Brown was getting ready to play a New Edition gig on Saturday in Southaven, Miss., when he found out his ex-wife had died at the age of 48.Special Section: Whitney Houston: Death of a pop diva
"First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all," the 43-year-old singer told fans at the show, according to the Associated Press. "Second, I would like to say, 'I love you, Whitney.' The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage."
The next day, Brown released a statement to People, saying, "I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time."
The Massachusetts native rose to fame in the 1980s with R&B hit-makers, New Edition. The group, featuring Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie DeVoe, released its debut album, "Candy Girl," in 1983 and scored hits with "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man."
Brown parted ways with New Edition three years later to pursue a solo career. Striking out on his own proved to be a big success, as he had several hits through the 1980s and '90s with "Don't Be Cruel," "Every Little Step," "Rock Wit' Cha" and "My Prerogative."
At the height of his popularity, Brown married fellow music star Whitney Houston in the summer of 1992. During their 15-year marriage Brown released only one album, 1997's "Forever." Brown was arrested several times throughout the 1990s for drug use and drunk driving.
Brown and Houston had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993. A decade later, domestic abuse reports surfaced, and shortly after, police found Houston with a cut lip and bruised cheek. Fans got a peek inside their troubled relationship during Brown's 2005 reality TV show "Being Bobby Brown."
Since his split from Houston, Brown has been dating a woman named Alicia Etheridge. They got engaged in 2010 and have a child together named Cassius.
On the music front, Brown reunited with the other members of New Edition to play the Essence Music Festival in 2011.