Today on The Flashback, we salute Boston’s own Bad Boy Bobby Brown on his 47th birthday. Brown first gained notoriety as a critical member of the early 80’s group New Edition, whose success made the boy-bands craze of the 90’s possible. Despite shining on tracks such as ‘Mr. Telephone Man’, Bobby was forced to leave New Edition amid controversy and discord between band members in 1996.
Bobby’s solo career began with the 1986 release ‘King of Stage’ but it wasn’t until his follow-up 1988 release ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ that it really took off. Powered by smash hits ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘My Prerogative”, and ‘Every Little Step’, the album would produce 5 top-ten hits, go 8 times platinum, and catapult Bobby to the top of the pop charts.
His next album, 1992’s ‘Bobby’, would spawn such hits as ‘Humpin’ Around’ and ‘Good Enough’ and while it did go platinum, his popularity began to fade at the end of the New Jack Era, as well as the beginnings of his highly-publicized and often controversial marriage with Whitney Houston. In later years Bobby would work with artists such as Ja-Rule, Damian Marley, and Macy Gray, and at one point before Tupac Shakur’s untimely passing, Bobby was to be signed to Shakur’s Makaveli Records.
Today Bobby often tours with New Edition, giving loyal fans a taste of the group’s glory days and gaining new fans along the way. It’s a testament to Bobby’s resilience to have come from the mean streets of Boston’s Orchard Park housing project, survived the ups and downs of superstardom, and most notably kept it together after the tragic losses of both his wife, Whitney and their daughter, Bobbi Kristina. For his hard work and perseverance, many accomplishments with New Edition and a stellar solo career full of countless musical memories, today we both salute and wish Bobby a Happy Beantown Birthday! Don’t be cruel.