The road to redemption has been rather rocky for Chris Brown.
Over a year and a half after Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna en route to the 2009 Grammy awards ceremony, things are starting to look up for the pop star.
His latest single, “Deuces,” currently sits atop Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. It’s his first top ten single in the United States since 2008’s “Forever,” and first number one single since 2007’s “Kiss Kiss.” Brown served as executive producer of and has a significant acting role in the film Takers, which was the number one movie in the United States during its opening weekend, pulling in just over $20 million.
After the Rihanna incident on the night of February 8, 2009, Brown’s career struggled. An apology video, posted to YouTube, as well as a heavily publicized appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live were widely ridiculed and lampooned. Though he accepted full responsibilities for his actions, Brown was branded the new Ike Turner. His album, Graffiti, released in December 2009, was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews, scant radio airplay and has sold just over 310,000 copies since its release. Brown, who was sentenced to 5 years probation for the assault, claimed that stores refused to stock his album and that radio stations had blacklisted him.
Brown issued an urgent plea to his fans to call their local radio stations and request his songs:
After posting multiple frustrated rants on his Twitter account, and cursing out a radio jock during an interview, it seemed like Chris Brown’s career was over. Brown turned 21 in May 2010, and struggled to find venues that would host his birthday party. In June 2010, he was denied a visa to enter the UK for being guilty of a “serious criminal offense” which resulted in the cancellation of several scheduled shows in Europe.
However, one month earlier, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared during the 2010 BET Awards.
Brown performed a tribute to Michael Jackson, during which he began crying and fell to his knees during a rendition of Jackson’s classic “Man In The Mirror.” Though many doubted the sincerity of his emotional display and accused him of faking it, a very vocal contingency believed that the performance was completely genuine. The performance prompted the initial rumblings of Brown’s career pulling a phoenix move and rising from the ashes.
With the major successes he’s had in the last seven days, it looks like Chris Brown has escaped the fate of Ike Turner, who was never able to salvage his career or his image after his divorce from Tina Turner.
Though America may have forgiven Chris Brown for what he did to Rihanna, but he shouldn’t expect America to forget.
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