Kenneth Edmonds was born 10 April 1959 in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a teenager, he began playing in local R&B bands. He joined Bootsy Collins’ band for a bit, where he earned his nickname, Babyface. He moved onto the funk band, Manchild, and recorded three albums with them.
After Manchild broke up, he formed an urban / funk group called The Deele, with Antonio “L.A.” Reid. The band had a few hits in the early 1980s. During this time, Babyface and L.A. began writing and producing for other artists including Pebbles and the Whispers. The Deele broke up in 1988 but L.A. and Babyface continued their partnership of writing and producing. They co-founded LaFace Records in 1989. Together, they have written and produced hits for Bobby Brown, Sheena Easton, Karyn White and Paula Abdul.
Although he recorded a solo album in 1986, his solo breakthrough came in 1989 with his CD Tender Lover. It charted four singles, including “It’s No Crime” and “Whip Appeal.” He also continued to write and produce for artists like TLC, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, En Vogue, Mary J. Blige and Whitney Houston. He and his wife also produced the hit comedy movie, Soul Food.
In 1996, he joined forces with Eric Clapton, producing the hit song, “Change The World” for the Phenomenon soundtrack. The track garnered several Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. In 1997, Eric guested on Babyface’s episode of MTV Unplugged performing “Change The World” and “Talk To Me”.