Before this latest revelation, Rihanna was on track to establish herself as a force to be reckoned with in the music business. She had already racked up nine Grammy nominations in just two years. Public sympathy was with her for the most part. She was being counseled via the airwaves by Oprah Winfrey while her mentor Jay-Z was said to be arranging a meeting for her with abuse survivor Tina Turner.
Chris Brown remains at risk of losing his carefully cultivated image as a teen idol. His core fans are young girls who swoon over his boy-next-door good looks and charm. Indeed, he is contending for the third year in a row as favorite male singer at the the upcoming Kids' Choice Awards. He won the award last year after losing to Justin Timberlake in 2007. This year he contends against 2006 winner Jesse McCartney, Kid Roc, and T-Pain.
Voting began at the official website last Monday, March 2. A day later, Chris Brown's MySpace page included a plea to his fans to vote for him. He is also a nominee for favorite song, as his No. 1 single "Kiss Kiss" goes up against tracks by Beyonce ("Single Ladies"), Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl") and Rihanna, who contends with "Don't Stop the Music."
Rihanna is also competing for the first time as favorite female singer at the Kids' Choice Awards against last year's champ Miley Cyrus, 2007 winner Beyonce, and three-time nominee Alicia Keys. However, her MySpace page makes no reference to the ongoing online voting.
There is no word as to whether either Chris Brown or Rihanna will attend the March 28 ceremony, which will be telecast live on Nickelodeon and hosted by Dwayne Johnson. However, if this latest report is true, it would not be surprising if they did appear together. They both skipped the NAACP Image Awards, which came only five days after the Grammy-eve incident that catapulted them into the headlines. At the Image Awards, Chris Brown lost the male vocalist prize to Jamie Foxx and Rihanna was bested by Beyonce for female vocalist.
The pair faced off against each other at the two most recent Grammy Awards. Last year, Rihanna and Jay-Z won the best rap/sung collaboration for "Umbrella" over, among others, Chris Brown and T-Pain for "Kiss Kiss." This year, they competed against each other for the pop vocal collaboration Grammy. Brown and Jordin Sparks were nominated for "No Air" while Rihanna and Maroon 5 were up for "If I Never See Your Face Again." Both duos lost to the night's big winners Robert Plant and Allison Kraus for "Rich Woman."
Of the two of them, Rihanna has competed for the more prestigious music awards. Last year, "Umbrella" contended in two of the top four Grammy categories — song and record of the year. She lost both races to Amy Winehouse's "Rehab." Her dance recording contender "Don't Stop the Music" was bested by Justin Timberlake's "LoveStoned." And her R&B duo with Ne-Yo on "I Hate That I Love You" lost to Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige ("Disrespectful") and lost a R&B song bid to "No One" by Alicia Keys.
At this year's Grammys, Rihanna lost dance recording again, as "Disturbia" was bested by Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." And her long-form video ("Good Girl Gone Bad Live") was edged out by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ("Runnin' Down a Dream").
Chris Brown remains a Grammy loser despite five nominations. This year he also lost R&B male vocal for "Take You Down" to Ne-Yo ("Miss Independent"). At last year's Grammy Awards, he also lost best contemporary R&B album for his self-titled debut to Ne-Yo ("Because of You") as well as best new artist to Carrie Underwood.
Photo: Los Angeles Times