Brown stayed busy and, in 1991, he collaborated with New Edition member and friend Ralph Tresvant on the latter's single "Stone Cold Gentleman", which was a top-five R&B hit.
After performing in several talent shows in the Boston area in 1982, they signed a deal with fellow Bostonian Arthur Baker's Streetwise Records, who released their debut album Candy Girl.He returned to New Edition for a reunion album and tour from 1996 to 1997, and returned with all six members for another stint in 2005.From 1992 to 2006 Brown was married to singer Whitney Houston (1963–2012), with whom he had daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (1993–2015).Some say Brown asked to be let out of New Edition, but a VH-1 Behind the Music documentary on the group claimed Brown was voted out by the group via their management team, with the members—most prominently Tresvant—against the decision.Following his exit from New Edition, Brown signed a contract with his former group's label, MCA (which had earlier promised Brown a solo deal if he had decided to leave New Edition), and also signed with manager Steven Machat, who had also worked with New Edition.The couple starred in the reality show Being Bobby Brown.Brown's first taste of being onstage occurred when he was three and one of his childhood idols, James Brown, performed in Boston.In February 1990 he won the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the album's fourth single "Every Little Step." Don't Be Cruel also garnered Brown two American Music Awards, a Soul Train Music Award and a People's Choice Award. , was released, and found fans in the United Kingdom, where Brown had a fan base and had major success. opening for him, and New Edition also opening for him on some dates.In 1989, Brown contributed two songs to the soundtrack of Ghostbusters II, and he also had a cameo role in the film. Brown embarked on a 120-day world tour to promote the Don't Be Cruel project in 1988. The tour lasted into the spring of 1991, but not without Brown gaining notoriety for simulating sexual acts onstage, which got him into trouble with local law enforcement.Despite its release during the final days of the New Jack Swing era—one that Brown had dominated—the album did become a success, selling more than 3 million copies, and spawning several hit singles including "Humpin' Around", "Get Away," and "Good Enough".He received his second Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance nomination for "Humpin' Around." He received his third American Music Award in January 1993.