Kenneth Edmonds, better known as Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, is an extraordinary musician and entrepreneur and a native son of Indianapolis. Born in 1958, his career in music has been nothing short of explosive, and continues to expand into adjoining fields. His creative influence in the pop and urban music cultures has had a sweeping effect in a relatively short time. Babyface’s continuing phenomenal success as a musician and producer will reserve a place for his name on the list of famous people from Indianapolis for many generations to come.
|Hear Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds sing with brother Kevon in this video of a live stage performance.|
Indianapolis musicians have a history of musical innovation and artistry behind them. During its heyday, much of the American Jazz scene was centered in downtown Indianapolis and Jazz and Blues were the name of the game in the Indianapolis nightlife of the period. Today, Hoosiers like Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are busy continuing a tradition of excellence in all facets of modern pop music, not just in Indy, but all throughout Indiana, the United States and even on a global level.
|Babyface Edmonds performs “For the Cool in You” from 2008|
Babyface is one of six brothers, two of whom went on to enjoy some success in a band called After 7 and elsewhere. As a boy, Edmonds was outwardly undemonstrative and shy, preferring to expose his inner feelings only in his music. He was writing songs at a young age, and decided on a career as a musician in the eighth grade, after his father contracted lung cancer and passed away. It was while Edmonds was yet a teenager that he was dubbed “Babyface” by a fellow musician, and the name stuck, apparently for life. The moniker turned out to be an appropriate one, since Babyface was eventually named one of People Magazine‘s Fifty Most Beautiful People.
|Listen to Babyface singing “And Our Feelings” in this video, which also offers lots of great stills of the star.|
Kenny Edmonds went to North Central High School, one of the centers of education in Indianapolis that focuses heavily on arts and performance. During the early part of his career, Babyface was already unusually successful in a highly competitive market. He played guitar and keyboard in a number of well known bands and became known as a force to be reckoned with when it came to songwriting.
Babyface Edmonds‘ music spans across most of the popular modern commercial styles, from rhythm and blues to light funk to “new jack swing,” a fusion genre Edmonds helped create. He went on to perform, compose and/or produce no fewer than 119 Top Ten hits, and sales of his recordings are well over 100 million.
The prolific and talented musician has amassed ten Grammy Awards, as well as three consecutive awards for Producer of the Year, still a history-making record for the Grammys. Many other forms of recognition have come his way, and are still flooding in from various avenues.
Babyface Edmonds has, for example won three BMI Awards, an American Music Award as Favorite Male Soul Artist, and an Image Award from the NAACP. He has, so far, reached the pinnacle of his field as the Number One Songwriter of the Year and Number One Producer of the Year in the prestigious Billboard, but there seems to be no end in sight.
Stars rarely burn as brightly as Kenny Babyface Edmonds. Among those who dazzle in the music industry, Babyface is definitely a Nova.