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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

One of my favorites. Brings back memories.
Babyface is THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO R&B since Al Green. All my best romantic moments has been to his music. Have all his albums TOTALLY NUMBER 1 FAN!!! Keep doing what you do
catinhat.cd
G'BABY reading now a book Embraced by the light by betty j. Eadie good help understand when really sick ,who ,what i believe.
catinhat.cd
Soon G,BABY
catinhat.cd
What want do for you BABY
catinhat.cd
G'BABY you.have a whip appeal that make me weak you can have whatever you want. Girl why want you let me buy something beautiful you. Can have it
One of the greatest love poems ever!!!!!
catinhat.cd
I love you trying not go to sleep baby
catinhat.cd
G'BABY you had that perfume if you want it ,you probably didn't buy. For self doing holidays. I would given. Freely
shippy29
i love you hob
shippy29
where is he when i need him most?
Babyface Best Singer Yet... Even In The 2000's
grniiizzz
MEMORIES WHEWWWW
Wish i could sing baby this would be the song for you.
My favorite song
catinhat.cd
My whip appeal plan include lot of sex ,whip cream,chocol a t e , cherry.
catinhat.cd
Love you to stay awake with u but i can't, i think about you all occasions
I sing this to a girl her heart will for sure be mine follow for follow
Who's gonna love.....Who
Where will you Goooooooo... . .
This song always been my s**t....
catinhat.cd
Nobody else has your whip appeal baby work it. G.
catinhat.cd
Love make things happen, i have your picture here so it last and first
catinhat.cd
The last face i want too see in 2014 and first in 2015 baby love you G.
catinhat.cd
I just have simple stuff no big house or bank account but i'll share whatever i have with you
cchamberlain 2 3 7 7
I REMEMBER THIS TAPE AS A KID, THE WHOLE ALBUM WAS BAD AND NOW YOU CAN'T FIND IT ANY WHERE?! LOTTA GOOD SONGS ON THE ALBUM....SAD THEY BROKE UP, BUT BABYFACE WOULD BE WHO HE IS NOW AS WELL AS LA REID, AND THE OTHER LIGHT SKINNED GUY IN THE GROUP THAT WROTE AND PRODUCED ALOT OF SONGS FOR.DRU HILL AND OTHERS AS WELL!
catinhat.cd
Just know sometime i wonder off,but love still here. .......diffi c u l t but loving. G.BABY
Two Occasions:) love it!
catinhat.cd
Whip appeal or whip cream.....bo t h G.
Good music
catinhat.cd
Yes will G.
catinhat.cd
GBABY coming get taste of that nestle bar you carry, milk chocolate, and creamy ,can have bit hunny.
I was 11 wen dis song came out an it is my auntie favorite song...
Brings back some good memories listening to this old cut. When good music was good music
shippy29
WHOS BIPOLAR NOW HAHAHAH
shippy29
PEACE HOPE LOVE AND ROCK AND ROLL ROXBURY TREATMENT CENTER? WAITING PATIENTLY 1026 AM SATURDAT DECEMBER 27
shippy29
i love you hoby spreading it
catinhat.cd
GBABY i of more than two occasions all the time
Babyface i ain't never hear you almost ten months that song?also you a singer and songwriting? s o a good luck to you and congratulati o n s
catinhat.cd
Make sure you keep your promise, want it wet,and wild don't. Worry about that uniform. Buy you a new one.....G .BABY
shippy29
U FOLLOWING ME HOBY LOVE PEAVE AND ROCK AND ROLL HAHAHA HATERS
shippy29
LOVE YOU HOBY
shippy29
MY HEAD HURTS WHEN FALLING HOLDING MY DOG IZZY XMAS MORNING AND I HAVE A HIP REPLACEMEN TALSO MARK WAS SCARED TO DEATH I HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRRESSURE TO NOW WONDER WHY HATERS WHOS CRAZY NOW?????
ohh wow!!! :)
beautiful song!!! <3
...married man w/a good woman #lovesmaketh i n g s h a p p e n
shippy29
hey baby i fell on my a** this morning but ok now
shippy29
i love you hoby
shippy29
ONLY THINK OF MY MAN ON 2 OCCASIONS LOVE THIS SONG MAKE ME THINK OF MY 1ST AND ONLY LOVE
shippy29
oh well heres the gifts i got u no Im gonna wait, maybe you come by
shippy29
you upp? it 1201 merry christmas angel
shippy29
Hi h i love you
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