From Child Star to Media Mogul: Why Marques Houston Says His Worst Year Turned Into His Best Year 

In celebration of his forthcoming album, the iconic singer just dropped a new single from the project that he says was inspired by his life as a husband and father, and moments that nearly took him to this breaking point.

Marques Houston has more in store for fans after his new single. 

It’s been almost two years since the megastar dropped his last album; now he’s back and ready to regain his rightful place in the R&B world. On Friday (May 24), Houston released a new track, “Last Drop” from his forthcoming album, “The Best Worst Year Ever,” slated to premiere later this year. In 2023, the child star turned media mogul navigated waves of highs and lows while balancing a full plate as an in-demand entertainer, along with his responsibilities as a doting husband and father.

“It's crazy to be able to contrast good and bad,” he tells “When you're an artist, people look at you like you're not real sometimes, but we're real people and we go through real problems.”

The singer admits the complexities of those moments “was like being hit with a reality check [that] you're still human,” adding, “But then at the end of the day, things happen that you just can't explain.”

As he gears up to drop his next album, Houston says he’s in good company with fellow chart-toppers Tank and Usher, both of whom he credits for keeping the R&B genre alive after its golden age in the 90s.

Teasing fans with “Last Drop,” Houston was compelled to pour his heart into this single and his upcoming album, reigniting fans with the pandemonium he stirred as “Batman” of the infectious 1990 boy band, Immature, turned IMx.

Immature at Kid's Choice Awards in 1993.

Of his transition from child star to a music and media aficionado while dubbing himself the “Tubi King” as a partner of the Chris Stokes-founded Footage Films company, he says it’s “natural when you’re talented. The most important [thing] for me is being able to do what I love; singing, performing, dancing, all these things.” caught up with the entertainment mogul on how his dynamic life as a family man stimulated his new album and how fame at an early age cultivated his worldview. Your last album was in November 2022. What makes this year the perfect time to drop a new album?

Marques Houston: I just feel like it’s a good time for me to come back. It's a great time for R&B. There's real R&B music coming back and I really want to be a part of it. I think R&B was lost for a minute and now it's starting to resurface [so] what better time than now? There have been countless conversations debating if R&B is dead. You mentioned it was lost, and is currently resurfacing. Was there ever a moment when you thought that the genre was lackluster, or dead in some areas?

Marques Houston: I don't think R&B has ever been dead, but I think it was kind of pushed to the side because hip-hop became so huge. Then there was a mix between hip-hop and R&B. It got a little lost for a second [but] people are always gonna go back to just wanting real music. R&B makes you just feel good on the inside. It's always gonna be there. Shout out to artists like Tank and Usher for really staying strong and bringing it back. So I just want to be in that category. Do you remember that moment when you first fell in love with the genre?

Marques Houston: I grew up in a musical family. Then I remember falling in love with R&B when I saw Michael Jackson and Prince. That changed everything for me. I was hooked. But what really made me feel like I could actually do it was when New Edition, my favorite group, came out. “ABC” really inspired me to get into the industry. The title of your upcoming album, “The Best Worst Year Ever,” is striking. What inspired that moniker? 

Marques Houston: Personally, it was the best, worst year I've ever had. Last year, I lost a loved one, Chris Stokes, mom, Mama Stokes. Then my dog died. It was a lot of death. It really hit me because you see things like that on TV, but it never really hits home for you. 

But then with [our] company Footage Films, it was one of our biggest years. It was a super successful year. The album features “Last Drop,” which samples Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk?” What motivated you to pull something from the 90s for this track?

Marques Houston: That song keeps getting challenged, so I wanted to put my own spin on it and bring it to this new generation. Within the past four years, your life has hit major milestones. You got married and became a father of two. Will we see any of those dynamics illustrated between your wife, son, and daughter on the album?

Marques Houston: My family life is very private but also public. That was the anchor for the album title because with all that happened, [but] watching my son be born on December 14 was the best part of the year. Definitely gonna see a little bit of the family life on the album for sure.

Miya Houston Over three decades years later, you’ve kept and expanded your fan base. How does it feel to know that your fans from back in the day and newly minted ones are still rocking with your music?

Marques Houston: It's unbelievable. Coming in as a young cat, was very difficult. It was challenging, but [I was] able to weather the storm [with] all I've been through in my personal [and] business life. Even when I dropped the last single “Admitted,” I didn't know what to expect, [but] it got so much love and attention. It was beautiful to me because I've been doing this for so long. To be able to gain new fans and have my old fans is beautiful. I'm so humbled and appreciative. I thank God every day that I can continue to do it. Was there ever a moment in your career when you contemplated retirement?

Marques Houston: I tried to retire so many times without people noticing. My wife opened me up [others] genres and was like, “I really want to see you do your thing and get back into the music.” Her encouragement was the reason why I wanted to get back into music. There was a point where I really felt like it was time in my life to start doing something different and that's when I developed my passion for writing scripts. While the entertainment industry is full of glitz and glamour, many celebrities say it can also be a lonely place. Have you ever experienced any lonely moments in your career?

Marques Houston: I haven't experienced that. I've had a really amazing life. God has blessed me with an outstanding career, [and] outstanding people around me. I think it starts with your foundation, your family, and your friends. It can only get lonely when you take it too seriously and you don't have anybody to share it with. I never hit that plateau because I always made sure that I kept a strong foundation. 

I never put the business before my personal life. Personal life, spirituality, and being grounded are more important to me than fame, but it's my job. I love to entertain and that's what I love to do, but that's not who I am. Looking back on your super successful career, what advice would you give your younger self?

Marques Houston: Don't change anything. I wouldn't change anything. Nothing?

Marques Houston: I wouldn't do anything differently, and I would do it all again if I could because success is not measured by how many albums you sell or how good you do in your career. I think success is measured by the kind of person you are and the kind of legacy that you leave behind. I want people to look back and say “He was just a great person. He genuinely loved what he did and he loved people.” I think that's true success. What else can we expect from your upcoming album?

Marques Houston: I like it. Honestly, I don't know what to expect. I'm just making the best music I can and it's from a personal space. I just hope everybody loves it. I'm not going to say what to expect or what not to expect. When you put it on, just vibe out.

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