'Nothing else matters': Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe are all about having fun again https://www.stltoday.com/...3f875.html
There’s a scene at the end of “The Bobby Brown Story,” the BET miniseries that aired this month, in which Woody McClain, as veteran R&B singer Bobby Brown, is grilling with family and friends, and all is well.
It’s in stark contrast to the rest of the movie — sex, drugs, violence and the back-to-back deaths of ex-wife Whitney Houston, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and his own parents.
Brown basks in overdue happiness in the final scene. The singer says that’s exactly where he is now, at long last.
“That’s totally my life today,” he says. The barbecue scene was filmed in his own backyard. “It was beautiful to have the cast and crew there. I was really barbecuing for them. Woody would go on the grill for a minute to act like he was barbecuing. But I was doing all the cooking.”
Brown watched the finished miniseries for the first time along with the rest of the world. He says the experience was beautiful, and he’s proud of everyone involved.
“I was waiting to see how everything came together — the things they chose to show,” he says. “It was raw, gritty and the truth. You can’t deny the truth.”
(Brown’s sister, Leolah Brown Muhammad, has slammed the biopic; Brown hasn’t responded to her claims.)
Brown says he’s satisfied with the content of the miniseries, some of which was controversial, such as a secretive affair with Janet Jackson.“I still have a lot of things I want to get out there, but I’m going to wait for the feature,” says Brown, who confirms that a movie is coming. “Sometimes you gotta hold back what really goes on in the mind of Bobby Brown. But we gave the basics of where I came from and what I am now.”
Brown now can focus his attention on a new tour, which comes Sunday to Chaifetz Arena. He’s touring with fellow New Edition group mates Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins under the group name RBRM (Bell Biv DeVoe with the addition of Brown).
Brown and BBD initially were going on their own tours, but they decided to join forces. Brown will contribute vocals to BBD’s songs and vice versa.
“We’ve always wanted to perform each other’s songs,” he says. “We’re all onstage together at all times. What better time than now? We’re having fun again. It’s not all about business this time. We’re just out there showing our appreciation for 40 years and having a blast. Nothing else matters. We first started doing this because we love performing, and we’re back to that.”
Missing from the tour are New Edition’s Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill (Tresvant and Gill own the New Edition trademark, which has caused dissension among the group).
Brown says he misses the dynamic of the group not together onstage but says “they have to do what they have to do, and we have to do what we have to to. You don’t always get all six. You get six sometimes, three sometimes. It’s all about the diversity of New Edition.“It’s about creating new and exciting things to do for the fans.”
Brown, along with the rest of the fans, would like a full New Edition reunion.
Brown recently dropped his first single in years with the new “Like Bobby,” heard at the end of the miniseries. His last album was 2012’s “The Masterpiece.”
The new single is produced by Teddy Riley and Babyface, who are responsible for Brown’s biggest hits back in the day.
“I’m really proud of this song,” he says. “I hope people will listen to it with an open ear and open mind. And trust, the video is gonna be out there.”
He says a new album is about a quarter of the way finished, and it’ll be everything fans expect. He refers to it as “Don’t Be Cruel 2,” name-checking his most popular album from 1988. He’s working with veteran and new producers.
Could a Bruno Mars collaboration be in the making for the album? Brown would be OK with that. Mars’ Grammy-winning “24K Magic” album found inspiration in acts such as Brown, New Edition and Babyface.
“I’m looking forward to working with him,” Brown says. “He’s a hell of a talent.
“His music is talking about the things we would talk about. It’s time to get back to where the sound came from. We’re grateful he has that ear and that strength to hold us own. I think he’s the one keeping real music alive.”