The huge success of BET’s The New Edition Story biopic has generated renewed interest and created new fans for the Boston-born boy band that grew up into bonafide R&B and pop stars, but Bobby Brown had multiple projects in the pipeline before the New Edition rush struck. Now 48, the entertainer who famously ditched Ronnie, Ricky, Mike and Ralph for an explosive solo career that generated hits “Don’t Be Cruel,” “My Prerogative,” “Roni,” “Every Little Step” and others published his memoirs last year—also Every Little Step—and launched a food product line peddling barbecue sauces, seasonings and accessories.
He’s performing at the Silverton Friday night, so of course we tracked down Brown as soon as he landed in Las Vegas to find out what he’s been cooking up and get his thoughts on the past and future of New Edition.
So what is the deal with Bobby Brown Foods? That’s my mother. All the recipes for the food line come from her. But it really is my passion. I cook for my kids and my wife and my whole family, and I just thought, why not share that with the world?
What’s the go-to dish? What does your family like you to cook? Anything. It’s not one thing they love, it’s everything. It could be spaghetti or fried chicken or lasagna or barbecued ribs. Anything barbecue, that’s what I really like to do. But my family really loves to sit down together and eat and that’s a great thing for all families. We all want to bring everyone together with laughter and love, and food is the best way to do it. Food and music.
You were a co-producer for The New Edition Story but you’re also working on a movie version of your book. Yes. We are working on making a movie right now from my book Every Little Step, and that’s just my production company, me and my wife, concentrating on cornering the market of what has to happen with my life and career. It’s all positive.
Did the success of the BET movie catch you by surprise? It didn’t surprise me because people really didn’t know about New Edition. I’m thankful people finally got the chance to see what we had to go through to be where we are now. This is a supergroup, not just some regular group. Everybody that’s part of the New Edition family has been successful in their own right. I’m just grateful we have a broader audience now to deliver the music and whatever we want to do. There are kids on the internet now that are 12 years old or even younger singing “Candy Girl.” We made this music 34 years ago. Think about that. This movie was something special.
I also think the story needed to be told so kids today can understand this business and what it takes to be an entertainer, because there’s a lot out there that don’t know about the business. I think we did that, showed what this industry is all about, and what our brotherhood is about.
I’m sure there is growing demand for another New Edition tour. That is definitely in the works. We’re looking forward to it.
What is your show at the Silverton going to be like? Come on man, really? Don’t you know me? (Laughs.) I’m gonna kill it. It’s all about performance. You can make as many records as you want but if you can’t get on that stage and give the crowd exactly what they paid for, you’re not really an entertainer. I claim that. That’s my middle name. Tomorrow is going to be off the chain. I’m really looking forward to getting on that stage and giving all that I have inside of me.
Keith Sweat just did a series of shows at the Flamingo. Could some sort of Vegas residency work for Bobby Brown or New Edition? I think that would be great for us and great for Vegas. We’re just going to be us. We’re not gonna stop.
Bobby Brown March 3, 8 p.m., $29, Veil Pavilion at the Silverton.