Bobby Brown is celebrating his 48th birthday today and the Bad Boy of R&B is also enjoying the success of BET's ratings-busting mini-series The New Edition story. At his peak, Brown was one of the most kinetic performers in music and an R&B megastar. His second solo album, Don't Be Cruel became one of the biggest albums of the 1980s and he churned out a litany of hits in the late 80s/early 90s, like "My Prerogative," "Roni," "On Our Own" and "Humpin' Around."

The New Edition Story chronicles Brown's history with, New Edition, the iconic R&B group that he founded as a 10-year old with his friends Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins when they were all growing up in Boston's Roxbury section, in the Orchard Park Projects. The three would recruit another friend, Ralph Tresvant, to be lead singer and added fifth member Ronnie DeVoe just before winning a talent show that led to the now-quintet signing it's first record deal. The mini-series followed Brown's acrimonious departure from N.E. in 1985 (they would go forward with new member, Johnny Gill) and his history of run-ins with the law and notoriety on his road to solo superstardom.

Regardless of the controversies that would come to define so much of Brown's public image, he's still one of the biggest R&B artists of his generation and one who set the stage for everyone from Usher to Chris Brown.

Happy Birthday to the King of the Stage!


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