When Bobby Brown strides into a room, you almost expect him to be accompanied by the defiant opening riff of his 1988 hit, My Prerogative.
But 30 years later, the singer known as the “Bad Boy of R&B” has changed his tune – he’s now more serious, more reserved and grateful to still be here after a lot of hard living.
For years, Brown has wanted to see his life story told on screen. Now that dream is finally coming true with BET’s The Bobby Brown Story.
“Me and my wife are producers. We did help with the script and the casting,” Brown told Urban Hollywood 411 earlier this summer at the BET Awards. “But more importantly, is that I’m still here for the story to be told.”
The miniseries about the kid from Boston who burst onto the music scene as part of New Edition is a continuation of BET’s The New Edition Story, which pulled in record ratings for the cable network in January 2017.
Brown, now 49, says The Bobby Brown Story won’t sugarcoat his turbulent life.
“I can’t hide who I am, so I try to stay original with everything I do,” he explains.
Although he revealed there are some details not included in the television movie that he wanted to save for a feature film currently in the works about his life.
“There were a few things off limits. I can’t tell you,” he says. “We’re still working on the script. Me and my wife’s company, Brown Ribbon Entertainment, we’re still just putting things together.”
Born in 1969, Brown co-founded New Edition when he was just nine years old. Despite the group’s massive success in the 1980s, he left amid financial disputes and personality clashes.
Brown went on to massive solo success. His album Don’t Be Cruel launched a string of top-ten hits, including My Prerogative, Every Little Step and the title track, Don’t Be Cruel. The popular singles resonated with fans and earned him several awards, including a Grammy in 1990.
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The Bobby Brown Story comes from the same team as The New Edition Story, with Jesse Collins serving as executive producer and Abdul Williams writing the script.
The two-part biopic will focus on the singer’s solo career, his drug use, financial problems, marriage to Whitney Houston, and the deaths of Houston and their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.
While Brown said the actors delivered powerful performances, he struggled with scenes about the deaths of his loved ones, including Bobbi Kristina, who was found unresponsive in a bathtub in 2015. She died after six months in a coma at age 22.
Brown says he found it too difficult to watch the cast relive the heartbreaking scenes.
“Those were the days when I didn’t show up, that I would not go to the set,” he recalls after a moment of deep thought. “When it was different scenes, that I didn’t feel like I could deal with, I wouldn’t go.”
The father of seven has been vocal about his daughter’s death, and previously alleged that her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, played a role in the incident that took her life. Gordon was eventually found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit, and ordered to pay $36 million to Bobbi Kristina’s estate, according to The Associated Press.
Brown declined to discuss the case, or the recently released documentary, Whitney, which revisits Houston’s life, career and untimely death at age 48 in 2012.
Over the years, the “Bad Boy of R&B” has been accused of introducing Houston to drugs and of domestic violence against the legendary singer.
But his wife of six years, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, who manages Brown’s career, says he’s been unfairly accused of things he didn’t do.
“He’s been blamed for things that he had no control over,” Etheredge-Brown told Urban Hollywood 411. “But his story is about redemption. His story is about knowing where he’s been and not going back there and learning from those mistakes.”
She added that fans will be inspired by the biopic.
“Bobby has an amazing, inspiring story that youth can connect with,” she said.
The Bobby Brown Story airs Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 4 and 5 at 9/8C on BET.