Bobby Brown‘s life story is nothing short of amazing.
The singer-songwriter and dancer skyrocketed to fame in the 1980s as one of the iconic members of New Edition. Fans around the world danced and sang every last lyric to the group’s hits like “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”
Upon leaving the group in 1988, Brown saw critical success from his second album Don’t Be Cruel, a project that spawned Billboard charting songs like his number one smash “My Prerogative” and the Grammy-award winning “Every Little Step.” Just as the star was reaching the pinnacle of his career, Brown married the love of his life, Whitney Houston, in 1992, but the couple struggled over the years.
Throughout their 14-year marriage, Brown and Houston battled with addiction–so bad that it led to contention between them. The couple divorced in 2007. “We abused drugs and alcohol. We fought hard verbally and we loved even harder,” Brown told Jada Pinkett Smith during an episode of Red Table Talk in 2021.
The star struggled off and on to get sober throughout the years, but life took an unexpected turn after the death of Houston in February 2012. The R&B icon was found unresponsive in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills hotel. Authorities said the “I Will Always Love You” hitmaker died as the result of accidental drowning, heart disease and cocaine use.
A moment of clarity came for the star in 2013 after he was sentenced to 55 days in jail following a drunk driving incident. He only served nine hours of the sentence, but the experience served as a wake-up call for Brown. “Jail got me to stop taking drugs. I never wanted to go back to jail. I didn’t want to be incarcerated ever again,” the singer told fans on “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2016.
“I didn’t want my kids to grow up and see me in that type of light,” he said. “I’ve always been one to want to grow to want to be better and better on the next day — if I’m bad yesterday, I want to be better the next day, especially for my children.”
Brown checked into rehab and sought regular therapy to help overcome his addiction. The star has been off drugs for more than 19 years and sober from alcohol for nearly two years. Now, Brown is gearing up to tell his triumphant story in his new A&E docu-series, Biography: Bobby Brown, debuting Monday.
The two-part documentary coincides with an amazing cover story on Cassius Life and gives fans a look at the ups and downs of his life and the tragic loss of two of his children, Bobbi Kristina and son Bobby, Jr.–both of whom died as a result of drug overdoses. For Brown, losing his kids has been one of the most difficult battles of his life.
“It does feel unfair,” the 53-year-old said recently during an exclusive interview with Cassius. “But with prayer, and knowing that my God, he does things beyond what I can comprehend. He—she—wouldn’t just subject me to inner pain. I’m always gonna have that inner peace because of prayer.”
With the help of his wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown, the music titan said he hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.
“We go to a lot of therapy,” Etheredge told Cassius. “He goes to therapy; I go to therapy, and we go to therapy together. We are in tune that we could lose it if we don’t steadfast with each other. We’ve been too close before, and we don’t want to be there again, it’s much better over here.”
In 2015, Brown started a nonprofit organization in honor of his late daughter, which provides support to domestic violence victims. The Bobbi Kristina Serenity House also offers emergency transitional shelter and access to resources for individuals in need.
Brown said he still sees his son and daughter in his dreams from time to time.
“I always see them at beaches or in fields,” Brown told PEOPLE earlier this month. “They’re running away, but they’re laughing. And they’re always together,” he added.
Bobby Brown is not only a legend, he is also a true inspiration. To overcome tragedy takes a strong mind and an even stronger will. Brown had many opportunities to give up, but he continued to fight and show us that growth isn’t something we stop doing when we become adults.
“It’s been therapeutic to go through [my life], remember it and process it to where I can live the rest of my life in a clean, healthy manner,” Brown said to Cassius. “It is what it is. I’m glad I got it out.”