One of the brightest R&B stars of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Bobby 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, which produced the major hit “Girlfriend.” his follow-up solo album, Don’t Be Cruel, however, topped the charts, and made Brown a megastar. The album went on to sell over seven million copies and spawned five Top Ten hits, including the title song “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Roni,” “Rock Wit’cha,” the number one, chart topping “My Prerogative,” and “Every Little Step,” which earned him a Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, Male. 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.
In July of 1992, Bobby Brown married fellow superstar Whitney Houston, and in August, he released his third solo album, Bobby, which went double platinum. “Humpin’ Around” was a smash, reaching Top Five on the pop charts and earning Brown a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. This album also spun off several R&B hits, including “Good Enough,” “Get Away,” “That’s the Way Love Is,” and a duet with his wife, “Something in Common.” Brown won the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist in January 1993. In 1995, Brown reunited with New Edition for the number one album, Home Again, and a comeback tour. At the end of that tour, Brown again departed to focus on his solo career, and he released the album Forever in 1997. More recently, Brown released a greatest hits album in 2000, and contributed to Ja Rule’s single “Thug Lovin’” in 2002. This collaboration won Brown a Source Award for R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year in 2003.
While always maintaining his focus on music, Brown has also been venturing into the movie side of showbiz. In 1996, Brown co-starred in the hit movie, “The Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” and in more recent years he has appeared in the films “Two Can Play That Game,” “Go for Broke,” “Gang of Roses,” and “Nora’s Hair Salon.”