Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1958. He is the 5th in a family of six sons and attended North Central High School.
Babyface got his nickname when playing in a funk band with Bootsy Collins. The name has stuck with him since. In the time leading up to his solo career, Babyface also performed with the group Manchild which is most known for their hit 'Especially For You' released in 1977 and The Deele who released three albums during the 80s.
In 1988, with the Deele losing steam, Babyface and L.A. Reid left the group. Together with Reid, Babyface formed LaFace Records, which signed TLC and Toni Braxton and played a tremendous role in their success. Under LaFace guidance, Toni Braxton's debut album sold over eight million-copies and TLC's first two albums sold a combined total of over 15 million copies.
Throughout the 1990s, Babyface had his hands in a large portion of the music released, with "I'm Your Baby Tonight" by Whitney Houston being his first #1 hit. In addition to that track, he did Boyz II Men's "End of the Road," and "I'll Make Love To You" which both set records, as well as Madonna's #1 hit "Take A Bow." He wrote and produced the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack in its entirety, which went on to sell over 10 million copies and scored a #1 hit with "Exhale." Other artists Babyface worked with include Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Brandy, Mary J Blige, Tamia, Janet Jackson, Sisqo, Dru Hill, Mariah Carey, En Vogue and Az Yet, just to name a few. His success as a producer can be seen by the fact that he won three consecutive Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year in 1995-1997
Outside of music, Babyface and his then wife, Tracey Edmonds ran Edmonds Production Company which produced several movies. Their films include the 1997 film Soul Food and the 2001 production Josie and the Pussycats. However, in 2005, Babyface and his wife announced that they would be ending their marriage of thirteen years.
In addition to his influence in music, Babyface had a successful solo career that began in 1986. In that year, he released released his debut album Lovers on Solar Records. The album's singles faired moderately well on the R&B charts, with "I Love You Baby" reaching #8 and "Mary Mack" reaching #29.
In 1989 Babyface released the album Tender Lover which hit #1 on R&B charts and went double platinum. The album had several hit singles with 'It's No Crime' and 'Tender Lover' reaching #1 on the R&B charts and 'Whip Appeal' and 'My Kinda girl' reaching #2 and #3 respectively. The album also saw Babyface first crossover appeal with 'It's No Crime' reaching #7 on the Hot 100 and 'Whip Appeal,' reaching #6.
This success continued when in 1993, Babyface released his best selling album to date, For the Cool in You which went 3X platinum. The album featured the singles "For The Cool In You" which reached #10 on the R&B charts and "And Our Feelings" which reached #8. The album's biggest singles were "Never Keeping Secrets" and "When Can I See You" which reached #3 and #6 on the R&B charts and #15 and #4 on the Hot 100 respectively.
Continuing his success, in 1996 Babyface released the double platinum album The Day. The album had the hit single featuring LL Cool J, 'This Is For The Lover In You' which reached #2 on the R&B charts and #6 on the Hot 100. The album's other successful single was "Everytime I Close My Eyes," which featured Mariah Carey and reached #5 on the R&B charts and #6 on the Hot 100.
Babyface's latest albums have failed to reach the same commercial success as his earlier works. Face2Face was released in 2001 after difficulties between Babyface and his label. Disagreeing over the right sound for the album, the album was completely redone before it made it to market. Despite the revisions, its singles faired poorly on the Hot 100. They managed more success on the R&B charts with "There She Goes," reaching #10 and "What If" reaching #28. Similar difficulties with Babyface's label arose over his 2004 album 'A Love Story' which never saw release.
In 2005, Babyface released the album Grown and Sexy, which peaked at #3 on the R&B charts, the highest an album of his has reached since 1993. Still, the singles for the album did not chart well, with "The Loneliness" peaking out at #49, "Sorry for the Stupid Things," at #65 and "Grown & Sexy" at #51 on the R&B charts.
2007 saw Babyface last release, Playlist. The album was comprised of eight cover tracks and two original songs.