The Browns -- Desirae (1979), Deondra (1980), Gregory (1982), Melody (1984), and Ryan (1986) -- were all born in Houston, Texas, and, with their mother Lisa's encouragement, each began piano lessons at age three with Yelena Kurinets. After moving to Utah in 1991, the Browns took lessons with Irene Peery-Fox. In 2001, the siblings became the first family of five ever accepted to the Juilliard School of Music at the same time. The 5 Browns ensemble was formed in 2002 and was an instant sensation. In 2002, the group was profiled in People magazine and appeared on the television shows Oprah and 60 Minutes. Since its inception, the group has performed and recorded in various combinations from solo piano to five pianos.
The 5 Browns signed with RCA Red Seal in 2004 and released its self-titled first album in 2005, which was a hit, spending eight weeks at the top of the Billboard classical chart. The ensemble began touring following this release, and have since appeared across the U.S. and Asia, including performances in Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, and Taiwan. The siblings published the book Life Between the Keys together in 2009. The 5 Browns commissioned a new concerto for five pianos by Nico Muhly, Edge of the World, which was premiered in 2011 at Chicago's Ravinia Festival, with James Conlon conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The 5 Browns continued recording for RCA Red Seal (which was incorporated into Sony/BMG Masterworks) until 2008, releasing a total of five albums that were all commercial successes; No Boundaries (2006) and Browns in Blue (2007) both took the 5 Browns back to the top of the Billboard classical chart. In 2010, the group moved to the E1 label for The 5 Browns in Hollywood. The group was featured in a 2012 PBS special, "The 5 Browns in Concert." After signing with Steinway & Sons, the group has released two albums: a live recording of an arrangement of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 2013 and Christmas with the 5 Browns in 2019.
In 2011, Desirae and Deondra formed a nonprofit organization, The Foundation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, to advocate for victims' rights, following revelations of their father's sexual abuse of the three sisters, and his conviction for the crimes. The Browns were the subject of a 2018 documentary, The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness, about the abuse and overcoming the family's tragedy.