Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is back with Playlist, a new album that covers the classic songs that inspired him throughout his career. Gayle talks with Babyface about the album's significance and his early musical influences.
Playlist is an acoustic album that features Babyface covering such songs as "Fire & Rain," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Wonderful Tonight," as well as a few new originals. Babyface says each handpicked tune helped him become the musician he is today. "I think this is kind of a road map to show how I got here," he says. "Without listening to these songs and being inspired by them, I don't think I would be the artist that I am today; I wouldn't be the producer that I am today."
Growing up, Babyface says he listened to everything from The Temptations, Nat King Cole and The Beatles on the radio, to gospel music at church on Sundays. In the sixth grade, Babyface says he began teaching himself how to play the acoustic guitar on the sly when his older brother brought one home. Although his brother forbade him from touching the instrument, Babyface felt compelled to give it a try. He says that small act of rebellion quite possibly launched his lifelong affair with music.
"[My brother] walked in the house and saw me playing it and he said, 'Don't you ever touch that guitar! I don't care how long you try, you will never be able to play that song like I play it.' And those were just the words I needed to hear!" Babyface says.