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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

Mr. Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil 1987*
{Nuloos inc.™} ~WNBA NBA NFL MLB NHL~ Universal Studios Monica & Bronshae Show & Promo! 2000* K.M.E.L™ 103.5The Bomb® Kid Cris Show Year 2000* Wu*Tang Clan 7Chamder™ Baby~B In~The~Place 2B™
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
Mr. Bronshae La'Ray Alexander™ Owner of; UFC, MMA, TMC, 2Mil 1987*
{Nuloos inc.™} ~WNBA NBA MLB NHL~ Universal Studios Monica & Bronshae Show & Promo! 2000* K.M.E.L™ 103.5The Bomb® Kid Cris Show 2001*
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
shippy29
MARKS WRAPPING NUAHS PRESENTS IM SPOILED ROTTEN YOU KNOW I EARNED IT
shippy29
YOU R WHAT I WANT I TOLD YOU BYE
shippy29
omg your so STUPID I LOVE YOU NUFF SAID I WILL MARRY YOU IN A MINUTE IN MY FIN UNDERWEAR IF I HAVE TO PLEASE DONT KILL MY DREAM HOBY CRYING YOUR NO 1 HEMORRHOID TO MY NO 1 A**HOLE YOU GETTING ON MY LAST NERVE XMAS SHOPPING DONE YOUR IN THIS OR NOT?
catinhat.cd
If really knew me after this time would treat me better but from begin it's. Been something i need somebody really love ME. Just. Found. Them.YOU GOOD I'M NOT WHAT YOU WANT.
catinhat.cd
Cause really don't
Rhealynn , babie doll really you are the light of my life , I just can't imagine you not next to me I can't get enough of you , I love you very much with all my soul
Rhealynn , babie 25 years of being around you just makes my life complete thank you for being my friend of all friend you are my motivation I love you baby girl
shippy29
LETS GET SOME REST H. SEE YOU IN MORN CHRISTMAS EVE FALLLLA LA LA LA BAYBEE NIGHT NIGHT
shippy29
THEY HATER NOT GONNA BREAK ME
shippy29
WHAT!!!!!!
shippy29
BOO LOVES BOO TOO WHO MIND YOUR BUSINESS JUST TALKING TO MY MAN
shippy29
LOVE YOU BABY FACE FOR A FRIEND
shippy29
YOU GOTTA TAKE IT ALITTLE SLOWER WITH ME THIS TIME I LOVE YOU
I m crying
Good loving
jeannettedej e s u s . j d 2 9 9
Baby Face
catinhat.cd
You my boo G.H nobody else love you
catinhat.cd
Secret. All time
shippy29
I CARE FOR YOU ANGEL SO MUCH IT SCARES ME BUT LOVIN YOU THRU THIS WE GONNA MAKE IT WE R WORTH FOR AM I DREAMING MY FAIRY TALE
shippy29
HOWSS YOUR HEADACHE BABY
shippy29
HI BABY FACE I LOVE YOU HOBY
shippy29
WHIP APPEAL
catinhat.cd
G BABY soon possible
shippy29
how are you my angel?
shippy29
finally
shippy29
sorry about mistakes im alittle tired and have a headache i be fine no worries getting that blood pressure down , did you hear my redskins finally beat my bros team eagles ha ha lovin josh but we took em down
shippy29
mark is gone miss him alittle but need time to me and {zz zllis good
shippy29
good morning sunshine hoby i love you so much lets tell the world
catinhat.cd
Want you when i came all that sex stuff you did bedroom, those self with little on made want you than had me wet.
catinhat.cd
I'm going the hit man of that.......G b a b y
catinhat.cd
Tell me
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