"I did not have a heart attack. No. I went to the hospital, they pushed my stomach, I farted, then they sent me home."
Raw and spontaneous as always, Bobby Brown had a handful of MTV News staff members smiling when he came in for an interview Thursday. Unprompted, he was doing the "running man" and cracking jokes, and before he left the building, he yelled down the hall to me, "I'm doing a country album! Yeah, I'm doing country now!" No one in the MTV newsroom could believe it. Then again, it is Bobby Brown, so anything is possible.
Brown seems to really be taking his latest television endeavor to heart. He's one of seven celebrities to hook up with Big & Rich's John Rich for the Country Music Television reality show "Gone Country." The contestants, including Sisqo, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider and Julio Iglesias Jr., are competing to be the next big country star.
"My dad was a big country-music fan, but I felt it was something I could conquer," said Brown, who can tell you stories about hanging out in Nashville "every other weekend." "I've been through R&B and rap, television, movies. It just brings it all together, country music."
During the taping, all seven contestants lived in the same house — and in a couple of episodes, we see Brown's sleepwalking problem. One night while sleepwalking, he mistook a part of his bedroom for the bathroom, and let's just say he marked his territory. Housemate Maureen McCormick (a.k.a. Marcia Brady) came in and tried to wake him up, but slipped and fell on the, uh, wet floor. Guess she should have watched her "Every Little Step."
"We clicked the whole show," Brown said. "[Maureen] is a very sweet lady. Being in a house with six other people, I knew their stuff, their material. I've never lived with that many people in one house. [I was] trying to fit in with them, not cause no conflicts with anybody. It was a lot of fun. Me and Sisqo had our moment, but a thing happened when we was drinking. It all turned out to be fine."
Brown said he's already come up with a country song called "The Man." No word yet on when it will be recorded or released. "It's a pretty nice ballad," the Boston native said. "[It talks about] everything I've been through in my life."
Brown also said that R&B and country have obvious similarities in that you have to get really personal with the songwriting. He describes his country sound as "Bobby Brown-ish with a little twang to it."
The Brown Bomber is already playfully contemplating his next genre endeavor: "Maybe I'll tackle Latin music next, but for now, it's country."
He plans on putting out that R&B/country hybrid LP, The Masterpiece, by the middle of the year, and he also plans to release a traditional R&B album at some point. Brown has a big year ahead of him, with 2008 marking the 20th anniversary of his biggest album, Don't Be Cruel, and the 25th anniversary of New Edition's debut. Both will be celebrated in grandiose fashion. All six members of New Edition are going on tour together, tentatively starting this summer.