Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Brown, Bobby

pop gold album hit

Brown, Bobby the singer who went from teen sensation to controversial R&B star, inventing New Jack Swing in the process; b. Boston, Mass., Feb. 5, 1969. Bobby Brown grew up in the projects in the Roxbury section of Boston. His father was a construction worker and his mother taught grade school. They sang in church, and listened to blues and R&B at home. Brown saw music as his way out of the projects. He formed the vocal group New Edition with four of his Roxbury friends, sharing lead vocal duty with Ralph Tresvant for five years before going solo in 1986 at age 17. Despite the group’s success, his solo debut, King of Stage, sold disappointingly, with the single “Girlfriend” a comparatively middling R&B hit.

In 1988, he hooked up with producers Teddy Riley and L.A. Reid and Babyface. The album they produced, the chart-topping, sextuple platinum Don’t Be Cruel, helped change the face of popular music, fusing melodic, soulful songs with hip-hop rhythms, bringing the hybrid style new jack swing to a pop audience. The title track went gold, topped the R&B charts, and hit #8 on the pop charts. The gold follow-up single, “My Prerogative,” topped both the pop and R&B charts. “Roni” went to #3; “Every Little Step” went gold, topped the R&B chart, and hit #3 pop; “Rock Witcha” went gold and hit #7 pop. Brown also had a platinum single with the #2 pop tune “On Our Own,” featured in the film Ghost-busters II . He topped the pop charts again on a gold duet with Glen Medeiros, “She Ain’t Worth It.”

A remix album followed, went to #9, and sold platinum. However, Brown’s rise to super pop stardom wasn’t without controversy. His hip-shaking live show proved too much for the authorities in Columbus, Ga., who cited him in violation of the city’s lewd behavior act and fined him $600. This was not the last of his legal difficulties (though it was the least). Brown fathered several children with various girlfriends, and did some time in drug rehab. Then he married Whitney Houston in a lavish wedding at Houston’s N.J. estate in 1992.

After the wedding, Brown finally released a new album, Bobby . The album debuted at #2 and eventually sold two million copies. The singles “Humping Around” (#3 pop/#lR&B) and “Good Enough” (#7 pop) both went gold. “Get Away” hit #14. The album also included a duet with Houston, “Something in Common.”

Brown joined the chart-topping New Edition reunion in 1996 before returning to his solo career with Forever in 1997, but the album didn’t even go gold. Earlier that year, his recording studio in Atlanta went bankrupt. Beset by rumors of marital difficulty, Brown and Houston remain wed, although Brown’s career seems now to have stalled, while Houston continues to top the charts while also developing a successful acting career.

Brown, Chris [next] [back] Brown, Anne Seddon Kinsolving (1906–1985) - Military History

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or