Bobby Brown Phoenix Honor
ENTERTAINER – PRODUCER – ENTREPRENEUR – AUTHOR
Bobby Brown has been one of the most compelling American artists of the past thirty years, a magnetic and talented figure who successfully crossed over many musical genres, including R&B and hip hop, as well as the mainstream.
– New York Times
BOBBY BROWN is a new man.
In fact, the formerly iconic Bad Boy is now fully grown and an entirely new man. And, after two internationally scrutinized personal tragedies, he has an entirely new perspective on life. In the next several months his life will unfold as an array of newness: A new focus on family; a new world tour with a new addition to the galaxy of New Edition spin-off groups; new all-natural products from his four-year-old company Bobby Brown Foods.com: (yes, including the BOB-B-Q Burger); new recognition by his peers (the R&B Soul Music Icon Award) and of course new music and a new movie — both new projects from Brown Ribbon Entertainment (which produces content varying from live theater to primetime television).
The full story and context of his transformation is in THE BOBBY BROWN STORY. The Black Entertainment Television (BET) mini-series features an original song, “Like Bobby,” which Brown describes as his version of the contemporary autobiographical/confessional pop song, similar to those recently released by his peers in R&B music. Brown recorded “Like Bobby” with two collaborators who were major contributors to his solo fame — iconic songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and legendary producer Teddy Riley. The new project is intended to set the public record straight about his life. Brown and his wife are executive producers of The Bobby Brown Story.
“I feel very confident that this will clear a lot of things up for those doubters about who I actually am,” Brown says. “I feel this film will answer a lot of questions. You can definitely expect a lot of bombshells to be dropped.”
“People think they know me, but they really don’t,” he says. “With this film and music, they’ll understand why I am the man I am today, and why I was the man that I was before.”
Last year, The New Edition Story, co-produced by Brown, captivated audiences with revelations about a group people felt they knew. New Edition was founded 40 years ago and led to international stardom for Brown and his childhood friends: Ronnie Devoe, Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins and Ralph Tresvant. The BET mini-series about New Edition drew 29 million viewers, producing No. 1 ratings on BET, Facebook and Twitter. Since the Bobby Brown mini-series picks up the narrative where the New Edition Story left off, Brown expects comparable success for the sequel–at least.
“Hopefully even more people will watch,” he says. “Last year, I was confident that our story needed to be told. I felt it needed to be told now. And now we have this whole new fan base. The people who grew up with us have shown their kids who we are. Now when we do concerts, it’s family-oriented.”
Brown is about to embark upon a world tour with the newly minted group, RBRM (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike — a name derived from the famous selfie shout-out in their first hit, 1984’s “Cool It Now.”)
“We are the only group that has broken apart, where each member has been successful in their own way, and where the group comes back together,” Brown says. Only the Beatles have had comparable solo success for its original members. But even the Beatles never managed to reunite successfully in so many spin-offs: platinum or multi-platinum solo albums by Brown, Tresvant and the newest member Johnny Gill, multi-platinum product from Bell Biv Devoe, and now the new prospects of RBRM — a full four decades of pop music. “We are very proud of the fact that no group has ever done what we have done.”
Perhaps the most-poignant new development for Brown is his emphasis on family. His wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown is not only his life partner, but his business partner in Brown Ribbon Entertainment.
“Bobby today is definitely a family man, who’s content with being that,” she says. “Content with staying for real with my kids, with my wife. I used to be out partying and all types of things. I don’t do that anymore. Now it’s about respecting the life I live with my wife and my kids. Respecting myself as a man, a husband, a parent.”
As any parent will attest, nothing can heal the pain of losing a child, but Brown draws comfort from his new connection to his remaining children, including three with his current wife. His deceased daughter from his previous marriage to the late Whitney Houston is memorialized in yet another new project Brown is introducing.
The Bobbi Kristina Serenity House will be a safe haven for domestic violence victims and survivors–men and women. “We have to help out whoever needs help. People don’t know how to break free from that situation. Love is not violence. Love is not talking to people in a demeaning way. I have a great team around me … my wife and all of her soldiers. We have to educate people about love. Men and women, and their families. Domestic violence affects the whole household.”
Brown says the charity reflects the new perspective on relationships that he has gained from the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, as our culture embarks upon a worldwide transformation in views about relationships between men and women. Inevitably, the transformation is deeply personal.
“I work on myself every day,” Brown says. “My wife is a beautiful woman who really is behind me. She supports me in a way I’ve never been supported.” Perhaps that’s why, these days, Brown’s life and his art are about love.
“When you hear the music of today, it seems like a job, not entertainment. The music is about smoking, partying, drinking,” he says, pausing to think. “When you don’t talk about love, you aren’t talking about anything.”
New Edition has sold more than 20 million records worldwide. As a solo artist, Brown sold 12 million copies and scored five gold singles, three No. 1 R&B hits, a Top 100 No. 1 hit, Grammy Award, American Music Award, and a Soul Train Music Award for his “Don’t Be Cruel” album — the best-selling album of the year. The single “My Prerogative” was the No. 1 song in the nation for six weeks in a row. Brown is also a NY Times best-selling author for his memoirs “Every Little Step.”
In 2018, Brown was named one of the Top 60 Male Artists Of All Time as part of Billboard Magazine’s 60th anniversary. He is also receiving the Black Music Honors R&B Soul Music Icon Award, a fundraiser that supportsthe National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville.
South Fulton County, Georgia recently presented Brown with 3 Proclamations acknowledging and thanking him for launching The Bobbi Kristina Serenity House foundation for domestic violence and his plans to have a serenity center in Atlanta.