Bobby Brown has always claimed to be the King of Stage after the title of his 1986 debut solo CD, and now he's added another royal nickname, "King of the Kitchen." As he tours this summer with New Edition, he's also launching Bobby Brown Foods with a line of barbecue sauces, seasonings, and kitchen utensils.
"I have been a chef since I was ten years old," Brown proudly boasts. "I was always home from school on punishment, so I watched my mother closely in the kitchen. When I was alone I cooked for myself. Now I feed my family and my friends."
Bobby's sauces include "Bobby's Original BBQ" and "Bobby's Sweet & Spicy." He's also creating two different seasonings, "Bobby's Boston Blend" and "Bobby's Everyday Blend" (which is low on salt).
"I also have the Brown Bag'n It Fry Mix. Just coat your chicken, fish or beef and its ready for the oven."
Brown says he was inspired to launch his food company based on reactions of friends when they ate at his home.
"At a barbeque, I stay on the grill. My specialty is 'Shrimp a la Bobby.' When I would serve people at my house, they would ask what was the seasoning and the sauces, and where could they buy them, so I decided to put them on the market."
Now he's busy on the road with New Edition, but he's anxious to add to his product line.
"Anytime I get to a kitchen," he says, "I create a new sauce. I am the king of the kitchen. I want to be the new Paul Newman."
Bobby Brown Foods are available on his website, and later this summer they will be sold in stores.
The youngest member of New Edition is extremely grateful to his mother for teaching him how to cook, and he also thanks her for inspiring his music career.
"She introduced me to music," he remembers growing up in the Roxbury section of Boston. "She always played music during her late night card games, and I always ended up dancing for her and her friends."
New Edition launched their recording career in 1983 when Brown was 14 years old, and now they're back together again and earning rave reviews for their performances three decades later.
"When people leave our concert, we want them to remember the 31 years," Brown says. "We want to give them the same energy we gave them 31 years ago. We strive for perfection, and like The Temptations, we want longevity."
New Edition shows feature songs from the members' solo careers and spinoff groups as you hear the music of Bell Biv DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill as well as Men of State (Brown, Tresvant and Gill).
They've enjoyed tremendous success, and also experienced failure, as seen on their disastrous Home Again reunion tour in 1997. Brown suffered the most, beginning with being kicked out of the group in 1986. He rebounded with his multi-platinum Don't Be Cruel and Bobby solo albums, however his career spiraled out of control due to drug addiction and alcoholism and a series of arrests and legal issues surrounding child support.
His well publicized marriage to Whitney Houston 1992 ended in divorce in 2007. Now Brown is married to Alicia Etheridge and they have a five-year old son Cassius who appears on stage with his father. Brown says after many difficult years, "I am happy. You can see it in the smile on my face. It's a beautiful thing."
So as New Edition continues its triumphant comeback tour, Brown is planning to write a cookbook and his biography which he says is something "I have to get it out of me."
"My reaction to the movie is, just tell the truth," Brown states. "But I wish someone had called me. To me, there is nothing to expose. Whitney was a beautiful, young woman. Her life should be celebrated."