There’s more tragedy for singer Bobby Brown.
The Roxbury-bred R&B star’s 28-year-old son, Bobby Brown Jr., was found dead at a Los Angeles residence on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The death, which is not considered suspicious, is yet another calamity for Brown, whose ex-wife, singer Whitney Houston, died suddenly in 2012, followed three years later by the death of the couple’s only child, 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown.
An LAPD spokesman told CNN that officers responded to a medical emergency in Encino at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday.
“Upon officers’ arrival, there was a person down at the location,” Officer Jeff Lee said, adding that Brown Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bobby Brown’s agent, Nick Szatmari, did not immediately respond to a phone message Thursday.
Brown Jr., who had been photographed with his famous father periodically over the years, was mostly raised out of the spotlight by his mother, Kim Ward. Attempts to reach Ward, Bobby Brown’s longtime former girlfriend with whom he also has a daughter, LaPrincia, were unsuccessful Thursday.
Now 51, Bobby Brown was a founding member of New Edition, the boy band from Roxbury that also included Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant. The group had a string of hits in the ’80s, including “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now,” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”
Brown also enjoyed enormous success as a solo artist. His 1988 album, “Don’t Be Cruel,” scored five top-ten hits, including “My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step,” which was ubiquitous for a time and ultimately earned Brown the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
But Brown’s personal life has been complicated and occasionally chaotic. In addition to Bobby Jr. and LaPrincia, his children with Ward, and Bobbi Kristina with Houston, Brown has another son, Landon, with former girlfriend, Melika Williams, and three children with his current wife, Alicia Etheredge.
Brown’s marriage to Houston, who was already an international superstar when the couple married in 1992, lasted 14 tumultuous years. Just before it ended, the pair appeared in a reality TV show called “Being Bobby Brown.” It did well in the ratings, but Brown and Houston behaved bizarrely, and Bravo decided not to renew the show for a second season.
Around that time, Brown was arrested as he walked into Attleboro High School to see his daughter compete in a cheerleading contest. Ward’s attorneys claimed he hadn’t been making agreed-upon child-support payments for Bobby Jr. and LaPrincia.
In a 2006 Boston Magazine story, Ward said her relationship with Houston was fraught, especially when Bobby Jr. was involved.
“There’ll be times she’ll call me,” Ward said. “She’ll be like, ‘Oh, well, can LaPrincia come down to spend time with Krissy while we go to such and such?’ Hello? No! (Brown) has another kid here, too. She has a problem with little Bobby.”
Houston was 48 when she was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards. The coroner ruled that heart disease and cocaine were contributing factors.
The circumstances were eerily similar three years later when Brown and Houston’s daughter, Bobbie Kristina, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her home in Roswell, Georgia. She was in a coma for six months before dying in July 2015. The medical examiner’s office didn’t determine the cause of death, but an autopsy found morphine, cocaine, alcohol, and prescription drugs in her body.
Bobbi Kristina’s onetime partner Nick Gordon was found liable in her death. He died earlier this year of a heroin overdose.
“When God calls you, he calls you,” Brown said on “The Real,” talking about his daughter with Houston. “I’m pretty sure her mother was . . . had a part with like, ‘Come on, let’s get her up here’ ... (Houston) was not comfortable by herself, I guess. She just called my daughter with her.”