Chris Brown

This article is about the American R&B singer. For other people with the same name, see Chris Brown (disambiguation).

Chris Brown

Chris Brown at Supafest Australia in 2012
Background information
Birth name Christopher Maurice Brown
Born (1989-05-05) May 5, 1989
Tappahannock, Virginia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • rapper
  • dancer
  • actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2005–present
Associated acts

Christopher Maurice "Chris" Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was later certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling an overall three million copies worldwide.[1] With his first single "Run It!" peaking atop the US Billboard Hot 100, Brown became the first male artist as a lead since Diddy in 1997 to have his debut single top the chart. His second album Exclusive (2007) spawned his second Hot 100 number one "Kiss Kiss", in addition to "With You" and "Forever". The album was also certified double platinum by the RIAA. In addition to his solo commercial success, Brown has been featured on several singles such as "No Air", a duet with singer Jordin Sparks, "Shortie like Mine" with the rapper Bow Wow and "Shawty Get Loose" alongside Lil Mama and T-Pain. The songs have peaked at number three, number nine and number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 respectively.[2][3][4]

In 2009, Brown received much media attention after pleading guilty to felony assault of his then girlfriend, singer Rihanna; he was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service.[5] His third album Graffiti was released later that year, and included the top-twenty single "I Can Transform Ya". Brown's fourth album F.A.M.E. (2011) became his first to top the Billboard 200; it spawned the singles "Yeah 3x", "Look at Me Now", and "Beautiful People". F.A.M.E. earned Brown his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 54th Grammy Awards.[6] His fifth album Fortune was released in 2012. However, after the release of Exclusive, Brown's albums have not been well received commercially or by music critics, with the exception of X, which received a normalized rating of 63.[7] Brown's seventh studio album Royalty was released on December 18, 2015.[8]

Apart from his work in the music industry, Brown has pursued an acting career. In 2007, he made his on-screen feature film debut in Stomp the Yard, and appeared as a guest on the television series The O.C.. Other films Brown has appeared in, include This Christmas (2007), Takers (2010), Think Like a Man (2012), and Battle of the Year (2013). Throughout his career, Brown has won several awards, including fourteen BET Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and three MTV VMA awards.

Early life

Christopher Maurice Brown was born on May 5, 1989,[9] in the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia,[10] to Joyce Hawkins, a former day care center director, and Clinton Brown, a corrections officer at a local prison.[11][12] He has an older sister, Lytrell Bundy,[13] who works in a bank.[11] Music was always present in Brown's life beginning in his childhood. He would listen to soul albums that his parents owned,[12] and eventually began to show interest in the hip-hop scene.[9] He is African American, and has also said that he has Pamunkey Native American ancestry.[14]

Brown taught himself to sing and dance at a young age and often cites Michael Jackson as his inspiration.[11] He began to perform in his church choir and in several local talent shows.[15] When he mimicked an Usher performance of "My Way", his mother recognized his vocal talent, and they began to look for the opportunity of a record deal.[1] At the same time, Brown was going through personal issues. His parents had divorced, and his mother's boyfriend terrified him by subjecting her to domestic violence.[16]


2002–04: Career beginnings

At age 13, Brown was discovered by Hitmission Records, a local production team that visited his father's gas station while searching for new talent.[17] Hitmission's Lamont Fleming provided voice coaching for Brown, and the team helped to arrange a demo package and approached contacts in New York to seek a record deal.[18] Tina Davis, senior A&R executive at Def Jam Recordings, was impressed when Brown auditioned in her New York office, and she immediately took him to meet the former president of the Island Def Jam Music Group, Antonio "L.A." Reid, who offered to sign him that day. "I knew that Chris had real talent," says Davis. "I just knew I wanted to be part of it."[19]

The negotiations with Def Jam continued for two months, and Davis then lost her job due to a corporate merger. Brown asked her to be his manager, and once Davis accepted, she promoted the singer to labels such as Jive Records, J-Records and Warner Bros. Records. According to Mark Pitts in an interview with HitQuarters, Davis presented Brown with a video recording, and Pitts' reaction was: "I saw the potential ... I didn't love all the records, but I loved his voice. It wasn't a problem because I knew that he could sing, and I knew how to make records."[20] Brown ultimately chose Jive due to its successful work with then-young acts such as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Brown stated, "I picked Jive because they had the best success with younger artists in the pop market, [...] I knew I was going to capture my African American audience, but Jive had a lot of strength in the pop area as well as longevity in careers."[19] Brown attended Essex High School in Virginia until early 2005, when he moved to New York to pursue his music career.[21]

2005–06: Chris Brown and acting debut

Brown performing at KISS 106.1 Seattle Jingle Bell Bash 8, December 4, 2005

After being signed to Jive Records in 2004, Brown began recording his self-titled debut studio album in February 2005. By May, there were 50 songs already recorded, 14 of which were picked to the final track listing.[11] The singer worked with several producers and songwriters—Scott Storch, Cool & Dre and Jazze Pha among them—commenting that they "really believed in [him]".[22] Brown also made some input on the album, receiving co-writing credits of five tracks.[11] "I write about the things that 16 year olds go through every day," says Brown. "Like you just got in trouble for sneaking your girl into the house, or you can't drive, so you steal a car or something."[23] The whole album took less than eight weeks to produce.[23]

Released on November 29, 2005, the self-titled Chris Brown album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 154,000 copies.[24][25] Chris Brown was a relative commercial success with the time; selling over two million copies in the United States—where it was certified two times platinum by the RIAA—and three million copies worldwide.[26][27] The album's lead single, "Run It!", made Brown the first male act (since Montell Jordan in 1995) to have his debut single to reach the summit of the Billboard Hot 100—later remaining for four additionally weeks.[9] Three of the other singles—"Yo (Excuse Me Miss)," "Gimme That" and "Say Goodbye"—peaked within the top twenty at the same chart.[28]

On June 13, 2006, Brown released a DVD entitled Chris Brown's Journey, which shows footage of him traveling in England and Japan, getting ready for his first visit to the Grammy Awards, behind the scenes of his music videos and bloopers. On August 17, 2006, to further promote the album, Brown began his major co-headlining tour, The Up Close and Personal Tour. Due to the tour, production for his next album was pushed back two months. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital received $10,000 in ticket proceeds from Brown's 2006 "Up Close & Personal" tour. Brown has made appearances on UPN's One on One and The N's Brandon T. Jackson Show on its pilot episode.[29][30]

2007–08: Exclusive

In January 2007, Brown landed a small role as a band geek in the fourth season of the American television series The O.C..[31] Brown then made his film debut in Stomp the Yard, alongside Ne-Yo, Meagan Good and Columbus Short on January 12, 2007.[32] In April 2007, Brown was the opening act for Beyoncé, on the Australian leg of her The Beyoncé Experience tour. On July 9, 2007, Brown was featured in an episode of MTV's My Super Sweet 16 (for the event, it was retitled: Chris Brown: My Super 18) celebrating his eighteenth birthday in New York City.[33]

Chris Brown singing at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in 2008.

In November 2007, Brown starred as a video host for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Math-A-Thon program. He showed his support by encouraging students to use their math skills to help children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.[34] Shortly after ending his summer tour with Ne-Yo, Brown quickly began production for his second studio album, Exclusive, which was released in the United States on November 6, 2007. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 294,000 copies in its first week,[35] and received generally positive reviews from music critics.[7] As of March 23, 2011, it has sold over 1.9 million copies in the United States.[36] The album's lead single, "Wall to Wall", peaked at number 79 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 22 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Kiss Kiss", featuring and produced by T-Pain, was released as the album's second single. It reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and became Brown's second number one single following "Run It!" in 2005. "With You", a song produced by Stargate, was released as the third single from Exclusive, and reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

On November 21, 2007, Brown appeared in This Christmas, a family drama starring Regina King.[37] To further support the album Exclusive, Brown embarked on his The Exclusive Holiday Tour, visiting over thirty venues in United States. The tour began in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 6, 2007, and concluded on February 9, 2008, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In March 2008, Brown was featured on Jordin Sparks' single "No Air", which peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[38] He also made a guest appearance on Ludacris' single "What Them Girls Like" alongside Sean Garrett. The song peaked at number 17 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and number eight on the US Hot Rap Songs chart. Brown re-released Exclusive on June 3, 2008, as a deluxe edition, renamed Exclusive: The Forever Edition, seven months after the release of the original version. The re-released version featured four new tracks, including the single "Forever", which reached number two on Billboard Hot 100. In August 2008, Brown guest-starred on Disney's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as himself.[39] In October 2008, he was featured on T-Pain's single "Freeze", from his third studio album Thr33 Ringz. Towards the end of 2008, Brown was named Artist of the Year by Billboard magazine.[40]

2009–10: Graffiti and mixtapes

In 2008, Brown began work on his-then upcoming third studio album. According to him, he would experiment a different musical direction for his new album—titled Graffiti—while hoping to emulate singers Prince and Michael Jackson. He stated, "I wanted to change it up and really be different. Like my style nowadays, I don't try to be typical urban. I want to be like how Prince, Michael and Stevie Wonder were. They can cross over to any genre of music."[41] The album's lead single "I Can Transform Ya" was released on September 29, 2009. The song peaked at number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 11 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Crawl" was released as the album's second single on November 23, 2009. The song reached number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. Graffiti was then released on December 8, 2009. The album debuted at number seven on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 102,000 copies in its first week,[42] but received generally negative reviews from critics.[7] As of March 23, 2011, it has sold 341,000 copies in the United States.[36]

While performing a Michael Jackson Tribute at the 2010 BET Awards, Brown started to cry and fell to his knees while singing Jackson's "Man in the Mirror".[43] The performance and his emotional turmoil resonated with several celebrities present at the ceremony, including Trey Songz, Diddy and Taraji P. Henson.[44] Songz said, "He left his heart on the stage. He gave genuine emotion. I was proud of him and I was happy for him for having that moment".[44] Michael's brother, Jermaine Jackson, expressed similar sentiments stating, "it was very emotional for me, because it was an acceptance from his fans from what has happened to him and also paying tribute to my brother".[45] Later during the award ceremony, Brown stated, "I let y'all down before, but I won't do it again...I promise", while accepting the award for the AOL Fandemonium prize.[44]

In May 2010, Brown released a collaborative mixtape with Tyga, titled Fan of a Fan. "Deuces", which features Tyga and Kevin McCall, was released from the mixtape in the United States on June 29, 2010.[46] The song peaked at number one on US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for seven non-consecutive weeks, giving Brown his first number-one on the chart since his 2006 hit single, "Say Goodbye".[47] It also peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[47] In August 2010, Brown starred alongside an ensemble cast, including Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen and T.I. in the crime thriller Takers,[48] and also served as executive producer of the film.

2011–12: F.A.M.E. and Fortune

Brown performing at Supafest, Sydney, April 2012

Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. was first released on March 18, 2011. Although it received mixed critical reviews,[7] the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 270,000 copies, giving Brown his first number-one album in the United States.[49] Its lead single, "Yeah 3x", reached the top-ten in eleven countries, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[50][51] The album's second single, "Look at Me Now", featuring rappers Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, reached number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,[52] where it remained for eight consecutive weeks.[53] It also reached number one on the US Hot Rap Songs chart.[54] The album's third single, "Beautiful People", featuring Benny Benassi, peaked at number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and became the first number-one single on the chart for both Brown and Benassi.[55] "She Ain't You" was released as the album's fourth US single, while "Next 2 You", featuring Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber, served as the album's fourth international single. To further promote the album, Brown embarked on his F.A.M.E. Tour in Australia and North America.

Brown received six nominations at the 2011 BET Awards and ultimately won five awards, including Best Male R&B Artist, Viewers Choice Award, The Fandemonium Award, Best Collaboration and Video of the Year for "Look at Me Now".[56] He also won three awards at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, including the People's Champ Award, Reese's Perfect Combo Award and Best Hip Hop Video for "Look at Me Now".[57] At the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards, F.A.M.E. won Album of the Year.[58] The album has also earned Brown three Grammy Award nominations at the 54th Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album, as well as Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for "Look at Me Now".[59] On February 12, 2012, Brown won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. During the ceremony, Brown performed several songs marking his first appearance at the awards show since his conviction of felony assault.[6]

On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, Brown (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release future material on the RCA Records brand.[60][61] Brown's fifth studio album Fortune was released on July 3, 2012. The album debuted atop the Billboard 200,[62] but received once again negative reviews from critics.[7] "Strip", featuring Kevin McCall, was released as the album's buzz single, with "Turn Up the Music" released as the lead single, and "Sweet Love", "Till I Die", "Don't Wake Me Up" and "Don't Judge Me" released as the album's following singles, respectively. To further promote the album, Brown embarked on his Carpe Diem Tour in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Trinidad.

2013–14: X

On August 9, 2013 at 1:09 AM PDT, Brown was reported to have suffered a seizure from Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California as a 9-1-1 call was made. When paramedics arrived, Brown allegedly refused to receive treatment and also refused to be transported to the local hospital. Brown has reportedly suffered from seizures in his childhood.[63] The next day, Brown's representative reported the seizure was caused by "intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity."[64] On November 20, 2013, Brown was sentenced to an anger management rehabilitation center for three months,[65] putting the December 2013 release of X in jeopardy. To "hold [fans] over until [the X album] drops," Brown released a mixtape, titled X Files on November 19, 2013.[66] On February 22, 2014, it was announced that the album would be released on Brown's birthday, May 5, 2014. On April 14, 2014, Brown released a teaser of new track "Don't Be Gone Too Long" featuring Ariana Grande, however, on October 27, 2013, Brown was arrested for felony assault in Washington, D.C., the fight allegedly started when two women wanted to take a picture with Brown in front of the W Hotel, and the song and album were again delayed due to Brown's prison sentence.[67][68] On August 3, 2014, Chris announced via Instagram that the album's release date will be on September 16, 2014.[69] On August 6, 2014, the album cover was revealed.[70] The title track "X" was released as an instant-gratification track alongside the album pre-order on iTunes on August 25, 2014.[71]

Brown's sixth studio album, X was released on September 16, 2014.[72] The album's lead single, "Fine China", was released on April 1, 2013, and sent to US Top 40 radio on April 9.[72] The album features a guest appearance by Kendrick Lamar and production from Diplo and Danja.[73] X debuted at #2 on US Billboard 200 charts with first-week sales of 145,644 copies.[74]

2015–present: Fan of a Fan: The Album, Royalty and Heartbreak on a Full Moon

On February 24, 2015, Brown released his first collaborative studio album with Tyga, titled Fan of a Fan: The Album. The album was a follow-up to the pairs 2010 mixtape Fan of a Fan.[75] In early 2015, Brown also embarked on his Between The Sheets Tour with Trey Songz.[76]

In spring of 2015, Brown was featured on DJ Deorro's song "Five Hours".[77]

On June 24, Brown released a new song titled "Liquor". Shortly after, it was announced that "Liquor" was the first single off his seventh studio album.[78] On August 22, 2015 the singer officially declares from his Twitter profile that the new album will be titled "Royalty" in honor of his daughter, Royalty Brown.[79][80] On October 16 he has revealed the album cover, portraying Chris with Royalty in her arms in a black and white picture.[81] On October 13, 2015, Brown announced that Royalty will be released on November 27, 2015.[81][82][83] After it was revealed that the album has been pushed back to December 18, 2015,[84] in exchange on November 27, 2015, he released a free 34-track mixtape called Before the Party as a prelude to Royalty, which features guest appearances from Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, Wale, Tyga, French Montana and Fetty Wap.[85] On October 16, 2015, the album cover was revealed.[86][87] The album was released on December 18, 2015, and it debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, selling 184,000 units (162,000 in pure album sales) in its first week,[88][89] marking an improvement over Brown's last three studio albums. It also became his seventh solo album consecutive top ten debut in the United States.

On May 1, 2016, Brown announced that his next album title would be, Heartbreak on a Full Moon.[90] The first single, "Grass Ain't Greener" was released on May 5, 2016.[91] In May 2016, Brown became the face of sneaker and streetwear retailer Snipes' spring/summer 2016 campaign.[92]


Musical style and influences

Chris Brown has cited a number of artists as his inspiration, predominantly Michael Jackson. Brown emphasizes “Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer.”[93] In "Fine China", he exemplifies Jackson’s influence both musically and visually as Ebony magazine’s Britini Danielle asserted that the song was “reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall".[94] Choreographically, MTV noticed that it "takes distinct visual cues from classic clips like 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Beat It'",[95] while Billboard complimented his appearance by calling it “a modern way to channel the King of Pop”.[96] Usher is also another influence who comes across as a more contemporary figure for Brown. He tells Vibe magazine “He was the one who the youngsters looked up to. I know that we, in the dancing and singing world, looked up to him”,[97] and maintains “If it wasn't for Usher, then Chris Brown couldn't exist”.[98] Other influences include Marvin Gaye, New Edition and R. Kelly.[99]

Music critics have commended Brown’s introduction to R&B, recognizing his modern day adaptations as well as versatility. Vibe’s Iyana Robertson says “As traditional R&B flourished around him, the young singer began an evolution of the genre”. She saw his debut single "Run It!" as a "prelude to what Brown would continue to do for the next decade: relentlessly disrupt the constructs of “rhythm and blues”." By his sophomore album Exclusive, she says he was “tapping more Electric up-tempos, swimming deep in Hip-hop waters and annihilating the Pop arena”. Describing the Grammy Award winning F.A.M.E. as "his most diverse offering to date", she remarked that "There was no level of musical flexibility comparable. There still isn’t."[100]


Brown possesses a light Lyric tenor vocal style.[101] His vocal ability was first recognized by his mother at a young age, as Brown tells People magazine "I was 11 and watching Usher perform 'My Way,' and I started trying to mimic it. My mom was like, 'You can sing?' And I was like, 'Well, yeah, Mama.'" subsequently leading to the start of his career.[1]Take You Down” most notably earned him a Grammy award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2009.[102]

Personal life

Domestic violence case

At around 12:30 a.m. (PST) on February 8, 2009, Brown and his then-girlfriend, recording artist Rihanna, had an argument which escalated into physical violence, leaving Rihanna with visible facial injuries which required hospitalization. Brown turned himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire station at 6:30 p.m. (PST) and was booked under suspicion of making criminal threats.[103] The police report did not name the female in the incident as is policy,[104] but media sources soon revealed that the victim was Rihanna.[105][106][107] Following Brown's arrest, several commercial ads featuring him were suspended, his music was withdrawn from multiple radio stations, and he withdrew from public appearances, including one at the 2009 Grammy Awards, where he was replaced by Justin Timberlake and Al Green.[105][108][109] Brown hired a crisis management team and released a statement saying, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired."[110]

On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats.[111][112] He was arraigned on April 6, 2009, and pleaded not guilty to one count of assault and one count of making criminal threats.[113] On June 22, 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to a felony and accepted a plea deal of community labor, five years' formal probation, and domestic violence counseling.[5] Several organizations against domestic violence criticized the plea deal, advocating the punishment was not severe enough for the crime; the level of Brown's influence over youth also came under scrutiny.[114][115] On July 20, 2009, Brown released a two-minute video on his official YouTube page apologizing to fans and Rihanna for the assault, expressing the incident as his "deepest regret" and saying that he has repeatedly apologized to Rihanna and "accepts full responsibility".[116][117][118] In the video, Brown said he wanted to speak out earlier about the case but was advised by his attorney not to until the legal ramifications were settled.[116][117][118] The video was removed, but is still available online. On August 25, Brown was sentenced to five years of probation, one year of domestic violence counseling, and six months of community service; the judge retained a five-year restraining order on Brown, which requires him to remain 50 yards away from Rihanna, 10 yards at public events.[119][120] According to Andy Kellman of Allmusic, "A fairly substantial backlash resulted in Brown's songs being pulled from rotation on several radio stations. Ultimately, however, it had little bearing on the progress of his music and acting careers."[9]

On September 2, 2009, Brown spoke about the domestic violence case in a pre-recorded Larry King Live interview, his first public interview about the matter.[121][122][123][124] He was accompanied to the interview by his mother, Joyce Hawkins, and attorney Mark Geragos, as he discussed growing up in a household with his mother being repeatedly assaulted by his stepfather. Brown said of hearing details of his assault of Rihanna, "I'm in shock, because, first of all, that's not who I am as a person, and that's not who I promise I want to be."[121] Brown's mother said Brown "has never, ever been a violent person, ever" and that she does not believe in the cycle of violence. Brown said that it is "tough" for him to look at the famous photograph released of Rihanna's battered face, which may be the one image to haunt and define him forever, and that he still loved her.[121] "I'm pretty sure we can always be friends," said Brown, "and I don't know about our relationship, but I just know definitely that we ended as friends." He stated he did not feel that his career was over, and described his relationship with Rihanna as having been like Romeo and Juliet, blaming the media attention in the aftermath of the assault for driving them apart.[121][124] When asked if he had any memory of assaulting Rihanna, he said that he did not, but realized that it occurred, and was sorry for his actions.[121][122][123][124] However, following criticism of saying he did not remember, he later said in a statement, "Of course I remember what happened. Several times during the interview, my mother said that I came to her right afterwards and told her everything." Brown said despite this, "[that night] was and still is a blur".[122][123]

In June 2010, Brown's application for a visa to enter the UK was refused on the grounds of him "being guilty of a serious criminal offence" due to his assault on Rihanna.[125][126] Brown had been planning to do a tour of British cities as part of a European tour but Sony stated that due to "issues surrounding his work visa" the tour was to be postponed. In February 2011, at the request of Brown's lawyer, Judge Patricia Schnegg modified with Rihanna's agreement the restraining order to a "level one order," allowing both singers to appear at awards shows together in the future.[127][128]

On March 22, 2011, after his first performance of "Yeah 3x" and a contentious interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America at the Times Square Studios where he was asked about the Rihanna situation and restraining order, Brown allegedly became violent in his dressing room during a commercial break before his second performance ending that day's program, and threw an object at a window overlooking Times Square, causing damage to the window.[129] Brown then took off his shirt and after several angry confrontations with the segment producer, other show staff and building security, left the building shirtless.[130] Following the incident, Brown left a message on Twitter saying, "I'm so over people bring this past s**t up!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for there bullshit [sic]." The comment was deleted moments later.[131]

On July 11, 2012, Brown's community service was evaluated and he was ordered to meet a judge. The evaluation was ordered by Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg on July 10, 2012. He was scheduled to appear in court with regard to the evaluation on August 21, 2012.[132] While conducting his community service in Virginia, however, Brown was tested positive for cannabis and appeared in court on September 25, 2012, at which time his hearing date was changed to November, to determine whether or not he had violated the terms of his court order.[133] He reappeared in court on November 1, 2012, to ascertain whether or not he had violated his probation less than 24 hours after attending the same party as Rihanna, dressed as an Islamic terrorist. He attempted to address the court and was told by his lawyer, Mark Geragos, "I don't dance; you don't talk."[134][135]

In September 2012, Brown received criticism for a new neck tattoo that appeared to be the face of a battered woman, prompting allegations that the tattoo was a depiction of Rihanna.[136][137][138] Brown's publicist stated that the tattoo does not depict a battered woman and is instead a design derived from a Day of the Dead sugar skull.[139][140]

On March 20, 2015, Brown's probation was ended formally closing the felony case emanating from the Rihanna assault which happened over six years prior.[141]


Though they became friends in 2005, Brown's romantic relationship with Rihanna reportedly began in 2008, and ended for the first time with the aforementioned domestic violence case in 2009.[142] In 2009, Brown was briefly dating Girlicious member Natalie Mejia.[143] In 2011, he began dating aspiring model Karrueche Tran. However, throughout 2012 there was persistent media speculation that Brown was rekindling his relationship with Rihanna,[144] though he remained involved with Tran and under probation in the Rihanna domestic violence case.[145] In October 2012, Brown announced that he had ended his relationship with Tran because he didn't "want to see her hurt over my friendship with Rihanna."[146] The day after the announcement, Brown released a video entitled "The Real Chris Brown", which features images of himself, Tran, and Rihanna, as Brown wonders, "Is there such thing as loving two people? I don't know if it's possible, but I feel like that."[147]

In January 2013, Rihanna confirmed that she and Brown had resumed their romantic relationship, stating, "When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world. You see us walking somewhere, driving somewhere, in the studio, in the club, and you think you know. But it's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about shit. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."[148][149] Speaking of Brown, Rihanna also said, "He's not the monster everybody thinks. He's a good person. He has a fantastic heart. He's giving and loving. And he's fun to be around. That's what I love about him – he always makes me laugh. All I want to do is laugh, really – and I do that with him." However, she also declared that she would walk away if Brown showed a hint of his past violent behavior towards her again.[150] In a May 2013 interview, Brown stated that he and Rihanna had broken up again.[151]

In March 2015, news broke that Brown was father to a baby girl named Royalty, which he confirmed on Instagram in April.[152][153]

In May 2016, Brown won joint custody of his daughter Royalty.[154] A judge denied Nia Guzman's request to impede Brown's custody of 1-year old daughter Royalty.[154]


When discussing his upbringing, Brown stated: "We were used to two pairs of shoes for a school year. We used to go to church every day. I was one of those kids that had more church clothes than school clothes."[155] He has also discussed his second work of grace, saying that "he experienced the holy ghost while performing 'His Eye Is on the Sparrow' in church".[155] After being released from jail on June 2, 2014, Brown wrote that he was "Humbled and Blessed" and tweeted the words "Thank you GOD."[156]

On June 14, 2012, Drake and his entourage were involved in a scuffle with Brown at a nightclub called WIP in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. About eight people were injured during the brawl,[157] including San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, who had to have surgery to remove a piece of glass from his eye,[158] and a tourist from Australia who suffered injuries to her face and head and received sixteen stitches as a result. Drake was not arrested.[159] A few weeks later, Brown made a diss record about Drake.[157] He also posted a picture of himself with a gashed chin on Instagram.[160] Brown's attorney claimed Drake was the instigator.[161] On July 16, 2014, Brown and Drake appeared together in a skit produced for the nationally televised ESPY Awards. The skit seemingly mocks their past feud as Drake is on an operating table readying for surgery, the camera then reveals the surgeon to be Brown, with surgical tools, ready to operate. Both men had rehearsed the skit together prior to the televised airing of the ESPY Awards; the live audience roared with laughter.[162]

In January 2013, Brown was involved in an altercation with Frank Ocean over a parking space, outside a recording studio in West Hollywood. Police officers in Los Angeles said that Brown was under investigation, describing the incident as "battery" due to Brown allegedly punching Ocean.[163] Ocean said he would not press charges, despite his claim that Brown had threatened to shoot him and that one of Brown's entourage had called him a "faggot".[164]

In January 2013, press reports indicated that there were irregularities in the record submitted to the court concerning Brown's community service. He seems to have been credited with community service work when he was actually out of the United States.[165] In July 2013, Brown's probation was revoked after he was involved in an alleged hit-and-run in Los Angeles. He was released from court and was scheduled to re-appear in August 2013, to learn whether or not he would serve time in prison.[166] The charges would later be dropped,[167] but Brown would have 1,000 additional hours of community service added to his probation terms.[168]

On October 27, 2013, Brown was arrested for felony assault in Washington, D.C. The fight allegedly started when two women wanted to take a picture with Brown in front of the W Hotel. Two men saw Brown and attempted to join them in the photo. Brown then allegedly said, "I’m not into this gay shit, I’m into boxing," and he and his bodyguard threw punches at one of the men. The victim claimed he was injured and that Brown had broken his nose.[169] Initial police reports stated that Brown's bodyguard threw the first punch, but later reports stated that it was Brown's punch that broke the victim's nose.[170] The following day, the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.[168] After the assault, Brown spent 36 hours in a Washington jail and was taken to court in shackles. Brown was then released and ordered to report to his California probation officer within 48 hours. The probation officer will prepare a report for the Los Angeles judge, who could order him to complete as many as four years in prison for the beating of Rihanna if he is found in violation of his probation.[171] On October 30, 2013, Brown voluntarily decided to enter rehab, Brown's representative said in a statement: "Chris has elected to enter a rehab facility, his goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point". Brown was expected to stay in the facility for 3 months. On November 14, 2013, however, Brown was kicked out of the facility for "breaking program rules by acting violently". On November 20, 2013, at a probation status hearing, Brown was sentenced to 90 days at an anger management rehab facility. He must also submit to drug testing and take any prescriptions recommended by the facility. In December 2013, at another hearing, Brown's probation in the Rihanna assault case was revoked; The judge felt that the criminal complaint in D.C. is enough proof that Brown did not obey all laws; However, the judge did not immediately remand Brown into custody due to his impressive progress at the anger management facility. On February 20, 2014, Chris Brown was sued over the alleged homophobic beatdown.[172]

After Brown completed his 90 days, the judge ordered him to remain a resident at the Malibu treatment facility until a hearing on April 23, 2014. The deal was if Brown left rehab, he would go directly to jail. On March 14, 2014, Brown was kicked out of the rehab facility and sent to jail for violating internal rules. He was expected to be released on April 23, 2014[173][174] but Superior Court Judge Victor Greenberg denied his release request from custody either on bail or his own recognizance.[175] At his May 9, 2014 court date, Brown was ordered to serve 131 days in jail for his probation violation. He was sentenced to serve 365 days in custody, however he was given credit for the 234 days he has already spent in rehab and jail.[176]

Brown was given early release from jail just after midnight on June 2, 2014, because of jail overcrowding calculations that count one day in custody as two days, according to the Los Angeles Times, which further wrote, "Brown isn't totally free yet though. He's still on probation, obviously, and has to see a psychiatrist twice a week, complete his remaining community service, take his prescribed medications and stay off marijuana, including for medical use."[177]

He confirmed on February 25, 2015 that he was rejected entry to Canada and would be cancelling the part of his tour there due to criminal history.[178]

The leadership of the Iglesia ni Cristo, a Philippine-based religious sect, filed a fraud complaint against Brown for not appearing at a New Year's Eve show held at the Iglesia ni Cristo-owned Philippine Arena on December 31, 2014.[179] The Iglesia ni Cristo's chief legal advisor, Glicerio Santos IV, acting on behalf of their Maligaya Development Corporation, who manages the Philippine Arena, requested assistance from Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on prosecuting the case. De Lima confirmed that she issued a Lookout Bulletin Order against Brown, meaning that he would have to confront and disprove the allegations of fraud in order to acquire an Emigration Clearance Certificate which would allow him to leave the country.[180] In late afternoon of July 24, 2015 he was permitted to leave the Philippines.[181]

Brown is currently banned from entering Australia and the United Kingdom.[182][183]

In 2016, Brown had a mentally ill stalker invade his house in Agoura Hills.[184][185] Another stalker named Danielle Patti claimed she was Brown's ex-girlfriend; Brown filed a restraining order against her.[186]

In the early hours of August 30, 2016, a woman called 911 to report that Brown had threatened her with a gun inside his house.[187] Police were called, but Brown denied them entry without a warrant.[188] When they returned with one, Brown refused them entry and began what news sources referred to as a "standoff" with the LAPD, including the robbery-homicide division and SWAT team. During this time, Brown was seen posting videos on Instagram, in which he rails against the police and the media coverage of the activity at his house. He denounced media reports that he was "barricaded" inside his house, complained about the helicopters flying overhead, and called the police "idiots" and "the worst gang in the world." He said that he was "innocent" and he says in one of the videos "What I do care about is you are defacing my name and my character and integrity".[189] Brown was arrested and later released from jail on $250,000 bail.[190]

On September 1, 2016, Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos stated the LAPD search on the incident found no "firearms nor the crucial piece of jewelry described in the accuser's report."[191]

Business ventures

In 2007, Brown founded the record label CBE (Chris Brown Entertainment or Culture Beyond Your Evolution), under Interscope Records.[192] Brown has since signed frequent collaborator Kevin McCall, singer Sabrina Antoinette, former RichGirl member Sevyn Streeter and rock group U.G.L.Y.[193]

Brown has stated he owns fourteen Burger King restaurants.[194]


Studio albums
Collaboration albums


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Stomp the Yard Duron Williams Supporting role
2007 This Christmas Michael "Baby" Whitfield Lead role
2008 Into the Woods Will
2009 Blood Rogues Christopher
2010 Takers Jesse Attica Supporting role, executive producer
2012 Think like a Man Alex Supporting role
2013 Battle of the Year Rooster
2014 Phenom Dre Lakes
Year Title Role Notes
2006 One on One Himself "Recipe for Disaster" (season 5, episode 17)
2006 Christmas in Washington Himself
2007 Chris Brown: Journey to South Africa Himself A documentary of Brown's first trip to Africa
2007 The O.C. Will Tutt "The My Two Dads" (season 4, episode 9)
"The French Connection" (season 4, episode 10)
"The Dream Lover" (season 4, episode 11)
2008 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Himself "Doin' Time in Suite 2330" (season 3, episode 20)
2011 Tosh.0 Himself Season 3, episode 10




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