|BABYFACE - BIOGRAPHY||
With his friend Antonio Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds formed a Cincinnati-based band, the Deele, in the early '80s. They were introduced by members of Midnight Star to Solar Records executive Dick Griffey, who put them to work producing music for Carrie Lucas, the Whispers, and Dynasty. Since then, they've produced hits for Sheena Easton, Pebbles, Paula Abdul, and others. During the '90s, Babyface's dominance has extended beyond the production arena and into the performing circle. A series of hit releases depicting him simultaneously as a vulnerable romantic and accomplished lover turned Babyface into arguably this decade's biggest urban male vocalist. The string actually began in the mid-'80s with the underrated Lovers, but picked up steam with Tender Lover in 1989. Tender Lover crossed him over into pop territory and eventually sold more than two million copies, ending any doubts that Babyface would be a major solo star. The singles "Whip Appeal" and "It's No Crime" were Top Ten R&B and pop hits, and remain staples on urban radio. He followed that with A Closer Look in 1991, and his most 1993 LP, For the Cool in You, earned another platinum certification and ranked among the year's biggest R&B/urban albums.
Babyface hit his peak in 1995, as he produced hits for artists like Boyz II Men, Madonna and Whitney Houston and coordinated the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. In the fall of 1996, he released Day, his first solo album since 1993 to strong reviews, yet the album failed to generate a hit single as large as any of his outside productions in the last two years. Christmas with Babyface followed in 1998.