- NAME: Babyface
- OCCUPATION: Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: April 10, 1959 (Age: 54)
- Did You Know?: Babyface received 12 Grammy Award nominations in 1997, tying Michael Jackson's 1993 record for most nominations in a year.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Full Name: Kenneth Brian Edmonds
- AKA: Kenneth Edmonds
- AKA: Kenny Edmonds
- Nickname: Babyface
- AKA: Ken Edmonds
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
Best Known For
Babyface is a Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and vocalist known for the breadth of his work in R&B and pop music.
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Born on April 10, 1959, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds played with the band The Deele before forming a songwriting/production team with L.A. Reid. The two formed their own label, launching artists like Toni Braxton and TLC, and scoring multitudes of hits. Having helmed the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack among other projects,
"Embracing who you are and your life experiences along with all the things you've learned, all the mistakes that you've made and learning from them—that's very sexy to me. I think that's far sexier than someone walking around flossing how much ice they have."
"I like to think I write romantic songs that affect people strictly in the heart, which is my only concern. I don't look to save the world."
"With the importance that black music plays in the overall scheme of music, to not have more successful black owned and operated record companies is really sad. We obviously have the talent and capable executives who help run so many other labels."
"I'm always open to working with other people so I can learn more things and kind of add to my dictionary. That's the joy of it."
"I don't claim to be a great vocalist, but I know how to work my voice with its limitations. My talent is I know how to work what I have. It might not always be a picture-perfect performance, but what we look for is the emotion. Sometimes the emotion comes from it being just a pinch sharp or flat."
Babyface is a solo recording artist.
Kenneth (Kenny) Brian Edmonds was born on April 10, 1959, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the second eldest of six children. He took to playing the guitar in his youth and later learned keyboards, performing with the band Manchild. He'd also played with funk legend Bootsy Collins, from whom he received the nickname "Babyface."
Babyface joined the 1980s group The Deele, which had several R&B hits. He and fellow musician L.A. Reid would go off from the band to become a highly successful, chart-topping songwriting/production team. The duo crafted work for the likes of The Whispers, Pebbles (whom Reid married), Karyn White, Sheena Easton and Bobby Brown, forming their own label—LAFace Records—in 1989.
Babyface was also working on his career as a solo vocalist, offering his debut album Lovers in 1986. Though a private man who often preferred to be out of the spotlight, he made a mark and then some with his second full-length release—1989's Tender Lover, a double-platinum affair which featured the R&B No. 1s "It's No Crime" and the title track, as well as the Top 5 "Whip Appeal" and "My Kinda Girl."
Babyface and Reid soared as heads of their own label, which featured a roster of acts that included Toni Braxton, Usher, Outkast, The Tony Rich Project, TLC and Pink, while their musical production work yielded a multitude of No. 1s for a variety of artists. With a flair for relationship-oriented witticism, Babyface served as writer or co-writer for acts like Boyz II Men (penning the hits "I'll Make Love to You" and "Water Runs Dry," for instance), Madonna ("Take a Bow") and Tevin Campbell ("Can We Talk?" and "I'm Ready"), among others.
He handled a share of the production/writing duties on the 1992 Boomerang and Bodyguard soundtracks. And, for the 1995 Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, which he produced and which featured Whitney Houston among an ensemble cast of female vocalists, he wrote nearly all of the tunes.
Babyface and then wife Tracey Edmonds also established a production company, releasing big-screen projects like Soul Food (1997) and, under the indie e2 filmworks aegis, Hav Plenty (1998) and Punks (2001).
Babyface had given further attention to his own solo recording projects as well, releasing 1993's For the Cool in You, a multi-platinum outing that contained the Top 5 pop hit "When Can I See You Again." With his singles as a solo artist routinely finding a place on the pop, R&B and adult contemporary charts, Babyface's next studio effort came forth in 1996, The Day.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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