His debut album from 1988, In Effect Mode, sold more than two million copies and topped the Billboard R&B chart for seven straight weeks. The album included the single “Nite and Day,” which topped the R&B chart and reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. He received numerous Grammy and American Music Award (AMA) nominations, and won an AMA for Best New R&B Artist. He also received several Soul Train Award nominations, and won the award for Best New Artist. He also won several New York Music Awards. In addition, his 1-900 phone line was third in generating revenue, following those for New Kids on the Block and Run-D.M.C.
As a writer and producer, Brown introduced the multi-platinum group Jodeci and teen R&B performer Tevin Campbell (also one of Quincy Jones’s former protégés), as well as Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case, and Usher to the music industry.