For decades, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has been writing and producing the hits from but his first song ever was inspired by puppy love. “I started writing songs because I had a crush on a girl and I wanted to write a song for her,” Babyface told HelloBeautiful. “That was Rhonda, I never played the song for her, I just wrote it…she never knew.”
Years before he would write his first recorded song “Slow-Jam” for the R&B band Midnight Star in 1983, Babyface penned his first song ever, titled “Here I Go Falling In Love,” at the tender age of 11 for that childhood crush. Though he lost touch with his muse, he ended up meeting her after reconnecting on Facebook! He told Oprah Winfrey during a recent interview, “Funnily enough, this year, I finally found Rhonda and had lunch with her, because I wanted to find out what she knew [about my crush]… She was the new kid in town, she got on the bus and I was immediately in love and I went home, I started a diary, started writing in this diary about what she wore and what she would do every day I saw her.” (Aww!)
In addition to getting an early start on perfecting his way with the pen, Babyface also started playing guitar at a young age and was inspired by his brother Melvin as well as his dad and mom, who all sang while he was growing up. “I always liked the pretty songs,” he told us. “When I was growing up I picked up acoustic guitar because I liked the way it sounded, it was just something pretty. That always came easy for me.”
These days, with more relationships under his belt, the hit maker has been inspired by a wider range of romantic experiences for his joint album with Toni Braxton, “Love, Marriage & Divorce” (due for release February 2014). “Sometimes it’s a concept you think of so it might be a word, then you hear a melody,” he said. “There’s no one way to do it, whatever kind of gets that idea going first. Obviously you either sit at a guitar or a piano.”
Watch him hit a new song ,”Where Did We Go Wrong,” at HelloBeautiful’s InterludesLIVE alongside Toni Braxton. The pair will preform even more tracks from their new album in a special that will air exclusively on TV One, February 8, 2014 at 10p ET/9p CT.
Let's face it, Babyface has been writing and producing classic records for 20 plus years. He's worked with everyone from Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand to Beyonce, TLC and even Pink (who knew?). In preparation for HelloBeautiful Interludes Live: Presents Babyface & Toni Braxton, we went diggin' in the crates to find 20 of Babyface's songs that you may not know he wrote or produced...