Bobby Brown gambled on L.A. Reid & Babyface, who at the time didn’t have any big hits to their credit, but ended 1990 with a phenomenal run of success that would in time become legendary. New Edition also became the gold standard for every young, touring, business savvy R&B group as well as the most influential young R&B group in the game.

Without Bobby Brown there wouldn’t have been a lane for Usher or Chris Brown. Ne-Yo or The-Dream could’ve pursued their songwriting and production careers behind the scenes but without the artistic aesthetic Bobby Brown set forth 25 years ago they wouldn’t have had the option to become artists (bridged by R. Kelly who also benefited greatly from Bobby Brown’s solo success).

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Michael Bivins (who initially got the whole ball rolling back in 1987) would become one of the most influential young music executives in the game. Shortly after the 1988-89 Heartbreak Tour ended, Mike Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe would begin work on yet another landmark R&B album to be released on MCA in 1990 called “Poison.” Let’s recap a little, shall we?

In June 1986, New Edition was in dire straits. By June 1987, they were back in the studio with a new member working on their comeback album. In June 1988, they were releasing the aforementioned comeback album. By June 1989, they were back on top of the world, multiplatinum and their 5th hit single in a row was on the radio as they closed out a huge tour. By June 1990, Bell Biv Devoe also became Platinum with two huge crossover Billboard hits in “Poison” and ‘Do Me” that would take what Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” did the year before to another level entirely. In only two years time, Boston artists (Bobby Brown, New Edition & Bell Biv Devoe) had completely changed both R&B/Soul and Pop music forever at a time when competiton in R&B was at its fiercest. Check the record for yourselves.

Where It All Started: 25th Anniversary Retrospective of Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” & New Edition’s “Heart Break”  was originally published on theurbandaily.com

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