Robert Barisford Brown (born February 5, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer and actor. Brown started his career in the R&B and pop group New Edition, from its inception in 1981 until his exit from the group in December 1985. Starting a solo career, he enjoyed success with his second album in 1988, Don't Be Cruel, which spawned a number of hit singles including the self-penned "My Prerogative", and the Grammy Award-winning "Every Little Step". Brown had a string of top ten hits on various Billboard charts between 1986 and 1993. Brown, alongside frequent collaborator Teddy Riley, is noted as a pioneer of new jack swing; a fusion of hip-hop and R&B.