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Can Rihanna and Chris Brown save their careers?

March 6, 2009 |  9:04 pm

After all of the scandal surrounding their alleged smackdown, Rihanna should be able to rebuild her career and even rise to new heights if she handles everything properly ahead. As for Chris Brown... Well, it's not likely that he'll ever again be the exalted pop idol he was just weeks ago.

A good role model for Rihanna might be Tina Turner, who may soon offer Rihanna advice if reports are true that Rihanna's mentor, Jay-Z, is planning a private meeting. Tina Turner knows a lot about suffering physical abuse from a lover. Her husband Ike frequently beat her with shoe stretchers, telephones and coat hangers, she said, resulting in facial bruises and broken bones that she had to cover up with heavy makeup before stepping on stage to perform. Finally, on Independence Day 1976, Tina Turner broke loose, and with only 36 cents and a gas station credit card in her pocket, she started a new life and solo career that took her to dizzying heights.


By the mid-1980s, Tina Turner reigned as America's biggest female rocker after pulling off what Variety hailed as "one of the most dramatic comebacks in music history." "Private Dancer" spent 71 weeks on the album charts and spun off three hot hits: "Better Be Good to Me," "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Private Dancer."

At the Grammys held in 1985, "What's Love Got to Do with It" won best record and song and "Private Dancer" was nominated for best album. Three of its wins were personal triumphs for Turner: record of the year and best female pop and rock vocal performances.

As she held the record of the year trophy in her grasp before the Grammy crowd at the Shrine Auditorium, Tina Turner beamed: "I've waited so long for this!"

Rihanna has already proved that she's serious Grammy stuff. Her and Jay-Z's collaboration "Umbrella" was nominated for best record last year and it won best rap/sung collaboration.

Now, if she dumps Chris Brown and asserts herself like Tina Turner did, can she bag the top Grammy win too?

Chris Brown has never won a Grammy. The highest category he's reached with a nomination was best new artist, which he lost to Carrie Underwood. His other few bids were in the R&B slots.

Thuggish music artists such as Snoop Dog, 50 Cent and Notorious B.I.G. haven't won a Grammy, so Chris Brown needs to clean up his act in order to prevail. But even if he pulls off the cleanup, he's already given his career a bruiser that will probably never heal. Chris Brown's core fans are swooning teen gals who bought the marketers' image of him as a dreamy, dimpled crooner of lyrics such as "I'm into you / and, girl, no one else / would do / 'cause with every kiss and every hug / you make me fall in love" ("With You"). In music videos he came across as just the kind of golly-gee-whiz boy who girls could dominate in an ideal romantic relationship.

Now that his fans find out who seems to insist on domination in Chris Brown's relationships — and how he dominates — he's no doubt popped that fantasy bubble.

Photo credits: Wire Image (left) and Capitol Records


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The comments to this entry are closed.


Thanks for keeping us up to date about Chris Brown.

like you chris bown can take me to the prom date.

I saw the photos of Rihanna's face they are disgusting! The photos from the day after are worse, she is swollen and bruised. A man that puts his hands on a woman is a coward! How would you feel if that was your mother, sister, or daughter? I agree with Opray when she stated that he will hit her again, but the next time he hits her he will end up killing her. Rihanna told the police that this wasn’t the first time that Chris hit her, but this was by far the worst outcome of his abuse! He is sick and needs to get help, once a beater always a beater. I feel sorry for his fans, and the little kids that look up to him. He is only 19 yrs old and is throwing away his career, by beating a woman! I hope Jay-z can convince Rihanna to have the meeting with Tina Turner, so Rihanna can see the real Chris Brown. Rihanna is so beautiful and has so much talent! She needs to stay away from Chris and seek some help of her own to recover from this incident.

OK ladies: if you are 'woman' enough to beat a man with your stilleto, then you are 'woman' enough to get hit back!! Be smart people! She started this argument over her stupid jealousy and low self esteem. Her fault, her problem!! Jealousy is an evil you need to rid your life from.

People really need to stop comparing Chris to Ike and etc. The truth is, all of you making comments about the situation have no idea what goes on in Chris or Rihanna's personal life. No one really cared or was interested until they 'heard; what happened the night of Clive's party, and I emphasize "HEARD". Chris is not a kid who just said, "I'm just gonna beat your ass just because I feel you need your ass beat!" Before you start passing judgement, know what you're talking about first.

This really is a bad situation. It also made things a lot worse when this happened during Black History Month.

The kids at school heard about this story and had so many awkward questions thinking that Black History Month was about abuse.

As bad as it is, it presented the perfect opportunity to straighten out many misconceptions.

Unfortunately, the kids also indicated that they are no longer interested in Chris Brown because of the abuse. They went on to find other role models. The kids made it clear that they want Rihanna to get rid of him and move on.

If that isn't a powerful message from the kids themselves, I don't know what is.

I truly don't understand why people are are using their fame or age as an excuse to what happened. Both Chris and Rihanna are old enough to think on their own. He's 19 and she's 21. By what Chris Brown did, I don't even know what he will have to do in order to rebuild any type of career because most of the public has written him off already. As for Rihanna, she could return but it she takes Chris back, which it looks like she's gonna do, she will lose part of her fan base and support in that aspect will no longer be there. I think that its very unfortunate that there is an overwhelming amount of unquestionable evidence that points against Chris Brown and he will probably get off easy with a fine, some community service and an apology. There are cases of domestic violence that happen everyday and continue to happen because either one party doesn't want to leave because of possible repercussions, how people may view them, or because they simply just do not know what to do. Coming from a home where violence was present, there is absolutely no reason why physical abuse should be tolerated for either the male or female. As others have said before, if he beats now he'll do it again and that is something Rihanna seriously needs to think about. I think that it is absolutely disgusting that their attorney's are arranging a settlement to end this quickly. I understand that what Rihanna wants to do is her choice, but as people who can learn from this if she doesn't, we need to take the opportunity to say that although we do not have background knowledge about their relationship, this situation should have never happened and we should be taking steps to make sure we teach those we know, especially young kids, that it should not be tolerated on any level.

If you would look at Chris and Rihanna, they are both very young. They're not even adults yet. It's unfortunate that this happened. We need to realize that these two are just like any one of us. They have been in the spotlight at a very young age now. Everybody makes mistakes, nobody is perfect. To judge them and take sides of whose fault it was is just wrong. What they need is LOVE, SUPPORT & GUIDANCE. Their world is shattered from this but we need to assure them that people make mistakes. We learn to grow from them and pass it on to those we care about to make sure things don't happen like this. If you would look at a lot of celebs that screwed up, they're still out there making a name for theirselves. We just need to give them time to heal, time to think, and time to come back from all this a better and stronger individuals. If it weren't for our support as fans, they would have been just like everybody whose not famous. They are both very talented, with a long bright future ahead of them. We just need to be by their side to support them at this time. My prayers are with you both.

It's time to clean house and rid the entertainment industry of marginally talented engineered idiots (Brown, Fenty, Simpsons, Jonases, Spears, et al), and bring in people with REAL talent who deserve to make money.

Chris Brown needs to get what's coming to him for hitting Rihanna. I feel that they should rally in front of his house, the company recording studio that promotes his albums and any other of his well known hang outs. I personally believe that Rihanna is an idiot for taking him back. Finally to all you Chris Brown kissups out there (you know who you are) keep your lips off his buttcheeks and think for crying out loud. I can't stand all you kissups, you piss me off. You all know he did it so get off his jock you simple minded kissups. If he wasn't famous you wouldn't give a crap but since he is you all want to ride his jock. What makes him different from any one else? I show no sympathy for woman beaters. So America just think about it this way. If it was your daughter, sister, mother, cousin, niece, aunt or granddaughter instead of Rihanna you would be mad as hell.

While I do not condone violence of any type I cant help feel sorry for Chris Brown and Rihanna. Chris Brown is a teenager and he made a mistake as teenagers do. Young people because of their lack of experience some times find it hard to control feelings of jealousy and frustration and it erupts into violence. Chris Brown, a teenager with no history of violence, is worth saving and should be taught ways to deal with his anger as any ordinary teenager. With the support of his family and friends I think he will emerge from this a better and calmer person. It is Rihanna's decision and hers alone if she wants to continue the relationship. My advice will be that she should understand that he may change as well as he might not. But everyone deserves a second chance and if you love him deeply then my all means go ahead. As a symbolic gesture I will go out and buy both their cds today. She will live in regret if she does not give Chris a second chance. I feel hopeful that they will both emerge from this better people and artists.

Give the man a chance to reclaim his life for himself. He screwed up royally. And if he's lucky enough to get her back, give HER a chance to make that decision for herself. Everyone needs to back off and get out of their business. If it were me, I wouldn't give him another chance, but she deserves the chance to make that choice without my opinion of it.

Likewise Chris deserves the chance to show himself that he's learned his lesson.

We the public have lynched both him and her. (Her for considering taking him back), and I'm sure like any other human, he would love the opportunity to be forgiven and not punished for an eternity.

isn't it awfully shallow to assume that Rihanna should forsake someone that she's loved and had a strong relationship with for the hope of winning another grammy? WTH???
I do think Rihanna and Chris should each seek counseling and, then could possibly work through this. If they do, their relationship could become rock solid and a true example for many to follow.

i think it was wrong what he did ,but what about the other people who are not famous. Every day there is a person being abuse .I think it is wrong single him out because he is a star.Help them who are not so famous.

their alleged smackdown ??? He beat her. Not a push, not a slap, not a black eye. He beat her to a pulp. CB is disgusting and, hopefully, won't have a career after this. I wish Tom O'Neil didn't punish Rihanna for being a victim: that's why such things go under-reported. A Grammy or two would be nice but she did nothing wrong to have a destroyed career. He did.

This may be the dumbest thing I've ever read. "Alleged smackdown" really? Are you serious? How about brutal assault. I also don't see how being the victim of abuse will put Rihanna's careeer in jeopardy. And by the reasoning of this article it will all be okay if she can just win a grammy. Who knew that's what it takes to overcome domestic abuse? Thank you for this nuanced and sensitive article. You should be extremely proud of yourself, sir.

I am still so mad at Rihanna that she would even consider going back to that loser .she let down every women in this country.I guess bieng successful ,pretty and have the world at your feet doesn't mean you have self respect.

Okay, explain to me why Rihanna needs to "rebuild" her career? She HAS a top level pop career. Does being a victim of domestic violence "destroy" a woman's career? I think the author of this piece, while he thinks he is being fair, shows his misogyny.

Mr. O'Neil: The only career in jeopardy is that of Chris Brown. If you think that by being a victim of domestic violence jeopardizes a woman's career, then maybe you should take a hard look at yourself and your motivations, and maybe your employer should take a look at whether YOU should have a career in journalism.

But what happened when Ike Turner died? More people said "good ridance, wife beater" than "RIP". Food for thoughts, folks. I'm personally on the side who gave Ike a great big F.U. when he went... to Heaven or Hell is up to *you*.

Going back to the abused happens in 2 out of 3 domestic violence cases. Why?

It enables the victim to 'rewrite' the reality of the attack: he didn't mean won't happen again.

Sadly, it will happen again.

Going back to the attacker is a form of enabling further abuse.

I can only hope that those around Rihanna help her to understand this pattern before she (and the millions of young women who admire her) follows a dangerous pattern any law enforcement officer can tell you that we sadly see daily.

Violence has never solved a single family problem!

Chris Brown is a spoiled little punk who needs the smackdown put on him HARD. His career SHOULD be ruined and if Rhianna goes back to him, hers should be ruined too. Woman beating should not be tolerated by people setting an example for other young people. Period. It's a really horrible message to think it might be.


Winning a Grammy? Good God! the man beat a woman! Committed a felony!...which will be proven in court...and for you non legal eagles out there, Rihanna's affidaivd was given under penelty of perjury...that means she can be called the stand to testify...and is she lies she is held in contempt of court and could go to jail! In California she need not sue, alllthat is needed is for the DA to have enough evidence to bring charges...and trust me, this is on high profile case they are not going to screw up!!!!!

Oh! And trust me, once again..ther is no meeting being arranged by JayZ...HIS ATTORNEY'S WHO ARE PAID A GYNORMOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY ON RETAINER WOULD NEVER BE THAT STUPID.

(SIGH!) Having said all that...I feel much better.

Has Chris Brown "given his career a bruiser that will probably never heal"? Unfortunately, I doubt it. Look at R. Kelly. Look at other musicians who have been accused of felonies. I would bet good money the people who buy his music won't be fazed by this.

Rihanna, on the other hand, will suffer. If she goes back with him, her enormous endorsements will dry up; the companies that paid her chose her for her squeaky-clean image. And even if that image is gone, gone, gone for no reason of HER own doing, the fact is no one wants that life for their daughters. While young people buy the music, older people with money sign advertising deals, and that loss will markedly injure Rihanna's career.

i think they both can save their careers if the media will allows them to. I dont believe she is a victim in the sense of a battered woman, and I dont believe that he has hit her before. I think this has been ongoing bickering back and forth about infidelity and her jealousy to the point where she had hit on him out of frustration and hurt and this particular time he snapped. Does it make it right how he handled it? Absolutely not. But she should know you cannot beat on a man either. But anyway yes than can save their future if allowed by this janky media.

Chris and Rihanna now have a God given opportunity to demonstrate to their fans how couples in abusive relationships should come out of these circumstances. I have not seen enough famous individuals using their platforms to teach their fans out to better respond in relationships. I pray they choose to use their platforms around this situation wisely.




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