The Heartbeats' manager, Jimmy is responsible for giving the group the opportunity to perform at more publicized events and receive training from Ernest "Sarge" Johnson. A womanizer; he and his brother Duck share a close and sometimes turbulent relationship. This led Duck to estrange himself from the Heartbeats and his brother for years. He is now married to Baby Doll, sings in Choirboy's choir, and manages a group. Lamont Johnson as Bobby Cassanova: The Dells sang and recorded the vocals as the actors lip synced. Carla Brothers as Tanya Sawyer: Eddie comes from an area that features predominantly poor individuals, his own father believing his attempts to start a career in the music industry will be unsuccessful. Tressa Thomas as "Duck's Little Sister":
Similar to David Ruffin , Eddie is the lead vocalist of the band and falls into a life of drugs that eventually leads to his expulsion from the group as well as emotional trauma. Eddie later pops up at several Heartbeats concerts, to try to convince his friends to let him back into the group, but his drug and alcohol abuse has taken its toll on him, and all the other group members can do is supply him with money out of sympathy; Duck later hears on the radio that Eddie was involved in an armed robbery and, after a shootout with the police, was in critical condition. She and Dresser have a daughter named Monica. This led Duck to estrange himself from the Heartbeats and his brother for years. Carla Brothers as Tanya Sawyer: Dresser's girlfriend, who later becomes his wife. Early in the film the character attempts to defeat The Five Heartbeats in a vocal contest. Duck reveals that he knows about Tanya and J. The group goes on the road, but the travel is marred by racism and poor living conditions. The Ebony Sparks defeat The Five Heartbeats in singing competitions—many of which are rigged—prior to their mainstream popularity. Chuck Patterson as Jimmy Potter: The Heartbeats' manager, Jimmy is responsible for giving the group the opportunity to perform at more publicized events and receive training from Ernest "Sarge" Johnson. After Big Red orchestrates the murder of Jimmy Potter, Bird, who was previously attacked and intimidated by Big Red during a party, joins members of the Heartbeats in testifying against Red and helps to convict him of the murder. Dresser's girlfriend visits and reveals she is pregnant, and the group is faced with their first album cover featuring white people, despite the label having earlier approved a photo of the Heartbeats as the cover. Throughout the mid to late s The Five Heartbeats receive numerous awards, chart several hits, and are featured on magazine covers. Johnson is The Five Heartbeat's choreographer. Duck grows frustrated with the house piano player and shoves him off the piano stool. Eddie abuses alcohol and cocaine , affecting his performance and prompting his girlfriend Baby Doll to break up with him. Bobby gets shot in the leg and is replaced by Eddie as the lead singer. The Midnight Falcons attempt to cheat by ordering their girlfriends to deliberately cheer against The Heartbeats. Leon Robinson as J. He is now married to Baby Doll, sings in Choirboy's choir, and manages a group. Bird and The Midnight Falcons witness the Heartbeats rehearsing for a competition and are concerned they could lose; frontman Victor "Bird" Thomas asks his girlfriend to invite her friends and boo The Heartbeats while cheering The Falcons. Bird is the lead singer of Bird and The Midnight Falcons. Clara Matthews, Duck's little sister, was also his muse, often helping him compose and arrange songs for the group as they did household chores.
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