Award-winning singer, songwriter and music producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Indiana University (IU) during an Oct. 18 visit to the IU Bloomington campus.
“As an Indiana native and an award-winning singer, prolific songwriter and innovative producer, Kenneth Edmonds has made an extraordinary contribution to the Hoosier state’s great tradition of shaping the sound of American popular music,” IU president Dr. Michael A. McRobbie said. “He has worked with nearly all of his era’s biggest musicians and composed hundreds of top R&B and pop hits, while also actively engaging in numerous philanthropic causes that reflect his passion for helping others and passing along the gift of music to future generations.”
Edmonds will receive his honorary degree at a 2 p.m. event in the IU Auditorium. Following the conferral will be “A Conversation with Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds” facilitated by James Strong, director of the IU Soul Revue.
Born in Indianapolis, Edmonds has made an impact on the music business that spans decades. In 1989, he co-founded LaFace Records with L.A. Reid and nurtured the careers of megastars such as TLC, OutKast, Usher and Toni Braxton. The 11-time Grammy winner has produced and written or co-written hits for Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Pebbles, Karyn White, Sheena Easton and others.
Edmonds has contributed to more than 600 million single and album sales worldwide. He has won numerous awards and honors, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. Passionate about philanthropy, he has supported Carousel of Hope, which benefits the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation and other charities.