Ginuwine was one of R&B’s preeminent love men during the ’90s heyday of hip-hop soul. Initially teamed with Timbaland, the most innovative producer of the late ’90s, Ginuwine’s sultry, seductive crooning earned him a substantial female following and made him a regular presence on the R&B charts, even after the futuristic production he favored was eclipsed by the more organic, retro-leaning neo-soul movement.
With the strikingly inventive Timbaland behind the boards, Ginuwine cut his debut album, Ginuwine…The Bachelor, and released it later in 1996. “Pony” became a number one R&B smash, also reaching number six on the pop charts, and the album became an eventual double-platinum hit. It spun off several more R&B hits over the next year, including “Tell Me Do U Wanna,” “I’ll Do Anything/I’m Sorry,” “Holler,” and “Only When Ur Lonely”; it also featured an homage to one of Ginuwine’s main influences in the cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” In the wake of the album’s success, demand for Timbaland’s production services exploded, and Ginuwine became a bona fide sex symbol. He toured heavily in support of The Bachelor, and kept his name in the public eye in 1998 with his hit “Same Ol’ G,” which was featured on the soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Doolittle. Late that year, he also made his acting debut on an episode of the CBS series Martial Law.