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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.

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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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