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It simply must be a good omen to have Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic give you your nickname. Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is one of the most successful people in music today. In addition to selling millions of copies of his solo work, he's produced an obnoxious number of multi-platinum mega-successes, virtually shaping what popular music has become--almost single-handedly.

Edmonds was out of the gate quickly, playing bars and clubs throughout the Midwest from his home in Indianapolis (where he was born on April 10th, 1959). Along with Antonio "L.A." Reid he formed the Deele in the early '80s, which had moderate success, but it was with his production of artists like Sheena Easton and Paula Abdul that he made an almost immediate impact. He went solo in 1988, releasing a string of records that have all sold in the millions of copies, displaying his penchant for hook-laden songs and a voice that can alternately convey vulnerability and experience. His own records are almost afterthoughts though, considering the astonishing track record he has with songwriting and production, working with such colossal stars as Madonna, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, TLC, Mariah Carey and simply everyone who dominates radio in the '90s. His accomplishments must embarrass him. He co-founded LaFace records, which released The Bodyguard soundtrack, again selling more copies than anything has a right to. Edmonds boasts a smooth-as-silk voice and, when producing himself, tends to be a might too slick, trying to stack the odds in his favor with incredible lists of guesting superstars. Oddly, his production work is more indicative of who he is as an artist than his own records.

Babyface defines power in the music industry, and if ever there was a virtual hit-maker, he is it. Though there's nowhere for him to go but down, there's no reason to expect that he would fall from the lofty heights he's attained.

This Biography was written by Scott Wilson

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