He's had over 200 Top 10 R&B hits and more than 50 Top 10 pop hits

Browse Song Catalog: BMI

Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

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Born
Inducted

As an artist, Edmonds released his debut album Lovers in 1986

Since the 1990s, 11-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-producer/multi-instrumentalist Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds has produced and written or co-written such major hits as Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” Tevin Campbell's "Can We Talk?" and "I'm Ready," and " Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You," "Water Runs Dry," and "End of the Road"--which was one of the longest-running No. 1 hits in pop chart history. His compositions have further been covered by everyone from Whitney Houston to Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Johnny Gill, Pink, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé. He's had over 200 Top 10 R&B hits and more than 50 Top 10 pop hits (including 16 No. 1s), with over 500 million sales of combined singles and albums worldwide.

Edmonds was born in Indianapolis on April 10, 1959, the fifth of six brothers including Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, both future band members of R&B band After 7 (with Kevon also enjoying a solo career). He learned to play guitar and keyboards, and began writing songs in high school. He got his "Babyface" nickname from funk legend Bootsy Collins while playing in his band, after which he was a member of the funk band Manchild. He then joined '80s R&B group the Deele, whose members included Antonio "L.A." Reid. With Reid, Edmonds commenced a major songwriting/production partnership, initially achieving hits written and produced for the likes of Pebbles ("Girlfriend") and the Whispers ("Rock Steady").

Edmonds and Reid left the Deele in 1988 to continue their outside pursuits, co-founding the label LaFace the following year. Among the artists signed to LaFace were a then 14-year-old Usher, Toni Braxton, TLC, Pink and Outkast. Meanwhile, the team scored more songwriting/production hits with Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step," Sheena Easton's "The Lover in Me," and Karyn White's "The Way You Love Me" and "Superwoman," all of which landed on both the pop and R&B charts.

As an artist, Edmonds released his debut album Lovers in 1986. His 1989 Tender Lover went double-platinum and spawned the No. 1 R&B hits "It's No Crime" and the titletrack, with "Whip Appeal" and "My Kinda Girl" reaching the Top 5. His 1993 album For the Cool in You went triple-platinum and included his Top 5 pop hit "When Can I See You," and his 1995 Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, for which he wrote most of the songs as well as the score, yielded Whitney Houston's smash hit "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)." He went on to write and produce much of the 1997 Soul Food movie soundtrack and contribute to the soundtrack for the animated musical The Prince of Egypt.

Most recently, "Pray for Me," which Edmonds co-wrote for Anthony Hamilton, was nominated for a 2013 Grammy. He co-wrote and co-produced several songs on Ariana Grande's 2013 debut album Yours Truly, and had a hand in writing most of his Grammy-winning 2014 Love, Marriage & Divorce album of duets with Toni Braxton. He released his tenth studio album Return of the Tender Lover in 2015.

His songs have been covered by Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, and many more

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Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Madonna Tevin Campbell Antonio "L.A." Reid Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Pink Toni Braxton Outkast Bootsy Collins Mariah Carey Beyonce Ariana Grande Johnny Gill

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