The well-known singer, Chris Brown, was actually born Christopher Maurice Brown on May 5, 1989, in Tappahannock Virginia. His mother was Joyce Hawkins, a daycare center director, and Clinton Brown, a corrections officer. Music was not a new thing to the Brown family, and it was present in Brown’s life, even from a young age. In the beginning, Brown would listen to soul albums owned by his parents, and eventually, his interests branched out into the hip-hop scene. Brown eventually taught himself to sing and dance, citing Michael Jackson as one of his earliest inspirations. In addition to singing for himself, Chris Brown sang in his church choir along with performing in a number of local talent shows. His mother eventually saw his talent for what it was and began looking for a record deal. Though there were many personal issues occurring in Brown’s life at the time, he managed to become ‘discovered’ by Hitmission Records at the age of thirteen. Tina Davis, a senior A&R executive was impressed by Brown’s work and took him to meet the former president of the Island Def Jam Music Group who immediately offered to sign him to a contract. Negotiation continued for two months, however, and Tina Davis managed to lose her job due to a corporate merger. Davis would become Brown’s manager in short order, and promoted him to several labels including:
- Jive Records
- Warner Bros. Records
During that time, Jive Records was doing a considerable amount of marketing for young people including Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. For this reason, Brown chose Jive, mainly due to their success in the pop area. While working on his musical career, Brown would attend Essex High School in Virginia until 2005, at which point he finally moved to New York City. From there, Chris Brown’s career would skyrocket.
Though Chris Brown would release several albums, one of his most notable is the self-titled album, Chris Brown, which was released on November 29, 2005. It debuted at Number Two on the Billboard 200 within the first week, and sales amounted to 154,000 copies. Selling two million copies in the United States, Chris Brown was considered a commercial success. In addition to that, his album was certified double platinum by the RIAA. The first single from his debut album, “Run It!” would reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and three other singles actually managed to sit in the top twenty.
Most Known For
Though Chris Brown has had a considerable music career, that is sadly not what he is most known for. Chris Brown, while dating fellow recording artist Rihanna, entered into an argument on February 8, 2009 which escalated, leading Christ Brown to initiate a physical altercation. This altercation led to a number of visible facial injuries for Rihanna, prompting, Chris Brown to turn himself into the LAPD. He was booked under the charge of making criminal threats, though the name of the victim was not released by the police department at that time, as per their policy. The media, however, quickly caught wind of Rihanna falling victim to Brown’s violent behavior. Following the assault and arrest, a number of commercial advertisements featuring Brown were pulled from the networks, and his music was removed from many radio stations. In addition to that, Brown was forced to withdraw from the 2009 Grammy awards. Additionally, he was forced to hire a crisis management team to help deal with the plethora of negative publicity he was receiving. In the end, Brown managed to work out a deal in which he would plead guilty to a felony, accepting a plea deal of community service, five years probation, and domestic violence counseling. The sentence was protested by a number of domestic violence groups as they believe the singer was treated with kid gloves due to their status.
Where Is He Now?
Brown was once again arrested for felony assault in 2013 after punching two men who attempted to have their photo taken with him on the streets of Washington DC. Brown completed 90 days in jail and was remanded to a treatment facility on the condition that he would complete rehab or report directly to jail. Brown violated internal rules and was sent to jail. For the probation violation, Brown was ordered to serve 132 days in jail and was given early release due to jail overcrowding. As of February 25, 2015, he has rejected entry to Canada due to his criminal history, and will therefore be unable to tour there during his upcoming One Hell of a Nite Tour. Though Brown has had his share of legal troubles, he is in fact expected to continue recording music, and most importantly will be continuing his tour of the United States. There are those who would say that Brown is a despicable human being, but his impact on popular culture simply cannot be denied one way or another.