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Stars at the Shore: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds

(Credit: Babyface Enterprises)

(Credit: Babyface Enterprises)

By Veronica Dudo

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Grammy Award winner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds recently performed at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The 53 year-old R&B singer-songwriter has written dozens of hits for artists like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Faith Evans, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Mary J. Blige. The 10 time Grammy winner with 11 solo albums of his own talked about his time in the music industry both on and off the stage.

You’re on tour, how would you describe your show?

It’s a show we do of all the music I’ve done over the years and most of the time we go through a medley of songs that I wrote.

What projects are you working on?

I’m writing for other artists but I’m also working on stuff for myself and writing for a number of different projects from Barbra Streisand to new artists.

You have written dozens of number one hits; can you tell immediately that you have a hit?

Not always; you just kind of cross your fingers that you get one. Some things might sound good but you never know for sure. That’s why it’s always a nice thing when it happens.

Do you prefer singing or writing?

I like them both. It’s a balancing act; once you do one it’s really nice to go on stage and perform and then watch the other people perform so it’s the best of both worlds.

Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was your first #1 Top 40 hit in the U.S. did you enjoy working with her?

I guess at the time when it all starting happening you start working on the next thing so you say, ‘yay’ for the day and you keep going. It was obviously a really big thing being able to work with Whitney–it was the first time working with her and we had a great time. It was a great relationship that came out of that.
Do you have any special memories of artists that you have worked with through the years?
There’s a lot of relationships that I ended up becoming close with some of the artists throughout the years–Whitney in particular and working with Michael Jackson as well and becoming a friend. You think more fondly of those who aren’t here and you think of the time as being a little more special now.

Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

I liked a lot of different things from James Taylor to Stevie Wonder to The Temptations and then I started getting into jazz and my father use to listen to Oscar Peterson so I listened to that so I was pretty versatile. I listened to a lot of different genres of music.

Veronica Dudo is an award-winning journalist covering everything from breaking news to red carpet celebrity interviews. Follow her on Twitter @VeronicaDudo and Facebook

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