say, it’s fantastic.

When they were initially approached with the idea, they thought it was a joke. However, they soon took it seriously.

“At the time the request came through, we were a week out from an international run, so it took a lot of back and forth, Zoom calls, and late nights, but we managed to get it done just before we hit the road,” the Boyz explained. “The jingle is already iconic, so while we hopped to put our flavor on it, we wanted to maintain the integrity of the song. The shoot itself was complete in one very long but very fun day. The continuous chips and salsa refills at the shoot were an added bonus.”

Judging by the positive feedback on the new ad, which is accompanied by merchandise, it’s clear that fans are impressed.

“I think our fans appreciate that we have stayed authentic to who we are and the sound we’ve created since the beginning,” the guys said. “Our music is heartfelt, and the melodies are sultry, which we have kept consistent for years, including in this ‘I Want My Baby Back’ jingle. It’s important for us to remain true to our craft in anything we do, and being able to tap into fans’ memories with a ’90s earworm in our Boyz II Men harmony was special to us.”

Aside from their new song, the Grammy winners, whose most recent album was 2017’s Under the Streetlight, are currently in the midst of their latest U.S. tour, with dates stretching through May 2024.


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