Bad Boy Of R&B: Bobby Brown
There are many stories that lie within the group of New Edition. From Candy Girl to Hot Tonight, these boys have had an interesting ride throughout their careers. We want to move our focus to the story of Mr. Prerogative himself, Bobby Brown.
Though Brown started his career in 1982, he started his solo career in 1985 just after the group voted him out. He signed to MCA Records, the former label New Edition was signed to, and released his first album King of Stage in 1986. He received success but not as much as his next album would make.
Don’t Be Cruel was the most successful solo album of his career. When we heard “My Prerogative” we jumped to the hit as much as he did. Both “My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step” hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. He worked with other artists and producers such as Babyface, L.A. Reid and Teddy Riley making the album a hit.
The ladies loved to watch him perform because of both the energy he brought to the stage and provocative dance moves to match the energy. He released a third album in 1992, Bobby. He received a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his hit “Humpin’ Around”.
Brown was also known as the original bad boy and trouble followed him wherever he went. He gained the name when he left New Edition, due to issues within he had within the group, and the issues that were right behind him as he began to change the sound of R&B. He often got into trouble for the moves he would do on stage, fights he had offstage, and the drugs and alcohol in between.
Of course, we can’t talk about Bobby Brown without mentioning the legendary Whitney Houston as his wife. Brown married Houston in 1992, which added to his popularity and success. With Whitney Houston’s extraordinary limelight and Brown’s exceptional talent, the two of them became television’s most unhinged as well as passionate couples.
After the birth of their daughter, Bobby Kristina, Brown took a break from music for his marriage and his daughter. Though he did not make music of his own, he was still very heavy in the entertainment industry. He made tracks with Houston, appeared on The Benzino Project, had deals on the table with Death Row East, and Tupac Shakur’s label Makaveli Records.
He later signed with Murder, Inc with Ja Rule. His time with Murder Inc. was brief due to the label dissolving. He turned to the big screen with his roles in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and later Two Can Play That Game.
He reunited with New Edition several times starting in 1990 with a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Up until 1997, Brown appeared in performances and even produced another album with New Edition. They release Home Again, which became another successful album for the group, in 1997. He toured with New Edition until trouble, once again, followed him.
He later admitted that he reacted negatively because of his drug and alcohol addiction. After New Edition’s hit single “Hot Tonight” in 2004, the group, including Brown, performed together in 2005 at the BET 25th anniversary special. Brown took to many endeavors in the following years including a book that would tell everything about his life, Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But. It was released after Houston’s death.
Bobby Brown had a very interesting career. He is still seen in different lights from music to reality television. His fame came from many facets of his life, but we will always know his as the bad boy of R&B.