Bobby Brown. biography
Born Robert Barisford Brown on February 5, 1969, in Roxbury’s projects of Boston, Massachusetts, Bobby Brown grew up robbing and hanging around local gangs before realizing his dream of singing when he saw James Brown perform on-stage at the age of 3.
By the age of 12, Bobby and his neighborhood friends Ricky, Ronnie, Ralph and Michael had formed the trio group New Edition.
After winning multiple singing contests, the group was signed by the minor label Streetwise in 1983 and released their debut album Candy Girl later that same year. They later joined forces with MCA Records and found immediate success with the release of their self-titled album. Despite the financial success, the group continued receiving low payments, which ultimately led to Brown leaving the group in 1986.
That same year, Bobby made his solo debut with the release of his first album King of Stage with its lead single “Girlfriend” becoming a number one R&B hit single. Although a great introduction, he officially made a name for himself when his second album Don’t Be Cruel (1988) reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart while its lead singles “My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step” became top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went on to be named the best-selling album of 1989.
Bobby found similar success with the release of his next album Bobby in 1992, which was certified 2x platinum and featured the hit single “Humpin’ Around.” Also around this time, Bobby married pop queen Whitney Houston, a marriage revolving around domestic abuse, heavy drugs and alcohol abuse. The negative publicly focused on the couple proved to be detrimental to his career when he produced his fourth, commercial-failing album Forever (1997).
Despite being seen a drug addict and as abusive toward women, Bobby cleaned up his act after the two divorced in 2007, ultimately landing him in the arms of Alicia Etheridge whom he proposed to in 2010. The two have a son together, named Cassius.
Following a few appearances on respected artists’ tracks, including Damian Marley’s “Beautiful,” Bobby’s fifth album The Masterpiece debuted at number 41 on the R&B chart in June 2012.
Aside from music, Bobby has appeared in several films, including Ghostbusters II (1989), Panther (1995), Two Can Play That Game (2001), Nora’s Hair Salon (2004) and Get Out the Way (2012).
Did You Know…
- He suffered a mild heart attack in October 2007
- He is reportedly addicted to cocaine and alcohol
- He was accepted to the Golden Gloves when he was 11
- He admitted himself to the Betty Ford Clinic in 1995
- His favorite entertainer is Rick James
- He first met Whitney at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards