Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Synopsis of Pop Music

“It’s my prerogative,
I can do what I wanna do…”

A little singing, a little dancing, a little smooth-love romancing…Bobby Brown knew all the right moves, and with the help of producers L.A. Reid and Babyface, he turned those moves into a multiplatinum career that brought “New Jack Swing” to the top of the pop charts.

As co-founder of the 1980’s teen-r&b supergroup New Edition, Bobby Brown was riding high on a wave of hits like “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man,” but the 'solo artist' bug was starting to itch. In 1985, Brown made an amicable split from the group, signing with MCA and releasing his first solo album, King of Stage, in 1987. The album was a moderate success on both the pop and r&b charts, but the stage was set for Brown’s coronation the following year.

1988’s Don’t Be Cruel was the album that put both Bobby Brown and “New Jack Swing” on the map. A sound pioneered by Babyface, Reid and others (and also featured on the debut album of fellow New Edition cohorts Bell Biv DeVoe), the New Jack style blended old-school r&b with the new frontiers of rap music, a combination that drove music fans wild. With the Top-10 singles “Don’t Be Cruel” (#8, and nothing to do with the Elvis Presley classic), “My Prerogative” (#1), “Roni” (#3) and “Every Little Step” (#3), Don’t Be Cruel was a dance/hip-hop/pop sensation, topping the U.S. charts and turning Brown into a superstar.

Bobby’s live shows were notoriously saucy, as the frontman’s dance moves worked the crowd into a frenzy (and occasionally got him in trouble with the law). The music’s appeal was also undeniable, and in 1990, hits from Brown’s first two albums were remixed into the new Dance!…Ya Know It!, another platinum-selling smash. That same year, Brown had a cameo in the movie Ghostbusters II, earning a #2 single with “On Our Own” from the film’s soundtrack.

In July of 1992, Brown married fellow pop sensation Whitney Houston, and in September of that year, a proper follow-up album of original songs was released. The self-titled Bobby kept the rump-shaking boogie moving with the hit songs “Humpin’ Around,” “Good Enough” and “Get Away.” Brown struggled for a few years afterward, troubled by marriage difficulties (a constant source of tabloid headlines and speculation) and a few legal problems, but he re-entered the music scene triumphantly with a New Edition reunion album in 1996. Home Again was an instant success, but once more, Brown decided to go solo, working on a new album that would be released in 1997.

Forever gave Bobby a chance to turn out more of what he did best—danceable, soul-infused grooves and ballads—but the album was a commercial disappointment. Brown continues to perform and record, however, and plans for a new album are still underway, holding out the hope that the crown prince of New Jack Swing will find his way back to the throne.

Artist Release History

1987 - King of Stage
1988 - Don't Be Cruel
1990 - Dance!...Ya Know It!
1992 - Bobby
1993 - B. Brown Posse
1993 - Remixes N the Key of B
1997 - Forever
2000 - Greatest Hits

Pop Sub Categories

hip hop

Essential Music Albums

Greatest Hits (MCA)

Band Members

Bobby Brown vocals

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