Bobby Brown was born into a poor home but the music created a path to fame for him and an escape from the suffering he grew up in. The multi-faceted personality popularly known as Bobby Brown was born Robert Barisford Brown on February 5, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The singer was parented by Herbert James Brown and Carole Elizabeth Williams who were both poor earners. His father, Herbert, was a construction worker while his mother, Carole, was a schoolteacher. Some reports say Bobby Brown has seven siblings while some others record five siblings. However, only two of his siblings are known – Leolah and Tommy Brown.
Brown’s interest in music was kindled when he was only three years old as he watched legendary James Brown perform in Boston. As his passion for music burned, he joined the church choir while he was growing and was exceptional in the group as his voice stood out from the rest.
Coming from a very poor background, Brown had to do what he could to survive and so he got involved with gangsters and resorted to stealing. An incident where his friend was stabbed to death when he was eleven years old would forever redirect his steps from the streets and get him back to school.
Early Career – New Edition
Bobby Brown and his friends – Travis Pettus, Michael Bivins, Corey Rackley, and Ricky Bell, who he grew up with at Roxbury’s Orchard Park Projects came together to form a music group and they dubbed it “New Edition.” When Pettus and Rackley left the group, Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe replaced them.
The all-male group gave their all and became popular by always coming up tops at every competition they enter. Their discovery by music producer Maurice Starr meant the New Edition has arrived on the world scene. Maurice offered the boys a recording deal in 1983 with the label, Streetwise, which was run by Arthur Baker. That same year, 1983, New Edition released their first album Candy Girl under the label which was a musical and commercial success.
Their second album – New Edition – was released under MCA Records in 1984 and its success eclipsed that of the first album. However, following some internal misunderstandings and strife within the group, Brown left them in that year and signed a solo contract with the same record label and hired Steven Machat as his manager.
Bobby Brown Solo Career
Bobby Brown’s first solo album dropped in December 1986 and it was titled, King of Stage. The album did well but not as Bobby had hoped so he decided he needed to learn a thing or two about music and so he worked with notable songwriters Babyface, Teddy Riley, and Antonio L.A. Reid and they collaborated on his second album that did extremely well in 1988. The album, Don’t Be Cruel, recorded the highest album sales in 1988 – 7 million copies in about six months – and would attract another 5 million sales the next year. This album to date remains Bobby Brown’s best-selling album ever. Riding on that success, he released his third and fourth solo albums titled On Our Own and Bobby in 1990 and 1992 respectively.
As his career as a solo artist ignited, so did his sex appeal as he was often compared to a pop idol, Michael Jackson. Even though he was the most popular singer in the 1980s and ’90s, he was caught on the wrong side of the law too many times for drug-related offenses, alcoholism, driving under the influence (DUI), and many other vices which took the shine off his music.
Family – Parents
As stated earlier, there is a controversy regarding the actual number of siblings Bobby Brown has. There are just two known siblings – Leolah Brown and Tommy Brown – but some authority websites have reported more. While some have claimed Bobby’s parents gave birth to eight children, others say they are six, however, no other names are given. His parents, who are both late, are Herbert James Brown, a construction worker, and Carole Elizabeth Williams, a substitute schoolteacher.
While his mother died in 2011, his father was around for one more year before joining his wife in the afterlife in January 2012. He had battled with cancer and lost his life in the process.
Wife, Daughter, Kids, Son
As his career blossomed, Bobby Brown snapped up the most popular female music talent at the time and whisked her away to the altar on July 18, 1992, at her estate in New Jersey. The name of the music star was Whitney Houston and their wedding was a high-power celebrity wedding.
They met at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989 and she invited him to her 26th birthday party and that was how they hit it off. However, even though the wedding was a first-class affair, the marriage was nowhere near first class – it was trouble from the word go. They were tales of domestic violence, infidelity, substance and drug abuse, including cocaine. Houston would later claim that Bobby Brown introduced her to cocaine, a statement that was not difficult to believe even though Bobby denied it himself.
It is needless to say that the turmoil in his marriage affect his career and he was only able to release just one album in the 15 years he was married to Whitney Houston. -The album titled Forever (1997) was deemed a commercial shipwreck. The marriage, however, produced an offspring in the form of a daughter – Bobbi Kristina Brown – before the union grided to a halt in 2006. Kristina was born on March 4, 1993.
Moving past his marriage to Houston, he started dating Alicia Etheredge who he married in June 2012 and has remained with her to date. They have three children together and they are Cassius Brown (a son, born May 31, 2009, three years before their marriage), Bodhi Jameson Rein Brown (a daughter, born July 9, 2015), and Hendrix Estelle Sheba Brown (another daughter, born July 21, 2016).
However Bobby Brown has sired seven (not four) children from his loins. He had his first son, Landon Brown, as a 17-year-old teenager in 1986 from his relationship with Melika Williams. When he ended his affair with Williams, he dated Kim Ward and she bore him two kids – a daughter, La’Princia Brown in 1989 and a son, Robert Barisford Brown, Jr., in 1992. He was already breaking up with Ward in 1991 when she was found to be with his child.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, his only child with Whitney Houston, is the only one not alive today. She was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her home on January 31, 2015. She was placed in an induced coma and after six months, she was reported dead on July 26, 2015, at the age of 22.
Bobby Brown Body Facts – Height, Weight
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 90 kg (198 lbs)
Body Build: Athletic
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Dark brown