Ask Me Anything: Babyface

The R&B icon sounds off.
Catch Indy native and 10-time Grammy-winner Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds at Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration on July 19—or maybe around town, getting his burger on at his beloved Steak ’n Shake.

How fast have you driven on the Babyface [I-65]?
Everyone tells me to drive as fast as I can and see if I get a ticket, and then try to get out of it by saying the highway’s named after me. It doesn’t work that way.

What other Hoosiers need a highway named after them?
David Letterman. When I was in the 8th grade, I was on his show in Indy, Clover Power. The band I was in did a Jackson 5 cover. I’ve heard all of the tapes of that show burned in a fire, so there’s no proof it actually happened.

Want Jim Nabor’s old gig at the 500?
Never been. I need to do that. I’ve never sung [“Back Home Again in Indiana”].

You released Love Marriage & Divorce ealier this year. What was it like working with Toni Braxton again?
Toni had a lot she had to get out there but was at a point where she was actually considering retiring from music. I convinced her to work on the project and put that off. This was therapeutic for her. I could hear it in her voice.

Who has a better nickname than you?
I don’t know. Thankfully, mine still applies—the years have been kind. Some people hate to call me Babyface because it makes them uncomfortable. I’m fine with just Kenny.

This article appeared in the July 2014 issue.