‘It Was Kinda Wrong for Us to Do It’: Michael Bivins Regrets Kicking Bobby Brown Out of New Edition Due to Fights with Other Group Members and Erratic Behavior on Tour

Michael Bivins has a new outlook on the strife he and his New Edition group members experienced at the height of brewing tensions with Bobby Brown.

The quintet, which also includes Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe and Rickey Bell, had more than its fair share of brawls before Brown was booted from the group in 1985.

However, in hindsight, Bivins said he and the three men could have addressed Brown’s behavioral issues instead of removing him from the group he helped catapult to stardom.

Michael Bivins says voting Bobby Brown out of New Edition was a mistake. New Edition (L-R): Johnny Gill, Ricky Bell, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins. (Photo: @Newedition/Instagram)

“It was kinda wrong for us to do it, listening to the managers, and, you know, it wasn’t one thing,” Bivins said when he recently appeared on Math Hoffa’s podcast “My Expert Opinion.”

“Sometimes, you know, Bob would, you know, maybe not come to practice or being sleep during practice. He just wanted to perform. He didn’t like — he like AI [Allen Iverson], ‘Man, f—k this practice..’.. And rightfully so, he had that raw showmanship,” he added. 

As the band of friends grew in notoriety, so did Brown’s own star, making him a standout among the group.

Bell previously stated that the “My Prerogative” crooner’s antics first began on stage when he would extend solo moments during songs like “Mr. Telephone Man.” His use of drugs, specifically cocaine and weed laced with the narcotic, also was blamed for fueling Brown’s unpredictable temperament.

Related: Bobby Brown Says He Left New Edition to Go Solo Because He Was Tired of That Type of Music

Frustrations with Brown reached a boiling point on stage during New Edition’s 1985 concert at the Coliseum in Oakland, California. He and Bivins went to blows when Brown attempted to delay the start of “Cool It Now.” The infamous brawl was portrayed in BET’s film “The New Edition Story” in 2017.

In a 2019 interview with VladTV, Bell said the group’s then-manager, Gary Evans, approached them after the onstage melee. Evans claimed that Brown’s acquaintance with drug dealers and threats of losing their record deal led the teenagers to vote their childhood friend out of the band he helped found.

“It was like we didn’t have a choice…every member voted yes,” said Bell. The “Don’t Be Cruel” singer, however, has a different vantage point on his exit. He previously stated that he left New Edition due to his desire to ditch their “bubble gum” sound of music.

Looking back at the challenging time, Bivins told Hoffa, “I just think we mentally got separated and we left him behind … We was trying to be on some professional s—t, not really understanding how you work around what he’s fighting against. See, you learn this s—t now, back then you like, ‘D—n n—ga where you at?’ “

“Time to get Bobby Brown on here!! This is epic Math,” commented one person after hearing Bivins’ recollection of events.

“Bobby Brown was the David Ruffin of New Edition for real!” and “Man if Bobby didn’t touch them drugs he’d be a god by now. He’s still the king of R&B doe,” wrote two others.

During his absence, Brown embarked on a successful solo career and was temporarily replaced by Johnny Gill. However, all six men now tour together, and are reportedly on good terms.

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