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- 1 Biography
- 2 Early life
- 3 Music career
- 4 Writing and producing
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Babyface And Wife Nicole Pantenburg Split After 7 Years Of Marriage
Born on April 10, 1959, Kenneth Brian Edmonds (better known by his stage name Babyface) is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer who is best known for his work as Babyface. Throughout his career, he has written and produced over 26 number-one R&B hits, for which he has received a total of 12 Grammy Awards. In the NME’s 50 of the Greatest Producers Ever list, he was ranked as the 20th best producer.
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On April 10, 1959, Edmonds was born to Marvin and Barbara Edmonds in Indianapolis, Indiana, and raised there. Barbara worked as a production operator in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. As a shy teenager, Edmonds, the fifth of six brothers (including future After 7 band members Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, the latter of whom went on to have a modestly successful solo career), attended North Central High School in Indianapolis and began writing songs to express his feelings as a result of his experiences.
Edmonds’ father passed away from lung cancer when he was in the eighth grade, leaving his mother to raise her two sons alone. Edmonds became increasingly determined to pursue a musical career at this point.
In subsequent years, Edmonds came into contact with funk musician Bootsy Collins, who nicknamed him “Babyface” because of his youthful appearance. As a guitarist, he also appeared with the band Manchild (which had a hit with the song “Especially for You” in 1977, co-written with band member Daryl Simmons). He was a member of the light-funk and R&B ensemble the Deele, where he played keyboards and guitar (which also included drummer Antonio “L.A.”
Reid, with whom he would later form a successful writing and producing partnership). The R&B band Midnight Star commissioned him to compose the song “Slow Jam,” which became one of his first major credits as a songwriter for other singers in 1983, and it became one of his most successful.
The song appeared on Midnight Star’s double-platinum No Parking on the Dance Floor album, which was released in 1983. Babyface remained a member of the Deele until 1988, when he, along with Reid, decided to leave the group.
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His album Playlist has eight cover songs as well as two original compositions. It was made available to the public on September 18, 2007. It was the first album released by the newly re-launched Mercury Records label in the United Kingdom.
The duet album Love, Marriage & Divorce, which won him a Grammy Award, was released on Motown Records on February 4, 2014, and was produced by Toni Braxton.
Writing and producing
During the late 1980s to the early 1990s, he wrote and produced music for a variety of artists, including Bobby Brown (“Roni”), Karyn White (“Love Saw It”), Pebbles (“Girlfriend,” “Mercedes Boy”), The Whispers (“Rock Steady,” “In The Mood”), The Deele (“Two Occasions”), After 7 (“Ready or Not”), Damian Dame (“Right Down).
Edmonds and Reid formed LaFace Records in 1989 as a joint venture. TLC, Usher, and Toni Braxton were three of the label’s early performers who achieved considerable success. Several of the songs on TLC’s second album, CrazySexyCool, were written and produced by him, and it went on to become the best-selling album of all time by an American female group.
TLC sold more than 60 million albums globally, as well as a cumulative total of 75 million records, all under his direction and guidance. In the United States alone, Toni Braxton’s first two studio albums, Toni Braxton (1993) and Secrets (1996), for which he wrote the majority of the songs, went on to sell more than 10 million copies.
Babyface was a founding member of the popular R&B group Az Yet, which formed in the late 1990s. Jon B and producer Jon-John Robinson were among the groups managed by Edmonds’ then-wife Tracey Edmonds with whom he collaborated and helped shape their sound.
Edmonds has collaborated with a number of well-known performers from the world of current music. It was Houston’s first to R&B music, and it was Edmonds’ first No. 1 Top 40 success in the United States with “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990), which he produced for Whitney Houston.
Additionally, he penned and produced Boyz II Men’s 1992 single “End of the Road” as well as their 1994 single “I’ll Make Love to You,” which both set records for the longest period of time spent at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
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“Take a Bow” was a seven-week No. 1 hit for Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album in 1994, and he co-wrote, co-produced, and provided backing vocals on that album’s hit single “Change the World.” He also had a co-writing credit with Eric Clapton on the Grammy-winning hit “Change the World” from the Phenomenon soundtrack, which peaked at No. 1 for seven weeks.
The No. 1 single “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” for Houston, as well as the remainder of the critically acclaimed Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, were written and produced by him. The soundtrack also featured further songs for Houston, Brandy, and Mary J. Blige.
Edmonds has also produced and written music for a variety of artists, including Bobby Brown, The Whispers, Pebbles, After 7, Johnny Gill, Deele, Karyn White, The Boys, Damian Dame, Tevin Campbell, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Faith Evans, Beyoncé, Diana Ross, Sheena Easton, Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, Paula Abdul, Eric Clapton Between 1996 and 1998, he was the recipient of three consecutive Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year.
Babyface and Ashanti worked together in the studio for around two years to develop her album The Declaration (2008).
He contributed to Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III (2008) album, as well as the Kanye West-produced single “Comfortable.” He also collaborated with R&B artist Monica on her sixth studio album, Still Standing, which was released in 2012. (2010).
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When Ariana Grande released her first album Yours Truly in 2013, Babyface worked as the album’s primary producer, overseeing the creation of the majority of the album’s songs, including the second hit, “Baby I.”
In September 2014, Babyface teamed with Barbra Streisand on her album Partners, singing a duet on the track “Evergreen” and providing background vocals for several other tracks on the album.
Besides that, Babyface worked with Foxes on her second studio album, All I Need (2016), producing and co-writing the song “Scar.”
During the month of July 2016, Babyface collaborated with Bruce Roberts and Carole Bayer Sager on the song “Stronger Together,” which was performed by Jessica Sanchez.
After Hillary Clinton’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the song was played in the background. The title of the song is derived from a term that the Clinton campaign used to demonstrate its commitment to unifying behind the Democratic nominee. That week, the song was one of the most popular trending tracks on Shazam.
Among the listeners, the song was generally regarded as positive, and it garnered positive feedback from celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.
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The episode “Mr. Walsh Goes to Washington (Part 2)” of the television series Beverly Hills, 90210 featured him as a guest star and performer.
After marrying Tracey Edmonds in the mid-1990s, Edmonds and his then-wife decided to branch out into the movie picture business. As part of his initial business venture, Edmonds established Edmonds Entertainment Group, which went on to produce films such as Soul Food (1997) and Josie and the Pussycats (2001), as well as the soundtrack for the film The Prince of Egypt (1998), which featured contributions from a variety of artists, including Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
In addition, they served as executive producers for the BET reality series College Hill (2004-2009).
Edmonds also collaborated with David Foster on the composition of “The Power of the Dream,” the official song of the 1996 Summer Olympics, which was performed by Céline Dion, a pop superstar. The lyrics were written by Linda Thompson.
Babyface has also appeared as a duet partner on the reality television show Celebrity Duets, which airs on Fox (2006).
The actor Wesley Jonathan played him in the Lifetime movie Whitney, which premiered in 2015. Gavin Houston plays him in the Lifetime biopic Un-Break My Heart, which is based on Toni Braxton and premiered on the network in early 2016 and is portrayed by actor Gavin Houston.
In an announcement made on August 30, 2016, it was revealed that Babyface would be one of the celebrities competing on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. Allison Holker, a professional dancer, was his partner for the performance. He and Holker were eliminated from the competition during the fourth week of the competition and finished in 11th place, alongside Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson.
He established his record company Soda Pop Records in 2009 to release music. Since establishing the label, he has signed R&B legends K-Ci & JoJo, who have released their first album under the label, My Brother’s Keeper, under his supervision. In 2013, Babyface signed a distribution agreement with E1 Music on behalf of his record label.
Denise, Babyface’s first wife, was married to him when he was a teenager and young adult. Tracey Edmonds first came into contact with Babyface in 1990, when she auditioned for the music video for his song “Whip Appeal.” On September 5, 1992, they were united in marriage, and they had two boys, Brandon and Dylan.
Tracey filed for divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court on January 7, 2005, alleging irreconcilable differences as the reason for the separation. After thirteen years of marriage, Babyface and Tracey announced that they were dissolving their relationship in October 2005.
In 2007, Babyface began dating his backup dancer Nicole “Nikki” Pantenburg, who had previously worked with him (former backup dancer for and personal friend of Janet Jackson). Babyface and Pantenburg are the parents of a girl, Payton, who was born in 2008. The couple tied the knot on May 17, 2014. They announced in July 2021 that their marriage, which had lasted seven years, would be ending.
Babyface And Wife Nicole Pantenburg Split After 7 Years Of Marriage
Celebrity Singer/songwriter Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and his wife Nicole Pantenburg have chosen to call it quits after seven years of marriage. According to a statement they provided to TMZ, the issue was naturally tough to come to a conclusion on.
After much deliberation and with great grief, we have chosen to dissolve our marriage, according to the statement. Despite our differences, we continue to love and respect one another, and we have an unwavering devotion to our daughter and her well-being. We respectfully request that our personal information and that of our daughter be kept confidential while we navigate these new waters as a family.”
Even though they’ve just been married for seven years, Pantenburg has been in a relationship with the singer since 2007. Pantenburg used to be a backup dancer for the singer (as well as for Janet Jackson), and the two have been together since 2007. Peyton Nicole, their 12-year-old daughter, is their only child.
While promoting their album, Love, Marriage, and Divorce, he was approached by a friend and longtime partner Toni Braxton, who inquired as to whether he intended to marry again. They announced their engagement in 2014. “I’ve already given it some thought. “I’m engaged, so the answer is yes,” he revealed.
The significance of identifying your feelings and communicating about them was brought up by Braxton when Babyface was asked what he had learned from his previous relationships that helped him feel confident in his current relationship with Pantenburg.
“The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself as well as with your feelings. At the time, he stated that when people are not honest with themselves, they “accept situations,” “don’t talk about them,” and “ignore the elephant in the room.” If there is an elephant in the room, you had best acknowledge it and deal with it. After all, a lot of times, that elephant was put there by the people in the room, so you have to deal with it.
They exchanged vows in the spring of that year in front of a crowd of celebrity guests, including Oprah.
This was Babyface’s third marriage in as many years. Prior to this, he was married to a woman named Denise, whom he met early in his professional life. They were not married and did not have any children together. In 1992, he tied the knot with Tracey Edmonds, with whom he remained until their divorce in 2005. Brandon and Dylan are two of their sons.