What a life the Boston singer has had. An entertainer since age 11, Brown, now almost 40, brought the ‘hood to R&B in the ’80s. His greatest work to date, 1988’s Don’t Be Cruel, was a crossover hit that sold more than 8 million copies.
Since rising to the top, Brown has experienced heartbreak (Janet Jackson), love (ex-wife Whitney Houston and his children) and trouble with the law. Author Derrick Handspike documents the Brown Bomber in “Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But … ,” which hit shelves Tuesday (December 9).
In the book, Brown tells Handspike that Houstoninitiated their relationship by flirting with him at the Grammys.
With love came confrontation: It’s well-documented that Houston called the police on Brown on more than one occasion. “I mean, I’m guilty of getting upset and flying off the handle a little,” Brown said of the domestic strife. “I was known to throw a bottle or two at a wall or something. Things that I’d regret, I would be responsible for cleaning up or having the wall repaired. What people fail to realize is that Whitney is no punk. She definitely knows how to handle and defend herself in situations that could have potentially been violent. Some of the stories in the media made me out to be like Ike Turner, when that wasn’t my character.”
There’s also a bit in the book in which Brown said his wife would joke about being more white than black because of her overwhelming support from the mainstream public. “I never understood how she felt like this when she was more ‘Negro’ than I am,” Brown said.
During his marriage to Houston, Brown began to use cocaine. He claims that marijuana was his only drug of choice during his teen New Edition years, but later coke, crack and heroin came into play. He attributes his crooked jaw to a mild stroke from heroin in 2001.
Although Brown has made no announcements about the follow-up to his hit Bravo reality show “Being Bobby Brown,” the singer remains active with spot dates across the country. He’s scheduled to perform with New Edition members Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant on February 12 in New York.