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Singer Bobby Brown, known for hits including "Don't Be Cruel" and "Humpin' Around," is also famous for his troubled marriage to Whitney Houston.
A preview featuring Bobby Bown, Jewel, Morgan Fairchild, & Elliott Yamin.
In 1989, New Edition member Bobby Brown caught the attention of Whitney Houston and they soon started dating. At the time, the public was shocked, as Whitney was viewed as the good girl, and Bobby Brown had a "bad boy" reputation.
In the early 2000s, Whitney Houston's career took a downward turn after a series of personal troubles and professional disappointments. In 2005, she and her husband entered the world of reality TV with their show "Being Bobby Brown."
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Born in Boston in 1969, singer Bobby Brown became famous in the 1980s and early 1990s for hits including "Don't Be Cruel" and "Humpin' Around." His musical fame, however, became eclipsed in the late 1990s by his troubled marriage to pop star Whitney Houston, who he eventually divorced in 2007.
Robert Brown was born on February 5, 1969, in the hardscrabble Orchard Park projects in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He was the second youngest of eight children born to Herbert Brown, a construction worker, and Carol Brown, an elementary school teacher. Brown endured a very rough childhood marred by poverty and gang violence. Knowing that his parents could not afford to buy him the various things he coveted as a child, Brown and his friends turned to stealing. "I didn't want to ask my mother or my father because they didn't have a lot of money," Brown remembered. "I'd just go to the store and take it. If I wanted a sweat suit or a pair of shoes, I'd just go pick them up." Brown also got caught up in Roxbury's gang wars. At the age of 10, he was shot in the knee when a skirmish broke out between rival gangs at a block party. A year later, Brown got into an altercation with an acquaintance who pulled a knife and slashed his shoulder. The turning point in Brown's childhood came shortly after, when his close friend James Flint was stabbed to death at a party at the age of 11. "When his friend passed, you could see Bobby taking his career, his schooling, his whole life more seriously," Brown's brother Tommy recalled. "As kids, everyone had their dreams, but his loss made him more determined."
Brown had dreamed of becoming a singer ever since he saw James Brown perform at the age of 3. He started out singing in church choir, where he distinguished himself with his beautiful and passionate voice. At the age of 12, he formed a group with his friends Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe. Calling themselves New Edition, they rehearsed with a focus and discipline very rare for a group of pre-teen boys. After winning several talent shows, New Edition was discovered by producer and talent scout Maurice Starr, who landed them a recording contract with a small label called Streetwise in 1983. That year they released their debut album, Candy Girl, a sugary sweet collection of songs that made the group an overnight sensation. The title track, "Candy Girl," was highly reminiscent of The Jackson 5's "ABC."
In 1984, New Edition switched to MCA Records and released a self-titled follow-up album that eclipsed the success of Candy Girl with hit singles such as "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man." However, despite the enormous success of their music, the members of New Edition still only received the small salary stipulated in their exploitative contract with MCA. "The most I saw for all the tours and all of the records we sold was $500 and a VCR," Brown said. Believing that they were being treated "like little slaves by people who were only interested in money and power, and not the welfare of New Edition," Brown left the group in 1986 to pursue a solo career.
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Musical duo Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston married in 1992, and had one daughter, Bobby Kristina. In 2003, Brown was arrested for misdemeanor battery, for allegedly hitting Houston and shouting epithets. That didn't stop the family from starring in their own reality show, Being Bobby Brown, in 2005. Two years later Houston and Brown divorced.
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston 2 people in this group
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