In 1986, Bobby Brown was forced out of the boy band New Edition. According to the extant members, however, there really wasn’t any other option.
In 1985, New Edition was riding high, and their popularity was in no small part attributed to charismatic singer Bobby Brown. Yet, reports soon surfaced that Bobby had been voted out of the group. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe, who would go on to form the successful group Bell Biv DeVoe, now tell Oprah: Where Are They Now? that they faced an ultimatum behind the scenes that forced them to make a difficult decision.
“Bobby was a showman onstage, always willing and able to step outside the box, and the fans loved him for that, but for us, it was like, ‘Whoa, what are you doing, man? That’s not what we were taught,'” Ricky says. “And the way that it was presented to us at the time was if we didn’t get rid of him, everything was in jeopardy.”
Here, the members of Bell Biv DeVoe open up about Bobby’s controversial departure from New Edition.
Want to know what’s coming up on OWN? Sign up for the This Week on OWN Newsletter.