Kenneth Edmonds was born on April 10, 1959, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Marvin and Barbara Edmonds. Barbara was a pharmaceutical plant manager. Edmonds, who is the fifth of six brothers (including future After 7 band members Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, the latter of whom went on to have a modestly successful solo career), attended North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as a shy youth, wrote songs to express his emotions. When he was in eighth grade, Edmonds's father died of lung cancer, leaving his mother to raise her sons alone. At this stage, Edmonds became determined to have a career in music.