Bobby Brown on Southaven stage: 'I love you Whitney' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bobby Brown on Southaven stage: 'I love you Whitney'

(WMC-TV) - Singer Bobby Brown was backstage at the Southaven, Mississippi Landers Center when he learned of ex-wife Whitney Houston's death Saturday night.

Julius Lewis of Heritage Entertainment is the filmmaker and concert promoter who brought New Edition's 30th Reunion Tour to the Mid-South.

"Booked them back in October," said Lewis.

Saturday night progressed like any other concert tour, until phones rang backstage with tragic news that Houston was dead.

"About two and a half hours before the show," said Lewis.  "CNN called us, US Weekly called us, the AP called us, TMZ."

At the time, Brown was performing a sound check.

"He took it very, very hard, and there was talk about rescheduling the show," said Lewis.

Brown said he could not perform, but it had been almost 20 years since all six old friends had been on stage together.  Lewis said Brown's fellow band members rallied around him.

"Consoling him, just being there for him," said Lewis.

The crowd of 10,000 went wild when Brown joined New Edition on stage.

"A big standing ovation," said Lewis.  "They chanted his name the whole night."

Lewis said the encouragement convinced Brown to take the stage after the third song.

"I think it was support from his friends," he said.  "He saw those people out there.  He just did not want to let those folks down."

Lewis thinks performing was part of Brown's salvation and healing.

"He cried several times throughout the show," said Lewis.

During the show, Brown had a message for his ex-wife.

"He said, 'I love you,' how she was the mother of their child," said Lewis.  "It was extremely emotional in there.  Probably wasn't a dry eye in the whole building."

Brown did not perform with New Edition in Nashville Sunday night.  The tour ends in Baltimore, Maryland on May 20.

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