If you were to closely examine the annals of modern pop music history, few creative forces have been more seminal or impacted the contemporary pop/urban genres as much as Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. In a relatively short time, he has reached icon status as a poignant tune smith, prolific hit maker/producer, superstar recording artist, and revolutionary label owner. He is a statistical juggernaut, who keeps adding milestone after milestone to a legacy that seems to have no threshold or peak in sight.
A 10-time Grammy winner with 11 solo albums of his own, Edmonds’ impeccably crafted explorations of love, romance and relationships and has made an indelible imprint on the evolution of contemporary pop music throughout the world: more than 125 Top-10 R&B and Pop hits, 42 #1 R&B hits, and 51 Top-10 Pop hits (including 16 #1’s), which have produced single and album sales in excess of 500 million units worldwide.
Just a few of the vocalists from which his music can be heard: Whitey Houston, Boyz II Men, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, TLC, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, John Mellencamp, Anthony Hamilton, Brandy, Aretha Franklin, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Charlie Wilson, and Chrisette Michele.
Edmonds is the recipient of numerous awards, including Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards and American Music Awards. He was also the recipient of the third BET Walk of Fame Award (previous honors were Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston), and was named BET’s “Entertainer of the Year” at the First Annual BET Awards Ceremony.
Edmonds most recent production with other artists includes Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Keri Hilson, Ledisi, Colbie Caillat, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and Aretha Franklin. His 2014 duets album with Toni Braxton titled Love, Marriage & Divorce and album’s lead single, “Hurt You,” is garnering critical raves and No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Edmonds’ charitable work is as impressive as his professional accomplishments. His caring and generosity has earned him several accolades, including the Essence Award for Excellence, The City of Hope Award and Variety Magazine’s “Top of the Town” Honored Award. He was the National Spokesman for Boarder Babies, and personally helped raise more than $500,000 for a transitional home, The Little Blue House, located in Washington D.C.. He has also personally donated more than $100,000 to the VH-1 Save the Music program and he continues to contribute to a host of other worthwhile organizations, including the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In 2008, Edmonds combined his musical prowess with his charitable efforts, co writing and producing the song “Just Stand Up” with longtime partner Antonio “L.A.” Reid, which served as the backbone of a multi-purpose breast cancer awareness special. The song featured such current heavyweights as Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Leona Lewis, Ciara, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, and Miley Cyrus, to name a few. Edmonds and Reid were honored by the Noble Awards for their contribution to Stand Up To Cancer. Recently Edmonds his has been very active in supporting Carousel of Hope, which benefits the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, as well as Larry Ruvo’s “Keep Memory Alive,” who are committed to improving the lives of patients and their families as they navigate the extraordinary challenges of brain disorders. In Las Vegas, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health treats patients with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as frontotemporal dementia and multiple sclerosis.
Among other expressions of Kenny’s generosity are his charitable performances at several fund-raising events for FasterCures, the center for accelerating medical solutions of the non-profit Milken Institute. During an extended 2012 performance at FasterCures’ Celebration of Science at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., he not only enthralled the audience with his songs, but also moved them by recounting the health challenges of his parents including the lung cancer that took the life of his father, a decorated soldier who succumbed when Kenny was in the eighth grade.