Entire music departments at universities could be dedicated to understanding Babyface's expansive reach. And he's helped make a whole lot more than music. As an artist and as a producer, he has been actively creating baby-making music for more than 40 years — the sheer number of children born into this world as a result of Babyface's efforts must be astonishing.
To give you an idea of just who Face has helped launch into the stratosphere, he’s essentially the human embodiment of Motown records. His label, LaFace Records — started with fellow musician-turned-music-mogul Antonio “LA” Reid — had TLC, Toni Braxton, and Usher as early signers. TLC’s album CrazySexyCool from 1994 remains the all-time best-selling album by an American female group. Babyface wrote several songs on the LP, TLC's second studio album, including “Red Light Special,” basically a song about making sure your man eats pussy.
Babyface wrote the majority of the songs for Toni Braxton’s first two albums — 1993’s Toni Braxtion and 1996’s Secrets, including the mega-hit “You’re Makin’ Me High.” He has been an absolute Queen maker; I’m not gonna lie, writing that feels a little misogynistic, but Face’s influence runs deep — he made the music, wrote the lyrics, and produced the records. How a guy can write pop records for a woman artist and they hit as hard as they do and impact culture as deeply as they have, it’s a wonder.
And Babyface's force stretches far and wide, as he's worked with artists the likes of Phil Collins, Mary J Blige, Beyoncé , Ariana Grande, NSYNC, Zendaya, and Chaka Khan, to name a few. He's also racked up a slew of hits for himself. Babyface will be bringing his endless catalog of love jams to Miramar this week and you aren’t going to want to miss it. 8 p.m. Friday, February 7 at Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Pl., Miramar; 954-602-4200; miramarculturalcenter.org. Tickets start at $65 via ticketmaster.com.
Stay ahead of upcoming shows with New Times' South Florida concert schedule.
Kris KristoffersonSince we are on the topic of iconic figures, we should inform our readers that Kris Kristofferson is coming to town this week. One of the most versatile artists the U.S. has bred, Kristofferson has several Grammy awards, he’s a great actor (his role as Whistler in the Blade series was fucking iconic), he was a football star, a Golden Gloves boxer, and a Rhodes scholar. He’s weathered from his years of adventure and experience, and that makes for great country songs. He’s been known to tour with John Prine in the past and his brand of folk-country has given us hits like "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Me and Bobby McGee," and "Help Me Make It Through the Night" — all hits off his album Kristofferson, released in 1970. "Me and Bobby McGee" has been covered by countless artists from Janis Joplin to Waylon Jennings.
As a songwriter, Kristofferson is cut from the ilk of Merle Haggard and Willy Nelson. A true Renaissance man who, at age 83, is still kicking ass. Evidently Kristofferson got the attention of Johnny Cash — after several failed attempts to get him to listen to his demos — by landing a helicopter on the Man in Black’s front lawn (yes, he’s also a helicopter pilot), purportedly holding a beer in one hand and his records in the other. However, stories like these can just as easily be a crock of shit, but lets pretend that the myth is as big as the man. 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 4 at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; parkerplayhouse.com. Tickets start at $52.50 via ticketmaster.com.