- Category : Singer - Popular
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 1
Robert Berisford Brown (born February 5, 1969), better known as Bobby Brown, is an American Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, songwriter, actor and dancer. Brown began his career with the popular boy band New Edition in 1980 but was later ousted from the group due to behavioral problems. He embarked on a solo career in 1986 and had a string of Top 10 Billboard hits. Brown is the ex-husband of R&B singer Whitney Houston and the star of his own reality show, Being Bobby Brown on Bravo. On September 13, 2006, Houston's publicist announced that after 14 years, the singer filed for a legal separation from Brown. It was ruled by a judge on April 4, 2007 that their marriage would be definitively dissolved on April 24, 2007 and that Whitney would receive custody of their 14-year-old daughter.
Bobby Brown was born in Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. He began singing with schoolmates Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell in 1978. The group, which would later include Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe, 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", in 1983, which helped get New Edition a deal with MCA. Along with "Candy Girl", Brown and New Edition scored several other pop and R&B hits in the early 1980s, including "Mr. Telephone Man", "Cool It Now", and "Is This The End". After a few moments of teen stardom, Brown longed to move on to an adult solo career. New Edition replaced Bobby Brown with a long-time friend of the group Johnny Gill in 1987.
Bobby Brown released his debut solo album, King of Stage, in 1986, and while it didn't make a name for Brown as a pop star, it did spawn an R&B hit in the ballad "Girlfriend" and a moderate hit "The Girl Next Door" in early 1987. King of Stage gave little indication that Brown was about to become a breakout star on the cutting edge of modern R&B.
George Smith was Bobby Brown's manager when Bobby left New Edition and was working on the "Don't Be Cruel" album. George Smith was responsible for spearheading Bobby's solo career with the "Don't Be Cruel" album which sold over twelve million copies. George Smith used his business acumen including independent retail, radio and marketing to help facilitate Bobby Brown's image, development and album sales. George Smith financed, mentored, implemented and orchestrated Bobby's success before and during his first album. George Smith was instrumental in developing the careers of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Antonio "L.A." Reid. Bobby Brown lived with George Smith for a while at Mr. Smith's estate in Danville, California.
"Don't Be Cruel", Brown sought a more distinctive musical identity in the budding new jack swing movement. He enlisted L.A. Reid and Babyface, with new jack pioneer Teddy Riley. The result, Don't Be Cruel. Released in the summer of 1988, the record produced Brown's first pop Top Ten hit in the title track. 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 earned him a Grammy in 1989 for Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance-Male), and another ballad "Rock Wit'cha" all hit the Top 10 in 1989, with the former two both making it all the way to number three. Brown was also the opening act for his old group New Edition on their Heart Break tour along with other New Jack Swing acts such as Al B. Sure, Guy, and Keith Sweat.
Don't Be Cruel topped the album charts and sold a whopping seven million copies, making Brown a superstar. That same year, 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 and "We're Back"; 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. The "Don't Be Cruel" was one of the albums that helped define the New Jack Swing movement's early phase in the late 1980s.
And then, somehow, the momentum began to slow. Countless other artists expanded on the new jack swing blueprint, with Brown's former New Edition colleagues Tresvant, Gill, and Bell Biv Devoe at the forefront. Moreover, Don't Be Cruel made L.A. Reid and Babyface into hot commodities, and their sound was all over the airwaves. In 1989 he met pop singer Whitney Houston at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 1990 Bobby Brown reunited with the rest of the members of New Edition at the 1990 Video Music Awards as they performed as solo acts Bell Biv DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant then all six came on stage together to perform melodies of their hits such as "If It Isn't Love", "Mr. Telephone Man", and "Can You Stand The Rain". Around this time Bobby was working with his old groupmates during their solo periods.
He was featured on groupmate's Ralph Tresvant remix to his big hit "Sensitivity" along with his older brother Tommy Brown. He was also featured on Ralph's hit "Stone Cold Gentleman". Brown also made a cameo appearance in Bell Biv DeVoe's video "B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me?)". In 1991 Brown along with the rest of the members of New Edition appeared on the remix of Bell Biv DeVoe's song "Word To The Mutha" and the music video also featured all six members as they returned to the Orchard Park Projects in Boston where they grew up. Also in 1991 Brown became engaged to singer Whitney Houston and in the summer of the 1992 the two got married at her mansion in New Jersey in front of star-studded guests which also included Brown's New Edition groupmates.
Shortly after his marriage to Whitney Houston Bobby released his third solo album "Bobby" in 1992. The album featured hits such as "Humpin' Around", "Good Enough", "Get Away", "That's The Way Love Is", "Something In Common" (a duet with Whitney Houston, and "Two Can Play That Game". The album featured production from Babyface & L.A. Reid, Teddy Riley, and himself. The album also featured the debut of Teddy Riley's group Blackstreet with the original group before they released their debut album which featured members Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Levi Little, and Joseph Stonestreet.
In 1993 Whitney and Bobby welcomed a daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown and it was Whitney's first but Bobby's fourth child as he had three other children Landon, LaPrincia, and Bobby, Jr. from previous relationships. Also in 1993 Brown and some friends put together a compliation album called the B. Brown Posse which featured his sister Coop B., Stylz who appeared on "Humpin' Around", DeDe McNeil, and an R&B group named Smooth Sylk. Also that year Brown released a remix album called "Remixes N The Key Of B" which featured remixes of his hits from the "Bobby" album. Also that year his New Edition groupmates Bell Biv DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill released their second rounds of solo projects and neither were as successful as the first round of solo projects.
So by 1994 the members of New Edition started talks of a reunion and all six members agreed to the reunion and Tresvant came up with Home Again. The group began the recording sessions for Home Again. The first song the group completeda was a song called "Hear Me Out" a ballad which featured a spoken part by Michael Bivins and lead vocals from Johnny Gill, Ricky Bell, Ralph Tresvant, and Bobby Brown. The song was recorded in 1994 two years before the album was released. The first single was "Hit Me Off" and it featured lead vocals from Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, and Johnny Gill and raps from Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins. The song went #1 on the billboard R&B charts.
The album was released in the fall of 1996 and featured production from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Silky, Dinky Bingham, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Heavy D, Chucky Thompson, Jermaine Dupri& Carl-So-Lowe, and Personal life
Author Kola Boof (who claims to have had a non-consensual relationship with Osama Bin Laden) has said that the terrorist had an infatuation with Brown's wife, Whitney Houston, and that he allegedly planned to have Brown killed so he could make Houston one of his wives.
On September 13, 2006, Brown's marriage to Houston, which had been dogged by tabloid rumors and other legal issues from the very beginning, came to an end when Houston filed for a legal separation. One month later (October 2006), Houston officially filed for a divorce from Brown.
Being Bobby Brown
In June 2005, Brown launched his own reality series, Being Bobby Brown, on the Bravo television network. Running for thirteen episodes, the reality show focused on the personal lives of the singer and wife Whitney Houston and their accompanying family, mostly of Bobby's children, brother Tommy and father. The show was one of the highest-rated shows on the Bravo channel, partially for Houston's off banter quotes, including the oft-repeated hell to the naw.
Year Album Label
1986 King Of Stage MCA
1988 Don't Be Cruel MCA
1989 Dance!...Ya Know It! MCA
1992 Bobby MCA
1993 B.Brown Posse MCA
1993 Remixes N the Key of B MCA
1997 Forever MCA
2008 TBA MCA
Year Song Chart positions Certification
US Hot 100 US R&B US Dance UK singles
1986 "Girlfriend" 57 1 - - - King of Stage
1987 "Girl Next Door" - 31 - - - King of Stage
1988 "Don't Be Cruel" 8 1 - 13 - Don't Be Cruel
1988 "My Prerogative" 1 1 7 6 Gold Don't Be Cruel
1989 "Roni" 3 2 - 21 Gold Don't Be Cruel
1989 "Every Little Step" 3 1 17 6 Gold Don't Be Cruel
1989 "On Our Own" 2 1 15 4 Platinum Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack
1989 "Rock Wit'cha" 7 3 - 33 Gold Don't Be Cruel
1990 "She Ain't Worth It" (with Glenn Medeiros) 1 43 - 12 - Glenn Medeiros
1992 "Humpin' Around" 3 1 15 19 Gold Bobby
1992 "Good Enough" 7 5 - 41 Gold Bobby
1993 "Get Away" 14 3 3 - - Bobby
1993 "That's the Way Love Is" 57 9 31 56 - Bobby
1993 "Something in Common" (with Whitney Houston) - - - 16 - Bobby
1995 "Two Can Play That Game" - - - 3 - Remixes N the Key of B
1997 "Feelin' Inside" - - - 40 - Forever
2002 "Thug Lovin'" (Ja Rule featuring Bobby Brown) 42 16 10 24 - The Last Temptation
2006 "Beautiful'" (Damian Marley featuring Bobby Brown) - - - 39 - Welcome To Jamrock