Bobby Brown was born in 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts. He started singing with schoolmates Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell in 1980 and eventually, they brought Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe into their group. The group became known as New Edition and caught the eye of Maurice Starr after winning several talent shows.
Starr signed the group to his label and helped them get a deal with MCA. New Edition was very successful during the early 1980s, but Brown was interested in starting his own solo career. He was kicked out of New Edition in 1986 for his lewd acts while on stage and was replaced by Johnny Gill.
In 1986, Brown released his debut album, King of Stage. The album didn't make a significant impact but it did feature one hit single with 'Girlfriend,' a single that reached #1 on the R&B charts and #57 on the Hot 100.
In 1988, Brown established himself as a dominating presence with the album Don't Be Cruel. Going 7X platinum, the album was handled predominantly by the budding producer/songwriter team of L.A. Reid and Babyface. 'My Prerogative' topped the R&B and Hot 100 charts, the title track reached #8 on the Hot 100 and 'Roni' reached #3 on the Hot 100. In addition, 'Rock Wit Cha' reached #7 on the Hot 100 and 'Every Little Step' reached #3 on the Hot 100. During the same period, Brown released 'On Our Own' from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack which managed to hit #2 on the Hot 100.
As the market became flooded with similar sounding artists in the coming years, Brown's third album, Bobby, did not make as big an impact. Released in 1992, the same year Brown married pop star Whitney Houston, the album managed only double platinum status. Nevertheless, the album still had several hits with 'Humpin Around' reaching #3 on the Hot 100, 'That's The Way Love Is' reaching #9 on the R&B charts, 'Good Enough' reaching #7 on the Hot 100 and 'Get Away' reaching #3 on the R&B charts. In 1993, Brown was arrested for an overly suggestive stage performance, the beginning of a long road of legal issues for the artist.
In 1995, Brown was arrested after a brawl in a Disney World nightclub and again later that year for battery in Los Angeles. During the same year, he checked himself into a clinic to battle drug and alcohol problems. In 1996, he wrecked Houston's leased Porsche while speeding with a blood-alcohol level twice legal limits.
Despite it all, Brown reunited shortly with the rest of New Edition to record and release the album Home Again. Touring for the album, Bobby Brown constantly caused issues with the group, performing while intoxicated and would extend his own solo set. During this time, tabloids continued to cover Brown in negative light as they accused him of spousal abuse when Houston received a cut on her cheek during a yachting trip in 1997.
During the same year, Brown released another solo venture, Forever, which failed to make any significant impact on the charts. The album was supposed to feature production by several major producers but Brown negotiated total creative control and made the album himself.
Continuing his stream of legal issues, in 1998, Brown was arrested for sexual battery. He tested positive for cocaine several times and was sentenced to 75 days in jail in 2000 for refusing to take a drug test. While working on a new album in 2001, Brown suffered a seizure from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
More recently, in 2005, Bobby Brown launched a reality series, Being Bobby Brown. The series followed Brown, his wife, and his family over a six month period as they put their lives back together. It acts as an effort to shed light on the real Bobby Brown. In 2006, Brown has recorded two new tracks, 'Beautiful' with Damian Marley and 'Born & Raised' with Jus Bus.
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston separated in September 2006, after Whitney filed for a legal separation. A month later, she filed for divorce, which was granted in April 2007 and Whitney was given custody of their 14 year old daughter.
Bobby Brown rejoined New Edition in 2005 during a 25th anniversary special and is reportedly working with the group on a new album.