Bobby Brown

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Bobby Brown (born Robert Barisford Brown, 05.02.1969)

Bobby Brown is an R&B artist and the ex-husband of late superstar Whitney Houston.

Childhood: Bobby Brown was born in Boston. His parents were Herbert, a construction worker, and Carole Brown, a teacher. He grew up in Roxbury’s Orchard Park Projects and was involved in petty theft and gangs which saw him get shot in the knee at a party once. When he was 11, he saw his friend die after being stabbed. He joined a church choir at a young age inspired by singer James Brown.

Musical career: Bobby Brown started out his musical career as a child in the band New Edition with Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Travis Pettus and Corey Rackley, though Ralph Tresvant soon replaced Rackley. The line-up altered several times after that, with Pettus leaving and subsequently being replaced by Ronnie DeVoe. In 1982, they signed with Maurice Starr’s record label and released their debut album ‘Candy Girl’. The title track hit number one in the UK and on the US R&B chart. Their second album which was self-titled brought them to stardom when it reached number 6 in the US. There was much bitterness in the group, however, with Brown’s increasing jealousy of Tresvant’s attention from fans and so he often sang out of turn on stage. He left in 1986, though there has been much controversy surrounding the circumstances. As a solo artist he signed with MCA records and released his debut album ‘King of Stage’ in 1986 and had a number one hit with his ballad ‘Girlfriend’. He released his most successful album ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ in 1988 after working with a variety of top producers. It included his number one single ‘My Prerogative’ and saw him embark on a two year world tour during which he was often in trouble for sexual behaviour on stage. In 1989, two of his songs appeared on the soundtrack to ‘Ghostbusters II’ in which he also made a cameo. His 1989 remix compilation ‘Dance! Ya Know It’ garnered much success in the UK. He performed a duet with his wife Whitney Houston on his next album ‘Bobby’. His final two albums were not successful due to Brown’s increasingly waning interest in making music. In 2002, he recorded a duet with rapper Ja Rule on ‘Thug Lovin” and contributed to Damian Marley’s 2006 song ‘Beautiful’. In 2010, he dueted with Macy Gray on ‘Real Love’. Brown reunited with New Edition several times; first in 1990 at the MTV Video Music Awards and later with their 1996 album ‘Home Again’. They were also reunited at the BET 25th anniversary special in 2005 and again in a tribute show following the death of Michael Jackson.

Other career ventures: Bobby Brown has had cameos in several films including ‘Ghostbusters II’, 1995’s ‘Panther’, ‘Two Can Play That Game’, ‘Gang of Roses’, ‘Nora’s Hair Salon’ and ‘Go for Broke’. He appeared in the kids show ‘Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme’ and had a starring role in ‘A Thin Line Between Love and Hate’. In 2005, he and wife Houston appeared in a reality show called ‘Being Bobby Brown’.

Personal life: Bobby Brown first became a father at 17 to a son, Landon. He had two children, LaPrincia and Robert Barisford Brown, Jr. with Kim Ward who he dated from 1989 to 1991. He has claimed to have dated Janet Jackson who was the first person to have ever broken up with him. He met Whitney Houston at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989. They were married in 1992 and had one daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, nicknamed ‘Krissy’, in 1993. It was a tempestuous relationship due to Brown’s infidelity and both their abuse of drugs and alcohol. They were divorced in 2007, though in spite of this, he was visibly distressed at a performance with New Edition following Whitney’s sudden death in 2012. In 2009, Brown had a son called Cassius with his girlfriend Alicia Etheridge who he married in 2012. In 1996, his brother was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting when the pair attempted to negotiate peace between two gangs. He currently lives in the Atlanta city of Johns Creek. He was diagnosed with ADD as a child and later developed bipolar disorder. He struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction from a young age. He was addicted to cocaine, crack and heroin after marrying Houston, though he has since claimed to be clean. He has been arrested numerous times in his life for drug possession, driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated and domestic violence. In one police chase, he crashed his wife’s Mitsubishi before resisting arrest, swearing at officers and urinating in public. He was jailed in 2004 for violating parole after a DUI charge and was also almost jailed for failing to make child support payments. He was jailed again in 2013 though only served nine hours of his 55 day sentence. In 2012, he began rehab treatment for his alcohol dependency.

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