Kenneth Brian Edmonds found a way around his shyness while growing up by penning down his emotions in songs. He also practiced with the guitar and keyboard at the time and a few decades later, he’s famous across the globe as Babyface (his professional moniker).
Beyond being a well-decorated crooner with 11 Grammy Awards to his name, Babyface is also the writer and producer of more than 26 number-one R&B hits. Among other things, this earned him the 20th spot on a compilation of NME 50 Of The Greatest Producers Ever.
Babyface Bio (Age)
The American singer was born on April 10, 1959, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and named Kenneth Brian Edmonds by his African-American parents – Marvin (father) and Barbara Edmonds (mother), a pharmaceutical plant production operator.
Edmunds’ family had a hard time when their father died after a battle with lung cancer. He was an eight grader in North Central High School, Indianapolis, at the time and was already writing songs to help him get over his shyness. Seeing his mother’s struggles in taking care of the family, Edmonds began to aspire for a career in music.
He worked with Bootsy Collins in his early days as a singer and also got his moniker “Babyface” from the American musician. His youthful appearance earned him the name. Babyface also worked with the group known as Manchild, performing as a guitarist and equally played keyboards in the light-funk and R&B group known as the Deele. The latter group introduced him to his future partner – drummer Antonio “L.A.” Reid. They remained in their positions in the Deele group until their exit in 1988. The duo embarked on writing and producing together and recorded much success.
His Slow Jam hit which he wrote for R&B band Midnight Star was met with rave reviews in 1983. The song formed part of the band’s No Parking on the Dance Floor album which received double-platinum. Slow Jam also received a lot of radio airplay and more than three decades after its release, it can still be heard on radio stations.
So far in his productive career, Babyface has eight studio albums and six collaborative albums with both bands and solo artists. The last of his collaborative offerings, released on February 4, 2014, became an awards darling. The duet album dubbed Love, Marriage & Divorce was done with Toni Braxton.
In 2009, Soda Pop Records was launched by the star under which he signed R&B superstars K-Ci & JoJo. Asides singing, writing, and producing music, Babyface has also dabbled into acting. He made an appearance and also performed on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. He also collaborated with his ex-wife Tracey Edmonds in setting up Edmonds Entertainment Group through which they produced films like Soul Food (1997) and Josie and the Pussycats (2001) to critical acclaim. Other productions were also carried out under the stable.
For an entertainer of his caliber, it is hardly a surprise that people are hugely interested in knowing the exact extent of the wealth he has gathered from his career as a musician and other endeavors in the entertainment industry.
Sadly, the quest to know how rich Babyface is; has led to the quoting of various figures which can barely be substantiated as his net worth. While several sources have estimated the total value of the man’s wealth at $80 million, a handful of others believe it is much larger than that and has left the figure at $170 million.
His Family – Wife and Kids
The legendary crooner has been married thrice. His first attempt at marriage was with a woman simply identified as Denise. The details of this marriage – when it started and ended, have not been made public, probably because it happened when he was still very young.
Tracey Edmonds came into his life in 1990 during auditions for one of his music videos. Their romance blossomed into a marriage which was officially sealed on September 5, 1992. Sadly, it wasn’t going to be a happily ever after union as Tracey filed for divorce in 2005 on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. This was after thirteen years of living together as man and wife.
Babyface soon found love again in 2007 in the arms of his backup dancer Nicole “Nikki” Pantenburg. They made their union official on May 17, 2014, in a wedding ceremony and have remained together ever since.
From his last two marriages, Babyface is a father of three, a daughter and two sons. His sons Brandon and Dylan came from his marriage with Tracy and in 2008, while they were still dating, Babyface and Nicole welcomed a daughter, Payton.
Babyface has two brothers – Kevon and Melvin Edmunds who are also basking in the limelight.
While Babyface was making headway in the music industry on his own, his brothers teamed up with Keith Mitchell to start After 7, an R&B group founded in 1987.
The talented trio is remembered for the late 1980s and 1990s hits like Ready or Not, and Nights Like This. They delivered their stuff well until Melvin took a bow in the early 2000s, leaving his spot in the group for his son, Jason Edmonds.