Bobby Brown is not only the ex-husband of the late Whitney Houston, he’s also a veteran musician who made a name for himself in the midst of a tough life. Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Bobby Brown, 49, has been in the music industry since he was a child and has made quite the name for himself. The new BET biopic, The Bobby Brown Story, is based on the talented star’s eventful life, including his ups and downs with his late ex-wife Whitney Houston, and the substance abuse addictions that almost destroyed his career. From his time rising to the top of the charts to his lowest of lows, the details of the two-night feature has everyone once again talking about Bobby. Here are five things you should know about him.
1.) He founded his former music group, New Edition, when he was just nine-years-old. Bobby, who is one of eight children, and his childhood friends, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Ralph Tresvant , and Corey Rackley made up the singing and dancing group, which was formed in their hometown of Boston, and they went on to become one of the most successful R&B music groups of all-time. With major number one hit songs like “Candy Girl”, “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”, Bobby found himself in the middle of high-profile mainstream success. He went on to become a solo artist and released his debut solo album King of Stage in 1986 which included the number-one hit R&B song, “Girlfriend”. He also had success with his popular songs, “My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step,” with the latter winning him a Grammy Award.
2.) In addition to entertaining as a singer, Bobby has appeared in roles for film and television. His acting debut came with a cameo role in the 1989 film Ghostbusters II. He went on to appear in other various features in the late 1980s and early 1990s such as the HBO kids’ film Mother Goose Rock ‘N Rhyme in 1990 and the Martin Lawrence film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate in 1996. He eventually signed with BRAVO for his own reality series called Being Bobby Brown, which documented his personal life then-wife Whitney.
3.) He’s been married twice and had seven children. His first child, Landon, was born in 1986 to him and his then-girlfriend Melika Williams. He also had a daughter named La’Princia in 1989 and son Bobby Jr. in 1992 with then-girlfriend Kim Ward. Kim and Bobby’s 11-year relationship ended in 1991 when Kim was two-months pregnant with Bobby Jr. Bobby met his most famous ex Whitney in 1989 at the Soul Train Awards and they quickly became friends for a couple of years before their relationship turned romantic in 1991. They married in 1992 and had their daughter, Bobbi Kristina in 1993. The marriage between Whitney and Bobby lasted for 14 years until they split in 2006. He eventually had his fifth child, Cassius, in 2009 with partner of two years Alicia Etheredge. They went on to marry in 2012 and had two daughters, Bodhi, in 2015 and Hendrix in 2016. Whitney, of course, died of drowning in a hotel bathtub due to cocaine intoxication in 2012 and daughter Bobbi sadly passed away at the age of 22 in a similar way after being found unresponsive in a bathtub at her home in 2015.
4.) Bobby’s suffered from various mental illness and substance abuse issues and many blame him for the demise of Whitney. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) as a child and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was in this thirties. He developed an addiction to alcohol at a young age and has talked about regularly smoking marijuana. After being married to Whitney, the couple started using cocaine and Whitney accused Bobby of domestic abuse during their marriage. He was arrested in 2003 for misdemeanor battery after allegedly striking Whitney during a dispute. Although the former couple seemed to both start their cocaine addictions at the same time, there’s been speculation that Bobby influenced Whitney to start a dangerous lifestyle that she was not familiar with. Bobby also later got arrested for DUIs in 2012 and 2013 before going to rehab for his alcohol addiction.
5.) He was once targeted in a drive-by shooting. In 1995, Bobby was driving with Steven Sealey, who was engaged to one of Bobby’s sisters at the time, when the shooting occurred. Sadly Steven was hit and killed but Bobby was unharmed. In 2001, the shooter, John Tibbs, took a plea agreement.
The Bobby Brown Story airs on the BET network on Sept. 4 & 5 at 9/8C.