Today was formed in 1988 as Motown's attempt at promoting a new Four Tops. The group comprised Frederick Lee "Big Bub" Drakeford, Larry Singletary, Wesley Adams, and Larry McCain, childhood friends from Englewood, New Jersey. The group started in 1984 as The Gents and comprised Drakeford, McCain, William McNeir, Ronald Scruggs, and Bernard Belle. During an anti-drug benefit, the group received a meeting with the producer Teddy Riley who renamed the group Today and melded them into the current lineup. Riley helped them receive a deal with MCA Records.