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Bobby Brown

One of the brightest R&B stars of the late '80s and early '90s, Bobby Brown was the performer who popularized new jack swing, a blend of classic soul, synth-funk, and hip-hop rhythms that often featured rap breaks in between the conventionally melodic verses and choruses. Guy's Teddy Riley may have been new jack's greatest innovator, but Brown was its greatest hitmaker, crossing over to pop audiences with his blockbuster Don't Be Cruel album and thus making new jack swing the dominant trend in R&B through the early '90s (which, in turn, helped kick-start the solo careers of his former bandmates in New Edition). As R&B tastes changed, Brown became better known for his private life than his music; a sometimes rocky marriage to Whitney Houston and a series of run-ins with the law kept him in the tabloid headlines for most of the '90s and 2000s, even though he wasn't actually recording much music.

Brown was born February 5, 1969, in Boston, and began singing with Roxbury schoolmates Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell in 1978. The group developed into New Edition and, after a few talent show wins, was discovered by producer Maurice Starr. Starr signed the group to his label and co-authored its debut hit, "Candy Girl," which helped get New Edition a deal with MCA. After a few years of teen stardom, Brown longed to move on to an adult solo career, and left New Edition in 1986. He released his debut solo album, King of Stage, in 1987, and while it didn't make a name for Brown as a pop star, it did spawn a major R&B hit in the ballad "Girlfriend." Overall, though King of Stage gave little indication that Brown was about to become a breakout star on the cutting edge of modern R&B.

For his follow-up, Brown sought a more distinctive musical identity in the budding new jack swing movement. He enlisted the emerging production/songwriting team of L.A. Reid and Babyface to handle the majority of the record, with new jack pioneer Teddy Riley coming onboard in a limited capacity as well. The result, Don't Be Cruel, was a state-of-the-art, star-making affair. Released in the summer of 1988, the record produced Brown's first pop Top Ten hit in the title track, but really started to take off when the driving statement of purpose "My Prerogative" went all the way to number one toward the end of the year (and managed to work the word "prerogative" into a catchy hook). From there, Don't Be Cruel just kept spinning off hits: the ballad "Roni," the dance tune "Every Little Step" (which showed off Brown's rapping skills), and another ballad, "Rock Wit'cha," all hit the Top Ten in 1989, with the former two both making it all the way to number three. Don't Be Cruel topped the album charts and sold a whopping seven million copies, making Brown a superstar. In 1990, he was tapped to provide the theme song for Ghostbusters II and responded with the number two smash "On Our Own," another rap/R&B mixture; he also contributed a rap to friend Glenn Medeiros' number one pop hit "She Ain't Worth It." Brown was so popular at this point that even his 1990 remix album Dance!...Ya Know It! went platinum.

And then, somehow, the momentum began to slow. Countless other artists expanded on the new jack swing blueprint, with many of Brown's former New Edition colleagues at the forefront: Bell Biv Devoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant. Moreover, Don't Be Cruel made L.A. Reid and Babyface into hot commodities, and their sound was all over the airwaves. Just before his new album, Bobby, was released in the summer of 1992, Brown married superstar diva Whitney Houston, who sang the duet "Something in Common" on the new record. Bobby's lead single, "Humpin' Around," was a smash on both the pop and R&B charts, reaching the Top Five on the former. However, Bobby didn't sustain the momentum of Don't Be Cruel; perhaps it didn't stand out from the pack the way Don't Be Cruel had in 1988. Whatever the reason, sales of Bobby topped out at around two million copies, despite several more R&B hits in "Good Enough," "Get Away," and "That's the Way Love Is." In 1993, Georgia police arrested Brown for an overly suggestive stage performance, an incident that would prove to be the first of many legal difficulties for Brown -- which were compounded by substance abuse issues -- over the next several years.

After a number of incidents that included a club brawl, a battery charge that led to probation, a drunk-driving accident, and a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic, Brown found time to record with the fully reunited New Edition, whose comeback album, Home Again, entered the charts at number one in September 1996. Brown toured with the group, but departed when the tour was over. The tabloids, meanwhile, had a field day over Brown and Houston's rumored marital problems. Brown released his fourth solo album, Forever, in 1997, but it was a commercial disappointment that failed to break the Top 50.

In 2005, he rejoined New Edition once more, broke off with fellow members Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant as the touring act Heads of State, and starred in the BET reality program Being Bobby Brown. Shortly after the show's brief run, he and Houston divorced. A few months after Houston's February 2012 death, Brown released his fifth solo album, The Masterpiece. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Masterpiece

1. Don't Let Me Die

2. Does Anybody Know

3. Get Out The Way

4. Damaged

5. Can't Give Up

6. Set Me Free

7. Starmaker

8. Exit Wounds

9. All Is Fair In Love

10. Man I'm Gonna Be

x

Track List: Bobby

1. Humpin' Around (Prelude)

2. Humpin' Around

3. Two Can Play That Game

4. Get Away

5. Til The End of Time

6. Good Enough

7. Pretty Little Girl

8. Lovin' You Down

9. One More Night

10. Something In Common

11. That's The Way Love Is

12. College Girl

13. Storm Away

14. I'm Your Friend

x

Track List: Don't Be Cruel

1. Cruel Prelude

2. Don't Be Cruel

3. My Prerogative

4. Roni

5. Rock Wit'cha

6. Every Little Step

7. I'll Be Good To You

8. Take It Slow

9. All Day All Night

10. I Really Love You Girl

11. Cruel Reprise

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Bobby Brown

1. Girlfriend

2. Don't Be Cruel

3. My Prerogative

4. Roni

5. Every Little Step

6. On Our Own

7. Rock Wit'cha

8. Humpin' Around

9. Get Away

10. That's The Way Love Is

11. Good Enough

x

Track List: Get Out The Way (Radio Single)

1. Get Out The Way

Comments

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Don't read this.. Now that you started reading don't stop. You will be kissed by the love of your life, on the nearest friday, by the love of your life. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes when you finish hit the spacebar your lover's name will appear
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One of my FAVORITE songs!! I love me some Bobby and Whitney!��
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I love Bobby Brown
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Karesa A warmer Hi sweet hat love to day is both day
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CHEAV META BABES Hi sweet hat love come to me get it hot her wet
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Bobbys will always be my boo ❤️❤️❤️❤️part of the soundtrack of my life
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I must admit he's not my best artist, but the man can sing and dance
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤❤
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Bobby hit that one on the head and more love making song ��������
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Kereea A Warmer Hi sweet hat love come to me get it hot her you out DAT women?
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Yes
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I love you.
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Rock Wit'cha- nice cut- stay strong for you and family. Everyone know you love your daughter. Peace King.
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Sumpin' in his day
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Bobby B had some major hits!
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If you treat her right real nice and hold her tight
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That's my song there
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Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now that you have started reading this don't stop this is so freaky but if you read this and ignore it you will have very bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 144 minutes when you're done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in bright letter of the screen this is freaky it actually work
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Everyone need just one RON
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Lets 'Give-this-s h o u t - O u t ! - f o r -
SECURITY RONI'S...... t h e y are appreciated. . . . . . . . . i know what they were 'labled'(as) .
Tin-soldiers , r e n t - a - c o p s , s u b s t i t u t e s , o n & o n . . . . . . . t h o u g h THEY ARE TRUE BLUE PEACEMAKERS bless their ways!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Bobbys music will always get the mood right
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BB made it sound so good, I started looking for my own Roni.
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Bobby is a legend. Love him.
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I love bobby brown and this song still sounds good! Bobby was the s**t back then ! I do need to get started on my destiny on my on like bobby says on our own!
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Bobby Brown was soooo in like middle school; listening to old jams!!!!!!!! ! Love these songs!!!!!!! ! !
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Bobby(my brother -the -entertainer ) . You have been through so much .FANS of yours can not fathom. May a HOSTS of THE LORDS'ANGELS IN HEAVEN ABODE infest your every thought,desi r e , a n d continued prayers in earnest!
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My Mommy Can down From Baltimore Maryland In 95 she My Pops 11 Years Ago But They Are Not Married But They Been Together For about 20 Years Now
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That Was My Only Hometown But The Hospital Is In Mount Pleasant I Was Born Inside The Site Building That Was My Only Hometown But Now I Live In Georgetown South Carolina I move to Georgetown South Carolina About 15 Years Ago
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I'm Is From The 2000's You See My Day I Was Born On June 17 2000 That Day I Was Just A Baby I Was Born At East Cooper Hospital
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I Listen To This Song Roni so in Many Times
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Love this song #throwback music we need more of these kind of music in modern time most kids don't even know these songs
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Good Song
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ms_bacy
Still one of my favorite songs! Love it!
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BOBBY... BOBBY...BOBB Y . . . B O B B Y
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This is my song!!!! No one can compete to old school music this new generation is BUNK.... U can write a song about anything now a days... Old school had soul and meaning ��
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NO ONE DID IT BETTER!!!!!! ! !
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Jm
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The shytt!!
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This beat is from might be
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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Don't be cruel ����
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Sing it my griend damre good
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yvettemartin e z 6 9 5
My tenderoni!.. . . . y v e t t e and jeshua forever!
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My girl is a semi roni lol
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Bobby Brown enough said
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Bobby is the s**t and in all his madness he stayed strong! I'M your biggest fan
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sugarbabe393 9
Love Bobby always an forever. Haters keep hating, cuz ure fans have you. NE 4-life
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You are so funny
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No matter what people say about Bobby he has made his imprint on the music world twice once with a bad a** group called new edition and as a solo artist and God bless her dead but Bobby should have continue to sing ans not accept the world of living in whitneys shadow i love whitney but now folks can leave bobby alone and stop blaming him for whitneys own personal demons love you b brown
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