Chris Brown

Chris Brown

American singer, songwriter, and dancer from Virginia
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Christopher Maurice Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, 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, which became certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[2]

With his first single "Run It!" peaking atop the Billboard Hot 100, Brown became the first male artist since 1997 to have his debut single top the chart. His second album Exclusive (2007) spawned his second Billboard Hot 100 number one "Kiss Kiss". In addition to his solo commercial success, Brown has been featured on several successful singles such as "No Air", a duet with singer Jordin Sparks. In 2009, Brown pled guilty to felony assault of his then girlfriend, singer Rihanna.[3] In the same year of the incident there was the release of his third album Graffiti, which was considered to be a commercial failure compared to his previous works. Following Graffiti, Brown's fourth album F.A.M.E. (2011) became one of his biggest successes, being his first to top the Billboard 200, containing internationally successful singles such as "Yeah 3x", "Look at Me Now" and "Beautiful People", also earning him the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.[4] His fifth album Fortune, released in 2012, also topped the Billboard 200. Following the releases of X and Royalty, his 2017 critically acclaimed eighth studio album, and first double-disc, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, consisting of 45 tracks, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units after one week, and in 2019 it has been certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Brown's ninth studio album Indigo was released in 2019, and became his third Billboard 200 number-one album.[5] It included the Drake featured track "No Guidance" which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[6] Its chart success was outdone with the single "Go Crazy" released the following year, alongside Young Thug as part of their collaborative mixtape Slime & B (2020). The track reached number 3 on the Hot 100.[7][8]

Brown has sold over 140 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists. Throughout his career, Brown has won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 15 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and six Soul Train Music Awards. According to Billboard, Brown has the seventh most Billboard Hot 100 entries with 93.[9][10][11] Brown has pursued an acting career, and his personal life has been publicized. 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).

Early life

Christopher Maurice Brown was born on May 5, 1989,[12] in the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia,[13] to Joyce Hawkins, a former day care center director, and Clinton Brown, a corrections officer at a local prison.[14][15] He has an older sister, Lytrell Bundy,[16] who works in a bank.[14] Music was always present in Brown's life beginning in his childhood. He would listen to soul albums that his parents owned,[15] and eventually began to show interest in the hip-hop scene.[12]

Brown taught himself to sing and dance at a young age and often cites Michael Jackson as his inspiration.[14] He began to perform in his church choir and in several local talent shows.[17] 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.[2] 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.[18]


2002–2004: 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.[19] 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.[20] 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."[21]

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."[22] 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."[21] Brown attended Essex High School in Virginia until early 2005, when he moved to New York to pursue his music career.[23]

2005–2006: 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.[14] The singer worked with several producers and songwriters—Scott Storch, Cool & Dre and Jazze Pha among them—commenting that they "really believed in [him]".[24] Brown co-wrote most of the tracks.[14] "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."[25] The whole album took less than eight weeks to produce.[25]

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.[26][27]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.[28][29] 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 additional weeks.[12] Three of the other singles—"Yo (Excuse Me Miss)", "Gimme That" and "Say Goodbye"—peaked within the top twenty at the same chart.[30]

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.[31][32]

2007–2008: 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..[33] Brown then made his film debut in Stomp the Yard, alongside Ne-Yo, Meagan Good and Columbus Short on January 12, 2007.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36] 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,[37] and received generally positive reviews from music critics.[38] As of March 23, 2011, it has sold over 1.9 million copies in the United States.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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 Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as himself.[42] 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.[43]

2009–2010: Graffiti and mixtapes

Brown with Usher and Elephant Man at the Reggae Sumfest in 2010

In 2008, Brown began work on his third studio album, to be called Graffiti, promising to experiment with a different musical direction inspired by 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."[44] 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, featuring an R&B sound mixed with Eurodisco, electronic music and rock. The album, compared to its two precessors, was a commercial and critical failure, debuting at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 102,000 copies in its first week,[45] and received generally negative reviews from critics.[38] As of March 23, 2011, it has sold 341,000 copies in the United States.[39]

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".[46] The performance and his emotional turmoil resonated with several celebrities present at the ceremony, including Trey Songz, Diddy and Taraji P. Henson.[47] 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".[47] 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".[48] 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.[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,[49] and also served as executive producer of the film.

During 2010 Brown released the 3 free mixtapes In My Zone (Rhythm & Streets), Fan of a Fan (collaborative mixtape with Tyga), and In My Zone 2, which featured a new style of writing with grown themes, working with new producers, most notably Kevin McCall. The mixtapes were highly appreciated by the artist's loyal audience, consolidating it. The single "Deuces", extracted from the Fan of a Fan mixtape, obtained critical acclaim, also achieving a good success, peaking at number 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song was later remixed by the biggest names in the hip-hop scene of that time, including Drake, Kanye West, André 3000, Rick Ross, Fabolous, and T.I.. He later released the solo track "No BS" as his second single from Fan of a Fan, and decided to include the two singles from the mixtape as anticipation singles for his next album.

2011–2012: F.A.M.E. and Fortune

Brown performing at Supafest, Sydney, April 2012

In September 2010 Brown announced his album, F.A.M.E. [acronym for "Forgiving All My Enemies"], releasing in October the first official single from the album, "Yeah 3x", a dance-pop song, different from his previous songs on the urban mixtapes. The single received enormous international success and reached reached the top-ten in eleven countries, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, definitively marking the artist's return to success. It was succeeded by the hip-hop 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,[50] where it remained for eight consecutive weeks.[51] It also reached number one on the US Hot Rap Songs chart.[52] The single became the best-selling rap song of 2011.

Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. was first released on March 18, 2011, receiving mostly positive critical reviews thanks to its musical versatility.[38] 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.[53] 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.[54] "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".[55] 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".[56] At the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards, F.A.M.E. won Album of the Year.[57] 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".[58] 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.[4]

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.[59][60] Brown's fifth studio album Fortune was released on July 3, 2012. The album debuted atop the Billboard 200,[61] but received negative reviews from critics.[38] "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.

2013–2015: X and Royalty

Chris Brown at SPAC in Saratoga Springs, New York in 2015.

After concluding his Carpe Diem Tour in 2012, Brown's next studio album started to develop. On February 15, 2013, the singer unofficially released the song "Home", with an official videoclip, where he expresses a reflection on the bitter price of fame, and on how the only moment of respite from that thought is when he returns to the neighborhood where he grew up with people who knew him from the start.[62]

On March 26, 2013, Brown announced the release of X, in various interviews and listening sessions, releasing the song "Fine China" as the album lead single.[63] In an interview with Ebony, when Brown spoke of taking his music in a different direction and changing his sound from pop-infused and sexually explicit of the previous album Fortune, to a more mature, soulful and vulnerable theme for the album.[64]

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 since his childhood.[65][66]) 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."[66][67] On November 20, 2013, Brown was sentenced to an anger management rehabilitation center for three months,[68] 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.[69] 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 the 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 having 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.[70][71] On August 3, 2014, Chris announced via Instagram that the album's release date will be on September 16, 2014.[72] On August 6, 2014, the album cover was revealed.[73] The title track "X" was released as an instant-gratification track alongside the album pre-order on iTunes on August 25, 2014.[74]

Brown's sixth studio album, X was released on September 16, 2014.[75]X was preceded by five singles: "Fine China", "Don't Think They Know", "Love More", "Loyal" and "New Flame". The album's fourth single "Loyal" became its most successful, by peaking at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 10 in the United Kingdom. Pushing the promotion for the album further, Brown performed and appeared at several televised music events and music festivals across the United States. The album received generally positive reviews from critics, who celebrated the record's diverse sound, but were ambivalent towards its lyrical content. The album was considered a big improvement compared to its critically panned predecessor Fortune. At the 2015 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album, while "New Flame" was nominated for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.

Commercially, the album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 selling 146,000 copies in its first week, becoming his first album to miss the summit of the chart since Graffiti (2009) and his third album to go to number two on the chart overall following Exclusive (2007). It also became his sixth consecutive top ten debut in the United States. By the end of 2015, the album had sold 404,000 copies in the United States. It has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

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.[76] In early 2015, Brown also embarked on his Between The Sheets Tour with Trey Songz.[77] Also in February 2015, Brown said during an interview for The Breakfast Club that he started working on the album going for a "dance" direction that would've been the sound predominant overseas. A couple months later he discovered that he had a daughter and simultaneously broke up with his ex-girlfriend Karrueche. That happening made him change the idea for the album, ending up doing mostly R&B songs that he described as "representations of where i was in my life at that point".[78]

In spring of 2015, Brown was featured on DJ Deorro's song "Five More Hours", which received an excellent worldwide success.[79] On June 24, Brown released a new song titled "Liquor". Shortly after, it was announced that "Liquor" was the first single from his seventh studio album.[80] 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.[81][82] On October 16 he has revealed the album cover, portraying Chris with Royalty in her arms in a black and white picture.[83] On October 13, 2015, Brown announced that Royalty will be released on November 27, 2015.[83][84][85] After it was revealed that the album has been pushed back to December 18, 2015,[86] 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.[87] On October 16, 2015, the album cover was revealed.[88][89] 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,[90][91] 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.

2016–2019: Heartbreak on a Full Moon and Indigo

Brown started working and recording tracks for the album a few weeks before the release of Royalty, in late 2015. On January 10, 2016 Brown had previewed 11 unreleased songs on his Periscope and Instagram profiles, showing him dancing and lip-synching these songs.[92][93][94] In March 2016, he collaborated again with the Italian DJ Benny Benassi for the song "Paradise" from the album Danceaholic.[95] On May 3 he announced the single "Grass Ain't Greener", showing its cover art and announcing it as the first single from a new album titled Heartbreak on a Full Moon.[96] The single was released on May 5, 2016. On July 7, 2016, after 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, Brown released on his SoundCloud page two piano ballads, "My Friend" and "A Lot of Love", saying that the songs are "released for free for anybody dealing with injustice or struggle in their lives."[97][98] Throughout 2016 and 2017 he kept on sharing several snippets from the songs that he was working for the album and features. He worked on the album heavily during 2016 and 2017, during two tours as well, the European leg of the One Hell of a Nite Tour and The Party Tour, also building a recording studio inside of his home to record songs for the album.[99][100][101] On December 16, 2016, he released the second official single from the album, "Party", that features guest vocals from American R&B singer Usher and rapper Gucci Mane, getting a good commercial success. In February 2017 he announced that his previously teased song "Privacy" would have been released as the next single from Heartbreak on a Full Moon. The single was released on March 24, 2017, and received an excellent response from his core audience.[102][103][104] The initial track listing was announced by Brown on his Instagram account on May 2, 2017, saying that it would have been a double-disc album, and that it would have been released in June 2017, but later he announced its posticipation.[105] In July 2017 he announced the pending release of upcoming singles from his album.[106] Later on August 4, 2017, he released the album's fourth single "Pills & Automobiles", that features guest vocals from American trap artists Yo Gotti, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Kodak Black.[107] Then on August 14, 2017 he announced the release of the fifth official single from the album, "Questions", on August 16, announcing the album release date, saying that it would be released on October 31, 2017.[108] On October 13, 2017 Brown released the promotional single "High End", that features guest vocals from American trap artists Future and Young Thug, announcing the final tracklist of the album.[109][110] On October 25, 2017 Brown organized with Tidal a free pop-up concert in New York City to perform the singles on the album and promote it for his fans.[111][112]

Heartbreak on a Full Moon was eventually released as a double-disc album on October 31, 2017 via digital retailers and onto CD, three days later by RCA Records.[113] The album received positive reviews from critics, who celebrated the record's variety, its length, and its introspective lyrical content.[114] Despite being counted for only three days of sales, Heartbreak on a Full Moon debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, becoming Brown's ninth consecutive top 10 album on the chart.[115] One week after its release Heartbreak on a Full Moon was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units in the United States, and Brown became the first R&B male artist that went gold in a week since Usher's Confessions in 2004.[116] In 2019 the album has been certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Brown and rapper Joyner Lucas announced their collaboration project, titled Angels & Demons on February 25, 2018, with the release of the single "Stranger Things".[117] However the project was never released. On March 15, 2018, Brown was featured in a new Lil Dicky single, "Freaky Friday", and its music video. By April 9, 2018, the video had reached over 100 million views and topped the charts in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.[118] In 2019, Brown signed an extension and a new license agreement with this label RCA Records. With the new deal in place, Brown will own his master recordings, making him one of the youngest artists to do so at the age of 29.[119]

On January 4, 2019, Brown released "Undecided", the first single off his ninth album, Indigo, alongside a video for the song. "Undecided" saw Brown reunite with producer Scott Storch, who previously worked with Brown in 2005 on his breakout hit "Run It!".[120] On April 11, he released the second single off the album titled "Back to Love", that received positive reviews from music critics who celebrated its lyrical content and its production, but it failed to chart in the US.[121] The third single, "Wobble Up", was released a week later featuring Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy, announcing that the album is expected to be released in June.[122] On April 25, he appeared on a track with Marshmello and Tyga called "Light It Up".[123] In an announcement on May 2, Brown revealed the list of artists he had been working with for his album, everybody from Nicki Minaj Tory Lanez, Tyga, Justin Bieber, Juicy J, Juvenile, H.E.R, Tank, Sage the Gemini, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Joyner Lucas, Gunna and Drake were included on the list.[124][125] Some of these collaborations were surprising to the media, especially Drake, due to their public feud that lasted for several years. He later revealed the artwork of the album and its track list between May and June 2019. On May 31, he appeared on "Easy", a successful single where he duetted with singer DaniLeigh.[126] On June 8, Brown released "No Guidance" featuring Drake as a single. It debuted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it Brown's 15th top-ten song, and later peaked at number five.[127]Indigo was eventually released on June 28, 2019 as a double album, marking Brown's second album to be released in this style.[128] In the United States, Indigo debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 108,000 album-equivalent units, which included 28,000 pure album sales in its first week, making it his third number-one album in the country.[129] The album also accumulated 97.95 million on-demand audio streams in the United States for its track list of 32 songs.[129] The album spawned two other singles, "Heat", which topped the Billboard Rhythmic Airplay chart, and earned Brown his 13th number one on the chart, and second during 2019, and "Don't Check on Me", that features vocals from Justin Bieber and vocalist Atia "Ink" Boggs. In July 2019, Brown was featured on Davido's "Blow My Mind". The song peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Top Triller Global Chart.[130]

2020–present: Breezy

On April 29, 2020, Brown announced the release of a collaborative mixtape with Young Thug, Slime & B. It was released on May 5, 2020, and features the hit single "Go Crazy", which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming as well Brown's first song to spend one full year on the chart.[131] On May 1, 2020, Brown was featured on Drake's Dark Lane Demo Tapes mixtape on the track "Not You Too". The song earned Brown his 100th career entry on the US Billboard Hot 100, as it entered and debuted at number 25.[132] On July 9, 2020, Brown announced via Instagram that the title of his tenth album would be Breezy, a reference to his nickname. No release date has been announced yet.[133] He was featured on Davido's song "Shopping Spree," which also featured Young Thug.[134]



Michael Jackson in 1988. He is cited as the main inspiration for Brown to make music.

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."[135] 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".[136] Choreographically, MTV noticed that it "takes distinct visual cues from classic clips like 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Beat It'",[137] while Billboard complimented his appearance by calling it "a modern way to channel the King of Pop".[138]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",[139] and maintains "If it wasn't for Usher, then Chris Brown couldn't exist".[140] Other influences include Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Phil Collins, New Edition and R. Kelly.[141]

Musical style

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 second 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 "There was no level of musical flexibility comparable. There still isn't."[142]

Throughout his career Brown's always had a strong influence from hip hop in his music, also bringing several other genres into his world of R&B, making his sound polyhedric, especially after his album Graffiti.

He made his sound mixing the traditional sound of R&B adding different influences to it, most importantly hip hop and pop, but also several other genres in different songs, such as soul, dancehall, alternative R&B, house, EDM, afropop, trap, rock, disco and funk. The many genres that he used in his music can be seen in many of his singles, like "Deuces", "Sweet Love", "Liquor", "Zero", "Back to Love" or "Don't Check on Me". His pure side of R&B is densely shown on every album that he has done, even after that his music started to be more tinged from other genres, with the biggest examples being "No BS, "Don't Judge Me" "Back To Sleep" and "Privacy". After his 2010 mixtapes, he approached hip hop differently in his music, starting to rap frequently on mixtapes and features, adding to his albums straight hip-hop songs like "Look at Me Now", "Till I Die" and "Loyal", or by doing performances that switch from his R&B singing to his rapping, like he did in several tracks from his album Heartbreak on a Full Moon. His dance-pop side in the single "Forever" off his second album Exclusive opened the door for many other Europop songs like "Yeah 3x", "Beautiful People", "Turn Up The Music" and "Don’t Wake Me Up", but it begun to be less present in his music starting from his album X.[143]

His lyrical production mainly focuses about sex and falling in and out of love, but also talks about fast life and has introspections over the dark side of fame, loneliness, regret and the difficulty on managing emotions.[143][144]


Brown possesses a light lyric tenor voice, which spans three and a half octaves, rising from the bass F♯ (F2) to its peak at the soprano C♯.(C♯6)[145][146][better source needed] 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.[2] "Take You Down" most notably earned him a Grammy award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2009.[147]


Brown's dancing abilities are widely praised. He's considered by many as the best singer-dancer of the 21st century.[148][149] His dancing performances are heavily included on his live shows and on his music videos, with different choreographies where he dances as the lead of his dancing crew.[150][151] Some of the most praised dancing executions of Brown in his music videos are for "Fine China", "Party" and "Heat".

In films such as Stomp the Yard and Battle of the Year, he displayed his ability to breakdance.[152]

Street art

Brown has produced street art under the pseudonym Konfused, partnering with street artist Kai to produce works for the Miami Basel.[153][154][155][156]

Personal life


From 2007 to 2009, Brown dated Barbadian singer Rihanna until their highly publicized domestic violence case.[157] In 2011, Brown began dating aspiring model Karrueche Tran. In October 2012, Brown announced that he ended his relationship with Tran because he did not "want to see her hurt over my friendship with Rihanna."[158] 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."[159]

In January 2013, Rihanna confirmed that she and Brown had resumed their romantic relationship, stating, "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."[160][161] 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.[162] In a May 2013 interview, Brown stated that he and Rihanna had broken up again.[163] He subsequently reunited with Tran, but they parted ways following confirmation of Brown's daughter Royalty with Nia Guzman in 2015.[164][165] In 2017, Tran received a 5-year restraining order against Brown after testifying under oath that he was physically abusive during their relationship, and he threatened her after they broke up.[166][167][168]

On November 20, 2019, Brown welcomed his second child, son Aeko Catori Brown, with Ammika Harris (Pietzker).[169][170]


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."[171] He has also discussed his second work of grace, explaining that "he experienced the Holy Ghost while performing 'His Eye Is on the Sparrow' in church".[171] After being released from jail on June 2, 2014, Brown wrote that he was "Humbled and Blessed" and tweeted the words "Thank you GOD."[172]

Legal issues

Felony domestic assault of Rihanna

Rihanna standing on a red carpet in an elaborate dress
Rihanna in November 2009, nine months after Brown assaulted her

At around 12:30 a.m. (PST) on February 8, 2009, Brown and his then-girlfriend, singer 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.[157] The police report did not name the female in the incident as is policy,[173] but media sources soon revealed that the victim was Rihanna.[174][175][176] Following Brown's arrest, several commercial ads and some TV shows 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.[174][177][178] 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."[179]

On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats.[180] He was arraigned on April 6, 2009, and pleaded not guilty to one count of assault and one count of making criminal threats.[181] On June 22, 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to a felony and accepted a plea deal of community labor, five years of probation, and domestic violence counseling.[3][182] 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.[183][184] 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".[185][186] 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.[185][186] The video was removed, but is still available online. On August 25, Brown received five years of probation. He was ordered to attend one year of domestic violence counseling and undergo six months of community service; the judge retained a five-year restraining order on Brown, which required him to remain 50 yards (45.72 meters) away from Rihanna, reduced to 10 yards at public events.[187][188] Andy Kellman of AllMusic stated, "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."[12]

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.[189][190][191][192] 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."[189] 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.[189] "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 likened his relationship with Rihanna to Romeo and Juliet, blaming the media attention in the aftermath of the assault for driving them apart.[189][192] 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.[189][190][191][192] 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".[190][191]

In June 2010, Brown's application for a visa to enter the UK was rejected on the grounds of him "being guilty of a serious criminal offence" due to his assault on Rihanna.[193][194] 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.[195][196] The following month, on March 22, 2011, during an 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 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.[197] He then took off his shirt, and after several angry confrontations with the segment producer, other show staff and building security, left the building shirtless.[198] Following the incident, he said that he was tired of people bringing up the incident.[199]

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.[200] 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.[201] 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."[202] On March 20, 2015, Brown's probation ended, formally closing the felony case emanating from the Rihanna assault which happened over six years prior.[203]

In a 2017 self-documentary, Welcome to My Life, Brown goes into detail about the abusive relationship, saying he intended to marry Rihanna, but that he lost her trust after he lied about a sexual encounter with someone who worked with him, that happened prior to their relationship. He also talked about how they already had lighter episodes where they put their hands against each other during their relationship, and he gave a detailed description on how the known fight went down.[204]


On October 30, 2013, Brown voluntarily decided to enter rehab. 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 Northern Neck Regional Jail[205] for violating internal rules. He was expected to be released on April 23, 2014,[206] but a judge denied his release request from custody either on bail or his own recognizance.[207] 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.[208] He 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.[209]

During Brown's rehab, a probation officer noted in a letter that Brown's brushes with the law may have been caused by untreated bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, specifically that "Mr. Brown became aggressive and acted out physically due to his untreated mental health disorder, severe sleep deprivation, inappropriate self-medicating and untreated PTSD". According to the court documents, which were received by E! News and later The Hollywood Reporter, Brown was formally diagnosed with both Bipolar II and PTSD at the unnamed rehab facility.[210][211]

Other legal issues

Brown's 2018 mugshot

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,[212] including San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, who had to have surgery to remove a piece of glass from his eye.[213] Drake was not arrested. Brown's attorney alleged Drake was the instigator.[214] Brown himself tweeted about the incident and released a song criticizing Drake weeks later.[215][216][217]

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.[218] Although Ocean alleged that Brown had threatened to shoot him, he said he would not press charges.[219]

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 reappear in August 2013, to learn whether or not he would serve time in prison.[220] The charges would later be dropped, but Brown would have 1,000 additional hours of community service added to his probation terms.[221]

In October 2013, Brown was arrested for felony assault in Washington, D.C., after refusing to take a picture with two men.[222] The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.[221] Brown spent 36 hours in a Washington jail and was taken to court in shackles. He was released and ordered to report to his California probation officer within 48 hours. The probation officer prepared a report for the Los Angeles judge, who could have ordered him to complete as many as four years in prison for the beating of Rihanna if found to be in violation of his probation.[223]

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.[224] 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.[225] In late afternoon of July 24, 2015, he was permitted to leave the Philippines.[226]

In the early hours of August 30, 2016, a woman called the police to report that Brown had threatened her with a gun inside his house.[227] Due to his previous felony assault conviction, Brown is prohibited to possess any firearms.[228] Police were called, but Brown denied them entry without a warrant.[229] 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 "What I do care about is you are defacing [sic] my name and my character and integrity".[230] Brown was arrested and later released from jail on $250,000 bail.[231] On September 1, 2016, Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, stated that there was no standoff and that, with regard to the LAPD search, "nothing was found to corroborate her statement."[232] In September, Japan denied Brown entry due to the allegations.[233] Charges were later dropped after prosecutors declined to arraign Brown on the felony charges.[234]

As of 2016[update], due to his criminal record, Brown is banned from entering Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.[235]

Brown was arrested after his concert during July 6, 2018 night on a felony battery charge stemming from an incident that occurred more than a year before. The battery charge was connected to an April 2017 incident in a Tampa club, where Brown allegedly punched a man who photographed him without his permission. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Brown was released after about an hour, after that he posted $2,000 bond.[236]

In 2021, Brown was sued by his housekeeper over a 2020 attack by one of his dogs, a Caucasian Ovcharka.[237] Later in 2021, police were called to Brown's residence in response to a report of an argument with a woman inside the home. A spokesperson for LAPD reported that the incident is being investigated as a battery.[238] The alleged victim reported to officers that she had been slapped by Brown.[239]

Business ventures

In 2007, Brown founded the record label CBE (Chris Brown Entertainment or Culture Beyond Your Evolution), under Interscope Records.[240] Brown has since signed frequent collaborator Kevin McCall, singer Sabrina Antoinette, former RichGirl member Sevyn Streeter, singer/songwriter Joelle James, and rock group U.G.L.Y.[241]

Brown has stated he owns fourteen Burger King restaurants.[242] In 2012, he launched a clothing line called Black Pyramid, in collaboration with the founders of the Pink + Dolphin clothing line.[243] Black Pyramid's official instagram account has gained over 1 million Instagram followers by the end of 2019.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Stomp the Yard Duron Williams Supporting role
2007 This Christmas Michael "Baby" Whitfield Lead role
2010 Takers Jesse Attica Supporting role, executive producer
2012 Think Like a Man Alex Supporting role
2013 Battle of the Year Rooster Supporting role
2017 Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life Himself Documentary
Year Title Role Notes
2006 One on One Himself "Recipe for Disaster" (season 5, episode 17)
2006 Christmas in Washington Guest Star
2007 Chris Brown: Journey to South Africa 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 Season 3, episode 10
2015 Real Husbands of Hollywood Season 4, episode 4
2017 Black-ish Rich Youngsta Guest Star




See also

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External links

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