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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, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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I still like his music and all but Whitney Houston did the drugs first and then she told him about it the first few months he did not do it but then he started to go to the club and for information he was good to Whitney
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I dk the no one this earth loves new edition and bobby brown as much as I do oh and DT leave head of state out oh I lv Mr telephone man and I lv college girl and I lv gt away
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This song is a classic for sure
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I love bobby brown and I WS blessed to see him 2tms and my hometown the u bobby for being the person u are god bless u and yr family yr biggest fan ms Jeannie bird
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Praying for BK an Bobby Brown in my heart for Ever an Ever love you Both
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Love Bobby Brown all day the one an only
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I hate him he killed Whitney with drugs
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This is when Bobby had his sh"t together...
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Great music from a great songwriter!
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Miss having Lyrics
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Yes please put the lyrics back please
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Bobby always love you Music praying for your family and keep your head up God has the last say so keep doing what you're doing man always going to be in love with you and your music
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PLEASE PUT THE SONG LYRICS BACK ON PANDORA!!!!! ! ! !
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I'm only 29 but I have older siblings and I love his music! So much better than today's junk. My heart goes out to him and his family. Praying for BK! ������
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ade052
Outstanding production, lyrical content and always, always take me back in time. Alitalia @ 35,000ft listening to this was da Sh
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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jamaal119
This song reminds me a lot when I was young.
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Back in the day house party music . when partying was fun and love was still in existence. When you could party and not worry bout getting shot !
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I still think this is the best album he ever made, still listen to this album frequently
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We,are praying for you and your family.Thank you for your bless music*Mr.Bro w n *
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Proud of you bobbythe way you handled yourself in your last interviews
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nrivers16
:D;);9
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briannatrehy 8 7
Bobby Brown is the WORST singer ever/ BEST! :-)
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I am praying for you and your family right now Bobby...
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Yeah tha 90 babies and rock witch rocking rolling sweet love
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yeojbme
A lot of people don't give Bobby the respect he deserves as an artist. I still rock this whole album, It never gets old! One of my favorite artists of all time. Where did our music go? The world forgot what it is to love ,music was that inspiration . I'm sad for our kids coming up who will never know real music. God bless
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I live 2 this song
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I love this song!!!
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Prayer that Bobbi Kristina will be healed. Hang in there little sister.
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#prayinforbk #
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My prayers go out to u bobby hold your head
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I remember all of his great hit, still in love with your music, my family and myself r praying for your daughter.
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Praying for your Baby bobby your music still in my head after all these years !!! Love man praying for your family
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In the wee hours of this night, let us finish what we started, in each others arms, in love's soft embrace, with all the passion I possess, let me love you, my darling, until the night turns to dawn
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Bobby brown is the s**t. Damn good singer.
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PRAYING FOR BOBBI K........... . . . . . . . . . . . D N T GIVE UP
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Player Mack Bobby Brown
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# prayersupfor B K
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Hi it's Marsha that song reminds me when i was going through heart breaking times it helped me . I want to give my prayers to bobby and family . We all need prayers happy birthday to mr. Bobby brown. In Jesus name..Amen love you n both sides mrs Whitney Houston family love you all.
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BK prayers
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#prayforBK
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I am praying for your daughter
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Happy birthday Bobby during this difficult time. Prayers to your little girl. Much love.
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I Love Bobby Brown that's my Dude
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I think I was a junior in H.S. when this came out classic Bobby B oh yeah you dug the Bobby Brown push ups too lol
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sing about that Tendaroni... . y o u r heart
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Back in the day!
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I'm here touching you beautiful ...i love you lay back beautiful let hold u D❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ ❤ okay baby love u too
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Seem like you around all time first in morning,late night. Sometimes feel like you here
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sakitamcdona l d
I had just graduated from middle school when Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel Album came out. I went to the mall and bought it from Sam Goody's. Those were the good ole days. I still love me some Bobby Brown.
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