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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

I love this jam, nothing but good memories.
This is jam every time I dance with
rochelle.hil l 7 0 2
Bobby brown had it goin on
Hey tkgreen2003 is my sister
Hey my jam
I wished i lived in 90's cause all I do is listen to 90's music my mom says I have an old soul
Nice song
taniahalaby1 2
Dadusacanhcr a i g h a i r v i n e t a n i a
catinhat.cd
You my tender roni baby i fell love with your beautiful heart ,baby miss you everyday ,and i want break my vow too you.
Seal
I love this spng
Brown was a bad boy on this song
andreahall25 7
Bobby Brown
YOUR BEST ALBUM IS
( DON'T BE CRUEL ) !!
Old school to my heart Every little step i take!!!
I really love ur song every littlel step
You love
catinhat.cd
My only love..my tender Roni ....G,Baby
Why is the picture for Bobby Brown's humping around a Disney princess stool?
seriously-I demand expressed permission.
catinhat.cd
GBABY touching you everywhere baby.even kiss yours toes baby.
catinhat.cd
Hurry G.BABY
shippy29
love your song monica you rock peace to all
shippy29
what more can haters do to me im still standing take that
shippy29
i believe in you and my TRUEfriends and family
shippy29
no college just lots of experience w people you know
shippy29
i love you just letting off some steam
shippy29
got it hob
shippy29
sorry b**ches always messing with my life a**hole too tryi it now see what you get
shippy29
hoby i love you come to my moms friday night at 30 stone ledge dr in newville to meet my family right off rte 11 before sheetz at blinking light
shippy29
I LIKE MY BLACK MENS SMOOTH MUSIC BUT LOVIN MY COCOA BUTTER GUY CIHARD HAT
shippy29
I LOVE YOU HOBY MIND BUSINESS YALL JUST HAVING SOME FUN W MY MAN
shippy29
WOMEN THEY LIKY OLE CAT IN HAT BUT HES MINE ALL MINE LOVE KITTY TINGLES AKA JUL 29
Sexy, but still classy!!
catinhat.cd
G.H. i roll with you kissing ,make love too you only
catinhat.cd
Classic Bobby B. Iove you G .....every step will bring too you.
That's Bobby was ( Bad ) '!!!
catinhat.cd
Who hell shippy 29 some crazy chick messing with. Me.. look woman i don't know your crazy behind. Stop lie's
shippy29
cat in hat has taken his viagra today omg get a roooom witm jul29 love you baybee
dianeseve24
I f**king luv this s**t!!!
Classic .......real music
ctijuana27
Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this on 5 songs
Look under your pillow
ctijuana27
Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post on 5 songs
Look under your pillow
This song is one of my all time favorites. It takes me back to big hair and rollerskatin g .
catinhat.cd
What you need a kiss a me touching you all,or just holding your hand.
King Of R&B!!!
grimizflawle s s x
I'm not from the 80s but this type music makes u wanna party do drugs and have a blast ! Good song !!
Yessssssssss s s s s s s s s
B. Brown one of the best. Hands down!
Love this song!!!
Show more

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