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Can Chris Brown save career with plea deal in assault on Rihanna?

June 22, 2009 |  3:58 pm

Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to the serious charge of felony assault against his one-time girlfriend Rihanna. The charges came after an altercation in February left Rihanna battered and bruised. While Brown will not serve any jail time, he has been assigned to six months of community service in his home state of Virginia. He will serve five years on supervised probation with quarterly California court visits and complete a domestic violence counseling program.

Brown has been ordered to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times with the exception of music industry events they are both attending. At such times, her zone of privacy is limited to 10 yards. Rihanna did not seek any such restrictions on Brown.

Brown and Rihanna were the top male and female pop singles artists in America last year and both were nominated for multiple Grammy Awards earlier this year. Indeed, they faced off for the second year in a row in a collaboration category.

But their relationship ended just hours before the Grammys were handed out on Feb. 8. The pair had spent the preceding evening together at the star-studded party thrown annually by recording exec Clive Davis. Then in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, Brown assaulted Rihanna as they drove home.

Brown canceled his appearance on that night's kudocast where he was scheduled to perform "Forever." Today with his admission in court, Chris Brown lost forever his carefully cultivated image as a teen idol. His core fans were young girls who swooned over his boy-next-door good looks and charm.

Soon after the incident Brown was in contention for the third year in a row as favorite male singer at the Kids' Choice Awards. In the face of mounting negative attention, he eventually withdrew from the race. Brown won the award last year after losing to Justin Timberlake in 2007. This year he was nominated against 2006 winner Jesse McCartney, Kid Rock and T-Pain.

However, the Grammy Award – the music industry's highest honor – has eluded Brown. Last year, Rihanna and Jay-Z won the best rap/sung collaboration Grammy for "Umbrella" over, among others,  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, Rihanna has competed for far more Grammys. 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").

Brown remains a Grammy loser despite five nominations. Besides those two collaboration defeats, he also lost R&B male vocal for "Take You Down" to Ne-Yo ("Miss Independent") this year while last year 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.

And now that he's tinged by scandal, can he ever win with the Grammys? As Gold Derby often notes, bad boys don't win Oscars. Russell Crowe hasn't been nominated since he attacked that BAFTA producer and Manhattan hotel clerk. (Crowe apologized in the first incident and settled a lawsuit in the second.)

Since the Grammys are music's equivalent to the Oscars, the same issue applies. These academies represent the more conservative wings of their industries and they don't like to give awards to people who reflect poorly upon them. True, in music — especially in the R&B, rap, metal and hard rock genres— a rebellious, anti-establishment spirit is tolerated, sometimes celebrated, but that's because edginess drives mass music sales. That's not true of movies or TV, so that's why the Oscars and Emmys are even more mainstream than the Grammys.

But the Grammys can still be a bit fuddy-duddy. Rap artists who tend to win, for example, are more likely to be of the safe Will Smith or Jay-Z variety (four Grammys each) than the thuggish kind like Snoop Dog or Notorious B.I.G. (none). When gangsta rappers triumph, they tend to be of the establishment kind like Dr. Dre (four). Just a few years ago, music critics widely hailed 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Trying" as the best disc of the year, but its music couldn't break into the top Grammy races. 50 Cent's been nominated for Grammys but only in those second-tier slots. He's never won. When he was nominated for best new artist of 2004, he lost to Evanescence.


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Eminem finally admits MTV Movie Awards ambush was a stunt

"American Idol" champ Kris Allen wants Grammys, but will he get them?

After "American Idol": Will Adam Lambert or Kris Allen win the most awards?

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The comments to this entry are closed.


IDIOTS. The reason his career will not recover (atleast the way it was) is because his demographic primarily consists of minors. Parents and the conservative media would never allow him to come back. What he allegedly did was probably a little worse than what R.Kelly did; and his audience is older folks but we barley hear from him. Sadly, Chris Brown is done for. Only 19 and his career is over.

Oh & to all you idiots who think Chris can save his career.... YOURE WRONG. You cannot save your career when you only have 1,000 or less fans. Most respectable people who did like Chris's music (and Rihanna's for that matter) have moved on. We know that there are plenty of other talented artists who we can support.

I cannot wrap my head around why people are still saying this was not abuse. THIS WAS CLEARLY AN ABUSIVE ATTACK. If Rihanna hit him first, we will never know, and even if we did know, the level of offense is no where close to what he did to her. You sick pathetic whack jobs, need to get lost... the reason woman and men are beaten everyday & stay in these abusive relationships are because people like you try and minimize the perpetrators offense. Chris should have got jail, but luckily for him he had a magical expensive lawyer. GROSS.

Dear Tom,

You really put Jay Z in the safe category of rappers? His last album was titled "American Gangster". His albums traditionally align more with Snoop's and Biggie's. His music video for his first single opens with him getting shot repeatedly.

Research, then write.


I think both Chris and Rhianna need to get therapy and both take responsibility for their actions and learn something out of this whole mess. They have a fan based on young people who idolize them and they are giving the wrong message. It is not OK to hit one another. It is not OK to stay in an abusive relationship. When you decide to be in the public eye, you need to conduct yourself in a positive way. I wish them both the best of luck, they will both need it!!

Of course, he'll get big deals. What he did was a great example to all the fans of Chris, who are mostly young minds, that it's OK to hit, make an online video touting a win against the "man". I mean, gotta tell the fans first, right? Right on!

And, as a woman, Rhianna has instilled pride in every other woman who has not pressed charges and demanded maximum sentences be served before release. I mean, was this the first time, or the first time he was caught?

Women Unite: Cleaning Graffiti? Are you serious?

I guess if you got a record deal, it's true...anything goes in Hollywood, except burgers and Hummers, oh...GOP's, and most crimes against the environment.

Yes, MOST CRIMES AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT GO UNPUNISHED, if you you know who to pay. What? You don't agree?

How many explosions, using massive amounts - MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF FUEL, spewing unreal volumes of smoke into the air, have been filmed? LOADS!

Is there any type of fine involved with this incredibly heinous, (bite my lip), act of violence against our planet.

Oh, of course...they can purchase pollution (carbon) credits from Algore, and everything's Hunky Dorry . Or, spend a bit more for a license that permits explosions, with massive amounts of black smoke (more contaminates than a fleet of FedEx trucks in a year. It's OK, as long as you can pay for it. But, drive anything that wasn't made in Japan or Europe (it just ain't chic 'nuff), and use more than one square of toilet paper (don't shake hands w/Cheryl Crow, and you are a right-wing radical, who doesn't care about the kids.

Oh, have I gone over my time limit? Well, thanks for this award. Like to thank my dad for showing me that it's ok to hit, as long as you're sorry. Oh, yeah...I'd like to thank the academy.

He's a vicious twink
and she's a vapid

Chris Brown made a mistake by hitting her back.... but a person can only take so much. I just pray that Chris move on with his life and find his self. He will be ok! He work hard for his career and everyone desires a second chance. And for all these judgemental people you got a 2nd chance we you wake up this morning and no sin is bigger than the other.... Let pray for one another because life is to short.

since day one, i knew Rihanna was a trouble girl. never liked the idea her dating Chris and guess wat now chris, look wat she got u into.

The law is not enforced for celebrities in califukya. Brown has to wait 5 years before he can beat another skank.

I am very disappointed in this article. First of all the focus was on the digusting mans career? Nothing about how awful his crimes were. He was barely punished at all and that is the real story here. A scandel? I'd say it's worst then that. He admitted to beating his girlfriend. I'd say thats downright disgusting.

You are in America and in America women are mens equals. Everyone knows this was a 'figh't - not just a man being abusive. Rihanna was just as guilty as Chris. In America, women have fought for equality, meaning we have no right to slap on or hit on a man and then the man gets charged with a FELONY for retaliating. Jack Nicholson beat his mate,Charlie Sheen did,Christian Slater did, Sean Penn did, Rob Lowe, and all of them have gone to win numerous awards.If Chris, who is at 19 a talented actor, singer,dance, songwriter doesn't get back into mainstream graces - then this country is still as biased as the 1920's.

Sean Penn....who assaulted his ex wife Madonna has 2 Oscars, so that thing about bad boys not winning isn't true, I think Chris is different since he is young, he may not win any this year or the next couple of years, but people will forget....just like with Sean Penn

That's right give them lots of fame and money and and sit back and watch em self destruct, These kids like Rhianna and Chris brown don't deserve the money the fame and anything else that goes with Music success. They're too young and dumb to handle it .

It's so sad, but I'm kinda glad because Chris Brown's hometown is in Virginia (where I live) yay!! but still... sad

Explain to me whay a man can plead guilty to a felony charge of assault and the concern is on his career?

Explain to me why he is not doing any jail time?

Explain to me please why the woman did not seek any restrictions against this man?

And if you can please explain to me what is wrong in American today that we are allowing the woman and populist of the media to present this as if a woman be abused by a man is something to tolerate.

I thought I was in the United States of American, am I in the Middle East where women are property or chattle?

Cris can and will save his career. Rihanna loves him (and loves the beatings she gets). She will stand by her man - not knowing any better. I am sure that Cris will find Jesus and all will be well - especially when he sends her into the care of the good lord. Great platform for a movie - "Singing Till I Die".

Chris, I still think you are an awesome performer and you are one of my favorite artists of all time, and you always will be, What you did was wrong, but i'm sure you learned from the mistakes that you made, and i admire your maturity in being accountable for your own actions. I pray that you stay strong, and that your music will be as great as it always has been.



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