18 Dec Babyface: The Return of Essential R&B
Babyface is a legendary singer, songwriter, producer, and an icon of essential R&B.
There’s always a story as to how superstars are born. And for Kenneth Edmonds, the tale is that he didn’t become a star until he was dubbed ‘Babyface’ by another legend.
It was funkmaster Bootsy Collins that gave the notoriously shy and aloof singer the moniker that everyone would cling to for over a quarter of a century. But it was talent and determination that was necessary in order to take it to the next level. Babyface took the alias and turned it into a household name as a singer, songwriter, producer, and label owner.
To say that Edmonds has not had a hand in some of R&B’s most memorable songs the last few decades is nothing short of an understatement. His music has reached the four corners of the earth, elevating the status of the genre, while simultaneously making stars out of a slew of singers from pop to rock and roll. Then, and to this very day, what has made Babyface such an iconic force in the recording industry is his ability to craft a song that is jam-packed with emotion and stands the test of time.
He has always respected the integrity of lyrics, resulting in some of the most remarkably unforgettable rhythm and blues that has ever graced a radio station. His is a sound that remains timeless, and one that he doesn’t apologize for. But why would you shy away from music that is literally woven into the very tapestry of every R&B fans’ minds from the 90s?
Babyface has never been one for a lot of fanfare, but it has never been necessary because his music has always been a foghorn that made everyone aware that magic was happening right before their eyes. The owner of a back-catalog that has spawned possibly millions of children is back with a new album to remind the world, and the industry, that true artists never lose their (whip) appeal.
On tour last year with Toni Braxton, Babyface whet the appetites of many of his fans that had missed his live performances. As a duet, he and Toni took home the Grammy in the ‘Best R&B Album’ category for the concept album Love, Marriage & Divorce. The demand for more vintage rhythm and blues from ‘Face notched up a bit further with his BET tribute performance which featured some of his biggest hits sung by those that he had a hand in making legends in their own right.
Nearly seven years since his last solo outing, Babyface is back with the release of Return of the Tender Lover, demonstrating that his music is still just as timeless as it was all those many moons ago. As he seeks to connect with a new generation of R&B fans, the man often referred to as the Smokey Robinson of our generation, is back and just as relevant as ever.
This is news worth exhaling about.
Watch Babyface’s video for We Got Love
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