Ten-time Grammy award-winning megastar Kenny âBabyfaceâ Edmonds, an icon figure of live performance, songwriting, and production whose work on his own music and othersâ has resulted in more than 100 million career sales, has completed his 11th album, âPlaylistâ – which will arrive in stores September 18th as the first album on the newly re-launched Mercury Records label. âPlaylistâ will be Babyfaceâs first album devoted (mostly) to cover versions of some of his favorite songs, among them James Taylorâs âFire & Rain,â Bob Dylanâs âKnockinâ On Heavenâs Door,â Dan Fogelbergâs âLonger,â Jim Croce’s âTime In A Bottle,â Eric Clapton’s âWonderful Tonight,â and many others. The album will also include original material. Over the course of the â90s, Babyface not only distinguished himself as the decadeâs single greatest hitmaker, but as one of the greatest hitmakers in the history of popular music. His imprint (to date) extends to over 125 top 10 pop and R&B hits which include 47 #1 R&B hits, 51 top 10 pop hits, and 16 #1 pop hits. For one span of time on Billboardâs pop and R&B charts, Babyface was listed as the writer, producer and/or performer on twelve separate songs in the Top 20. His countless Grammy awards (which include Producer Of the Year in 1995, â96 and â97 â the only person in history to win three consecutive years), NAACP Image Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and American Music Awards are just one indication of Babyfaceâs penetration into pop culture. In addition to co-founding LaFace Records with Antonio âL.A.â Reid in 1989 (home of Toni Braxton, OutKast, TLC, Pink and Usher), Babyfaceâs name is linked to the worldâs biggest-selling and most universally popular recording artists â including Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Tevin Campbell, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Dru Hill, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lionel Richie, TLC, and Vanessa Williams â to name a few. Babyface is also responsible for such phenomena as the 7 million-selling Waiting To Exhale movie soundtrack album, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games anthem âPower Of the Dreamâ (which he co-wrote, and which was sung by Celine Dion). As a movie producer, Babyfaceâs company debuted in 1997 with Soul Food (which grossed over $43 million, and spun off a double-platinum soundtrack album), followed by Hav Plenty in 1998, Light It Up in 1999 and Josie & The Pussycats (2001). Babyfaceâs albums and singles include: âLovers By Babyfaceâ (1987); âTender Loverâ (1989, double-platinum), a #1 R&B album in Billboard for 11 weeks, including the #1 R&B singles âItâs No Crimeâ and âTender Love,â âWhip Appealâ (#2), and âMy Kinda Girlâ (#3); âFor the Cool In Youâ (1993, triple-platinum), on the R&B album chart for 87 weeks, with the top 10 R&B singles âFor the Cool In You,â âNever Keeping Secrets,â âAnd Our Feelings,â and âWhen Can I See Youâ; âThe Dayâ (1996, double-platinum), with the top 5 R&B/pop crossover hits âThis Is For the Lover In Youâ (platinum) and âEvery Time I Close My Eyesâ (gold); âMTV Unplugged NYC 1997â (gold); âChristmas With Babyfaceâ (1998); âFace2Faceâ (2001); and âGrown & Sexyâ (2005). Recipient of the NAACP Lifetime achievement Award, the Essence Award For Excellence, GQ magazineâs Man Of the Year honor, and named One Of the Most Influential People In America by TIME magazine, Babyfaceâs caring and generosity are well-known. He is national spokesman for the Boarder Baby Project in Washington, DC, which provides transitional housing for babies abandoned at birth, awaiting adoption. In July 1999, Babyface became the largest single personal donor to VH1âs âSave the Musicâ campaign when he donated $60,000 to the campaign in his home state of Indiana, to help improve the quality of music education in public schools by restoring and supporting music programs and raising public awareness. That same month in Indianapolis, the Governor of Indiana renamed a 23-mile stretch of Interstate 65 âKenneth âBabyfaceâ Edmonds Highway,â the first time that a living African-American has been bestowed an honor of such magnitude.
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