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Babyface

As a singer, producer, and songwriter, Babyface was an inescapable presence in virtually every major facet of pop music during the '90s. His own recordings helped rejuvenate the R&B tradition of the smooth, sensitive, urban crooner and made him a staple of urban contemporary radio. Yet their considerable success was eclipsed by his songwriting and production work for other artists, which linked him with some of the biggest stars and hit singles of the decade (and not just in the realm of R&B). You'd be hard-pressed to name a '90s hitmaker with a track record more consistently successful and versatile than Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.

Kenneth Edmonds was born April 10, 1959, in Indianapolis and began playing in local R&B bands as a teenager. He served a stint in Bootsy Collins' backing unit (where he earned his nickname) and subsequently joined the funk outfit Manchild, who signed a record deal in 1977 and released three albums. After their breakup, Babyface and partner Antonio "L.A." Reid formed an urban funk group called the Deele in the early '80s, who scored a few sizable hits on the R&B charts. Babyface and Reid began producing and writing for other artists on the side, landing hits in Pebbles' "Girlfriend" and the Whispers' "Rock Steady"; following the Deele's third album in 1988, the duo left to continue their outside activities full-time, co-founding the LaFace label in 1989. Further hits followed in Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step," Sheena Easton's "The Lover in Me," and Karyn White's "The Way You Love Me" and "Superwoman," all of which performed well on both the pop and R&B charts.

Babyface had actually recorded a little-noticed solo album in 1986, titled Lovers, but with his newfound success having marked him as one to watch, his solo career now began in earnest. Released in 1989, Tender Lover caught fire, spinning off four singles over the next year, including the R&B chart smashes "It's No Crime" (number one) and "Whip Appeal" (number two; both also reached the pop Top Ten); the album also went double platinum. Now firmly established as a powerhouse, Babyface went on to co-write hits for Johnny Gill ("My, My, My," nominated for the Best R&B Song Grammy), Whitney Houston ("I'm Your Baby Tonight"), and Madonna ("Take a Bow"); his biggest success, however, came with Boyz II Men, whose recording of "End of the Road" became one of the longest-running number ones in pop history (the Babyface-penned follow-up "I'll Make Love to You" was also pretty successful in its own right). He was co-nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy for his production on the Bodyguard soundtrack and went on to work with artists like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, En Vogue, and Mary J. Blige. As if that weren't enough, LaFace had become a highly successful and lucrative imprint, breaking artists like Toni Braxton, TLC, OutKast, and Usher (often with input from Reid and Babyface).

It's no wonder Babyface wound up taking a break from his own career as a singer during the early '90s, releasing only a remix album, A Closer Look, in 1991. The proper follow-up to Tender Lover didn't appear until 1993; even so, For the Cool in You was an even bigger hit than its predecessor, going triple platinum and producing Babyface's first Top Five pop hit, the change-of-pace acoustic guitar ballad "When Can I See You Again" (which won him his first Grammy as a performer for Best Male R&B Vocal). In 1995, he scored another major success with the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, not only producing it but scoring the film itself and writing nearly all of its songs, including the Whitney Houston smash "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)." The same year, he won the first of three consecutive Grammys as Producer of the Year. Successes just kept coming in 1996; the guest-laden album The Day spawned another Top Ten pop/R&B hit in "Every Time I Close My Eyes," and he solidified his crossover credentials once and for all by winning a Grammy for Record of the Year as producer of Eric Clapton's "Change the World."

Encouraged by the success of Waiting to Exhale, Babyface and his wife, Tracey Edmonds, formed their own film production company, which debuted in 1997 with the acclaimed urban family comedy/drama Soul Food. Babyface, naturally, masterminded the soundtrack. The next year, he contributed lyrics to the animated musical The Prince of Egypt, which went uncredited on the soundtrack album. With the movies taking up more of his time, his next musical releases were quick one-offs: an MTV Unplugged album in 1997 and the seasonal Christmas with Babyface the next year. His production and songwriting activities continued, though he remained silent as a performer for a few years. In 2000, Epic released the best-of compilation A Collection of His Greatest Hits, marking the end of his tenure with the label; he had elected to move to Arista, where L.A. Reid had been a high-ranking executive.

In 2001, Babyface released a new album, Face2Face, and also produced the punk-pop soundtrack for the film Josie & the Pussycats. The back-to-basics Grown & Sexy came in July 2005, also the year he and Tracey Edmonds announced their divorce. September 2007 brought the covers-oriented Playlist for Mercury. During the next several years, he worked with the likes of Lil Wayne, Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston, Kristinia DeBarge, and Boyz II Men, as well as Anthony Hamilton, whose "Pray for Me" was nominated for a 2013 Grammy in the category of Best R&B Song. He co-wrote and co-produced several songs on Ariana Grande's Yours Truly, a number one album in the U.S. Love, Marriage & Divorce, an album of duets with Braxton, was released on Motown in February 2014. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Fire And Rain (Cd Single)

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Track List: Not Going Nowhere

Comments

Lets FACE it the brothas jst damn good
I seen baby face live and what a show the nan is smooth
cyncerecm
i had the amazing pleasure of finally seeing him live AND meeting him! I am more in love than ever!
The Best!!!!!!
Soul Music, this brother can 'sang' !
Everytime. I close my eyes I thank the Lord that I got you. Serious jam right here. priceless
He has always been my idle. When babyface and LL did for the lover in you, I flipped out. LL is also my favorite MC of all times.
so good Babyface and Toni are back
lovepeacenjo i
I remembe discovering the Lovers album by Babyface at 12 years old- around the time that the T.E.V.I.N album came out. My mom was SO IRRITATED that I had a crush on a 33 year old MAN. Ha! My aunt had to beg her to buy me the Lovers album. She said, Why can't you just like Tevin Campbell?! Ha! I wonder how many women there are like me out there lol.
never stop your beautiful music, Babyface
Hi Baby face always been in love with you . Hope that you will send me a friend request on fb
Babyface sang about deep love when he sang WHERE WILLYOU GO?
Hey what's up I'm trying reatch 100 followers soo can u plz follow me lol also I have vine if u do I will tell u my vine name soo ya lol I will follow some of u back ^_- REMEMBER GOD LOVES U EVEN IF UR GOING THOUGHT THE HARDEST TIMES STAY STRONG HE LOVES U AND PRAY^_-
Just saw him and Toni in concert!!!!! ! Awesome Awesome Awesome!
drjelise
I just saw him concert this weekend and he puts on an AMAZING show! He went thru all of his hits as well as those that he's wrote for others. Such a great talent!
Hey bro, like I wrote on Jon B's page, I don't know if you actually read any of these messages but You and Jon B. are some of the main people that inspired me to do music. Thank y'all.
mykkius
My most favorite of all times...Whip appeal" from MTV unplugged, NYC. Babyface is the best ever...would love to see him live again in NYC soon ��
bigbadbob101 2
I love happy I love it because I am happy
Babyface kept the sweet music for a new generation of lovers
Yeah I luv
That ole school. Whip appeal,
Saw you Sunday Dayton Ohio awesome show
wow. we share the same birthday
im coming baby....
Lovely
Babyface is one of those musical genius.
FOLLOW ME ,IM LOOKING TO PUT A GROYP.TOGETH E R IM VERY SERIOUS EMAIL TAMPADIVA1@G M A I L . C O M
I'll never lie or keep secrets too
I love this man then and now
My last song i danced to at Senior Prom.. Class 95!!
this my JAM!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! LIKE FOR REAL THIS MY BABY
Lovely song.
We all need to be loved
True love is hard to find for real
knol0028
I can listen to this station all day.......#B a b y f a c e i s t h e t r u t h
Babyface little brother can sang he's a** off
nastysportst e r
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 day. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works

Jlhlhlglh.hl j h g g g g g g k h k h l h k g l h h l y l j h h h g k h g k h g g k h k h g g j h j j h
Teddy Riley and Babyface made all the great r b in the new jack age , 80s baby. . ha ha
Born in 1980 I lucked up. With all the music from 78 purple rain 79 Off The Walk , to BBD poison , Jodeci
amazing voice ! what coollllllll is all about !!!
I've loved babyface since I was a little girl
His music has always been by my side and a positive influence in my life...hope you have a great year in 2014 Babyface!!!
I love dis song so much
Two Occasions... b r i n g s back so many memories. Nothing but love for Babyface!
Deep in your heart
catlynn37
Oh, how I remember this song-GREAT MEMORIES!
YAAAAAAAASSS S S S S S S S S
Yojvobabes
Daynee dis song thou....ALL I CAN SAY IS...-->>BEA U T I F U L <33 it reminds me Uf my sexy daddy muahh ily babe
back in my late 20's this striper played this song as her last dance love it.
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