Daryl Simmons (born April 11, 1957) is an American Grammy Award-winning R&B songwriter, musician and record producer who is best known for his association with the LaFace Records production duo of L.A. Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.
Simmons attended North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana together with future Pop and R&B producer-songwriter-singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. The duo would write songs at each other's homes on a consistent basis. As teenagers, Simmons and Edmonds formed a band called, "Tarnished Silver", which also included Rayford Griffin and Tom Borton. The group performed at many colleges, proms and high school parties. In the late 70's, Simmons and Edmonds were both members of an Indianapolis R&B group, "Manchild". The group released two albums before breaking up and while the outfit never quite took off, Simmons' and Edmonds' relationship as songwriters/producers had already been cemented. The two would go on to collaborate for years.
After Manchild’s breakup, Edmonds joined L.A. Reid’s band, The Deele, in the early 1980s. Simmons soon followed Edmonds to work with The Deele, as a writer and a musician. Simmons co-wrote on two albums for The Deele, as well as played as a musician. The most successful of the two albums co-written by Simmons was “Eyes of a Stranger”, which went gold with the hit song, “Two Occasions”. With the success of “Two Occasions”, the trio began working with outside artists such as Pebbles, Sheena Easton, The Whispers, Paula Abdul, Karyn White, Johnny Gill and Bobby Brown.
Reid and Edmonds relocated to Atlanta in 1989, to form their own company, LaFace Records. The duo was joined by Simmons and together they discovered, signed and produced their own artists such as Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher, Damian Dame and OutKast.
In 1991, Simmons co-wrote and co-produced Boyz II Men's most successful song to date, “End of the Road”, from the Eddie Murphy movie, Boomerang. The song garnered a Grammy Award in 1992 for “Best R&B Song”. “End of the Road” topped the charts from August 15 through November 7, 1992, setting a record for most weeks at number one with 13 weeks, beating Elvis Presley's 11-week hold with "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel". Presley's record had stood 36 years.
Simmons, Edmonds and Reid collaborated again with Whitney Houston on The Bodyguard soundtrack (since 1990's album "I'm Your Baby Tonight"), which went on to sell more than 45 million albums worldwide. The trio also worked with Michael Jackson on his Dangerous album. Although the trio’s songs didn’t make it into the album's final cut, Simmons enjoyed working with Jackson and deems it an “amazing experience”.
In 1994, Edmonds released the solo album, “For the Cool in You”. Simmons was a major contributor to this triple platinum album. Edmonds collaborated with Simmons on Aretha Franklin's, "Willing to Forgive" which reached no. 5 on the R&B charts, and Mariah Carey's “Never Forget You” which peaked at number 7. Simmons and Edmonds also penned Tevin Campbell’s smash hit, “Can We Talk”.
In the mid ‘90s as the trio’s collaborative efforts began to slow, Simmons formed his own company, “Silent Partner Productions”. Simmons built a state-of-the-art recording studio and began working on solo projects. He wrote and produced a Top 10 Pop hit for Monica with “Why I Love You So Much” (#3 R&B). Simmons also produced and co-wrote Dru Hill’s “In My Bed”. "In My Bed" was a number-one platinum-selling R&B single by R&B group Dru Hill. It is the second single from their eponymous debut album. The single spent three weeks at number-one on the US R&B chart and peaked at number four on the US pop chart. Simmons followed this hit with a ballad from the same Dru Hill album, “Never Make a Promise”. The single spent four weeks at number one on the US R&B chart and peaked at number seven on the US pop chart.
In 1997, Simmons collaborated with Edmonds again on songs for Dru Hill for the Soul Food soundtrack, ”We're Not Making Love No More”, (#2 R&B). In 1999, Simmons collaborated with Babyface and “L.A.” Reid on TLC’s 3rd album, “FanMail”, and also gave new life to the Dell’s "The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)" which he produced for Dru Hill’s second album, “Enter the Dru”. Despite not being released as a single, the song made it into the R&B top 50 on radio airplay alone.
In 2005, Simmons co-wrote with Edmonds songs for the album “Grown and Sexy”. Notable songs include: "Tonite It's Goin' Down", "Grown & Sexy", "Goin' Outta Bizness", and "Sorry For the Stupid Things", of which the last one made the R&B Charts.
Selected songwriting and production credits
- Another Sad Love Song - Toni Braxton
- Baby-Baby-Baby - TLC
- Breathe Again - Toni Braxton
- Can We Talk - Tevin Campbell
- Stay - Destiny's Child
- Christmas Time is Here - Toni Braxton
- Do You Want To - Xscape
- Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown
- End of the Road - Boyz-II-Men
- Fairweather Friend - Johnny Gill
- For The Cool In You - Babyface
- Give You My Heart - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Good Enough - Bobby Brown
- Hands Up - TLC
- Humpin' Around - Bobby Brown
- I Miss You So Much - TLC
- I Never Knew It - Paula Abdul
- If I Lose My Woman - Kenny Lattimore
- I'll Be the One - Dru Hill
- I'm Ready - Tevin Campbell
- I'm Your Natural Woman - Deborah Cox
- In My Bed - Dru Hill
- It May Be The Water - Lionel Richie
- Knocked Out - Paula Abdul
- Love Shoulda Brought You Home - Toni Braxton
- Loving You Still - Tamia
- My My My - Johnny Gill
- My Only Woman - After 7
- Never Forget You - Mariah Carey
- Never Keeping Secrets - Babyface
- Never Make a Promise - Dru Hill
- No Love - Kevon Edmonds
- No One Knows About A Good Thing - Curtis Mayfield
- On Our Own - Bobby Brown
- Queen of the Night - Whitney Houston
- Rock Bottom - Babyface
- Roni - Bobby Brown
- Secret Rendezvous - Karyn White
- Seven Whole Days - Toni Braxton
- Somethin' You Wanna Know - TLC
- Something In Your Eyes - Bell Biv Devoe
- Split Personality - Pink
- Stay - Destiny's Child
- Stone Cold Gentleman - Ralph Tresvant
- Superwoman - Karyn White
- Tell Me How You Want It - Johnny Gill
- The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind) - Dru Hill
- The Lover in Me - Sheena Easton
- The One I Gave My Heart To - Aaliyah
- The Way You Love Me - Karyn White
- There You Go - Johnny Gill
- Until You Come Back - Whitney Houston
- Was It Something I Didn't Say - 98 Degrees
- Well Alright - Babyface
- We're Not Making Love No More - Dru Hill
- When Can I See You - Babyface
- Who Do You Tell - Tamia
- Why I Love You So Much - Monica
- Willing To Forgive - Aretha Franklin
- With You - Mýa
- Work Me Slow - Xscape
- You Are My Love - SWV
- You Mean The World To Me - Toni Braxton
- Your Eyes – Xscape
- Rock Wit'cha – Bobby Brown
- Love Saw It – Karyn White & Babyface
- Superwoman – Karyn White
- You Mean the World to Me – Toni Braxton
- Hurt You – Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Roller Coaster - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Sweat - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- I Hope That You're Okay - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Take It Back - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Reunited - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Heart Attack - Toni Braxton & Babyface
- Slave to the Rhythm - Michael Jackson
- Jon Pareles. "Eric Clapton Wins 6 Grammys With His 'Unplugged' Album", The New York Times, February 25, 1993. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.