Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Guest Columnist:

Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman: Our job is to test the limits of how bright our spirits can shine


Denise Truscello/WireImage/

Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men performs on opening night of Boyz II Men’s residency at The Mirage on Friday, March 1, 2013.

Boyz II Men Opening Night at The Mirage

Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Nate Morris of Boyz II Men perform on opening night of Boyz II Men's residency at The Mirage on Friday, March 1, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Boyz II Men at Pole Position Raceway

The Mirage headliners Boyz II Men and a youth group from Speedway Children's Charities at Pole Position Raceway opposite Palms Place on Sunday, May 12, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Boyz II Men Announce Mirage Residency

Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men announce an extended residency at the Mirage on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.
Launch slideshow »

As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Shawn Stockman of Mirage headliners Boyz II Men.

I had a conversation with a few friends of mine about traditions and how some are actually quite silly. Such an astounding phenomenon, tradition can be. When looking at a few traditions I was brought up on, I realize now, being an adult myself, that some of them made absolutely no sense.

I remember growing up and seeing beautiful plates, saucers and stemware in my family’s credenza that my mother would tell us she had bought to use for “special occasions.” I always wondered what that “occasion” was because I don’t remember one day we ever used them.

Another example of this is when I bought my mother her first house. It was a pretty large place with a gorgeous living room. I bought some of these plush couches with a vintage coffee table and one of the softest rugs you’ve ever placed your feet on — I was so excited to see it all put together.

But every time I would sit there, my mother would get upset, telling me that that room “isn’t for sitting.” I’ve seen that in so many people’s homes — an area that makes up a pretty substantial amount of a home’s square footage but that’s not being used because tradition states we’re not to use them.

We live in a brave new world where old-fashioned customs are being challenged with fresh perspective. The world is created and driven by individuals who aren’t afraid to uncover a new route to get to the same destination — or a previously unimagined destination. The student debating over the lesson plan of the professor … isn’t that way of thinking what drives the human spirit?

The way we change the world starts with altering our own microcosms and stepping out the box: I believe it’s our job as human beings to test the limits of how bright our spirits can shine. Most of that starts with looking at some of our world’s principles and being bold enough to say, “That’s just silly.”

Sure, you will be challenged and people might not initially understand, but no one has ever achieved the exceptional by sitting on a comfy couch — especially when the living room is off limits!

As a group, the constant challenge is finding new ways to test the limits and push Boyz II Men beyond our comfort zone. Our new album “Collide,” out Sept. 30 and available for pre-order now on iTunes, is a prime example of this. This album found us really pushing outside our R&B comfort zone and experimenting with brighter pop and rock sounds, and the results were beyond what we could have imagined.

So continue to challenge yourself and challenge those around you. Take the good china down from the credenza and have dinner in the damn living room. Live and inspire others to do the same!

For everything Boyz II Men, be sure to check us out at and follow us on Twitter @BoyzIIMen and Instagram @BoyzIIMenOfficial. We would love for you to come see us at the Mirage, as well — select weekends through the end of 2014.

Be sure to check out our other guests columnists today, Michael LaPlaca, executive chef of Portofino at the Mirage, and Alicart Restaurant Group CEO Jeffrey Bank. Then this week we'll meet up with the sexy topless dancers from “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo, stunt superstar Ricardo Laguna, the SLS Hotel president, who reveals a few secrets, and more.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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