Bobby Brown has been on the road with New Edition over the past few months for the group’s 30th anniversary tour, and as the veteran entertainer gets ready to drop his fifth album, The Masterpiece, he’s showering praise on contemporary stars like Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Usher who have furthered his R&B legacy.
During the height of New Edition’s popularity in the ’80s, Brown cemented a bad-boy image that stuck with him throughout the years, sometimes to his detriment. The new generation of R&B singers have faced their own unique challenges after being thrust into the spotlight, and maybe none as obvious as Chris Brown. Still, Bobby Brown thinks the young star isn’t doing too badly for himself. “He’s good; he’s a church boy compared to me,” Brown told MTV News matter-of-factly.
“Chris Brown is incredible. [He’s] an incredible dancer, incredible singer. I respect him a lot because he’s held his head up throughout everything that he’s been through,” Brown said, addressing the singer’s much-publicized assault case against ex-girlfriend Rihanna. “He’s only been through a little bit, but the boy is talented and you can’t take talent away. Talent is given from God, you can’t learn what he does. He’s a bona fide entertainer and he should be respected.”
Despite the setbacks Chris Breezy has faced, Bobby Brown is confident that he has what it takes to stick around in the long run. “He’s still young and he’s got a long way to go. I’m 30 years deep into this entertainment thing and I could see him 30 years from now, still doing what he does — flipping and singing and dancing,” Brown continued. “And now he’s getting ready to do a movie, so he’s covering the spectrum of entertainment.”
Chris isn’t the only millennial entertainer who gets praise from Bobby Brown, though. “Trey Songz is definitely a talented brother, he’s a talented writer, talented singer,” he adds. “I just love the new generation of R&B singers, I think they’re upholding what entertainment is about. I got it from Rick James and Michael Jackson, and I’m just grateful that they’re taking what I love, what I’m passionate about, to the next level and keeping it young and fresh.”
Usher, who will release his new album, Looking 4 Myself, just one week after The Masterpiece drops on June 5, is also on top of the list. “Before Usher even had a record out, I was training him, I’m surprised I didn’t put him out,” Brown said. “I worked with him a lot, teaching him different ways of training your body to dance and I’m proud of him. I’m glad he kept everything together.”
Brown will continue his mission to entertain the masses with The Masterpiece, which is his first album in 14 years. And although he’s got respect for the new crop of singers, he maintains that he needed to fly solo this time around. “This project is about me as an individual and me as far as growth in my life, so I didn’t really want to go all commercial with it, and to make it something that became a spectacle.” Brown admitted. “This is all about Bobby right now. It’s just to get this off my heart and once this is released and people are able to hear it and appreciate it, then I can move forward with my life.”
The Masterpiece, is set for release on June 5, led by the single “Don’t Let Me Die.”
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