Nu Shooz originally released the single "I Can't Wait" in Portland in April 1985 on Poolside Records. The original recording was done at Cascade Recording in Portland in the fall of 1984. "I Can't Wait" was a big hit on Portland radio stations at the time, but they were turned down by every major label. A copy of the song made it to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. This version is known as the 'Dutch Mix.' The remix came back into the United States as an import on Dutch label Injection Records. It was this version that got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed the band to a contract in January 1986.
Nu Shooz scored two major pop / R&B / dance hits. "I Can't Wait" climbed to #2 on the R&B charts and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1986 and spent 15 weeks in the Top 40, and it also hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart earlier that year. Its follow-up, "Point Of No Return", was remixed by Shep Pettibone and also topped the dance chart in September 1986; the song peaked at #28 on the Hot 100 and #35 on the R&B charts. Both singles were on the album Poolside, which charted on Billboard's 200 chart at #27, and sold a half million copies in the U.S., garnering gold record RIAA certification on October 2, 1986.
In 1987, Nu Shooz was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category, based on its breakthrough success the previous year. The group lost to Bruce Hornsby & the Range; the other nominees that year were Glass Tiger, Simply Red, and Timbuk3. In 1988, the band released the album Told 'U' So, which had its final chart entries to date: "Should I Say Yes?" hit #17 on the R&B charts and #41 on the Hot 100, while the track "Are You Lookin' For Somebody Nu" topped out at #2 on the dance charts. The album itself peaked on the Billboard 200 to #93. A third album for Atlantic, titled 'Eat & Run', was recorded but never released.
In 2007, Smith and Day reformed the group as the Nu Shooz Orchestra, which featured a more cinematic approach. The band released an album, Pandora's Box in 2010, and continues to perform.
"I Can't Wait" plays somewhere on Earth every eleven minutes, according to Billboard in 2009.