IU honors Indiana native and singer, songwriter Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

From the top: Singer songwriter Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds receives an honorary degree from IU President Michael A. McRobbie, the conferral ceremony was held at the IU auditorium, Edmonds is interviewed by IU Soul Revue Director James Strong. Photos by James Brosher, Indiana University

At a ceremony to confer an honorary doctorate to Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie shared the inspiring story of Edmonds' rise to success through determination in pursuing his passion for music.

His success as a producer and songwriter began at a Jackson 5 concert Edmonds attended as a sixth-grader in his hometown of Indianapolis. By age 13, Edmonds had started his first band, and it wasn't long after he graduated from high school that Edmonds career would lead to hit after hit.

"His own success as a solo recording artist has included multiple hit songs, multi-platinum albums, and sold-out concerts around the world," McRobbie said at the ceremony. "His legendary status as a producer was recognized with three consecutive Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year from 1995 to 1997, and Mr. Edmonds was ranked number 20 on New Music Express list of the 50 Greatest Producers Ever. In 1997, Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people in America."

From the top: At a dinner hosted at Bryan House, IU Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs James Wimbush shakes hands with Peyton Edmonds, daughter of Kenneth Edmonds; IU Soul Revue Director James Strong mingles with guests; IU President Michael A. McRobbie talks with Daryl Simmons, Edmonds' longtime collaborator. Photos by James Brosher, Indiana University

Many years have passed since Edmonds' listened to the Jackson 5 from a seat high behind the stage, and today he is part of a great tradition of Indianapolis musicians who have made an enormous impact on American music in the 20th century.

"On behalf of Indiana University, we are very pleased to welcome him today and to honor his distinguished career as an example for Indiana University students of the importance of dedication, determination, and hard work in pursuit of one's passion, and as an example of all they can achieve," McRobbie said.

Read IU President McRobbie's speech from the honorary degree ceremony

Watch Babyface talk about his experience at IU