BET gave Chris Brown his chance to pay tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET Awards last night after he was blocked from performing at last year’s event because many artists didn’t feel right about taking the stage with a convicted felon to pay tribute to the King of Pop.
Hmm, that seems like a good point. Anyway, so how’d he do last night?
Well, Brown was fine during the dance portion, as he handled some of Jackson’s more famous routines. But when it came time to sing “Man in the Mirror,” Brown seemingly fell apart, overcome by tears and unable to get more than a few phrases out.
His fans seem willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – as does BET, apparently – saying he was clearly overcome with emotion for his situation and for Jackson, that he was overwhelmed by thinking how he wanted to make a change in his life to make amends for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna.
His critics say he was using the event as part of his public relations image-rehabbing and that not only did he hijack a tribute for his own purposes, but the tears and the emotions were all faked.
I’m not really sure who’s right. I don’t necessarily believe his motives are pure, but I certainly don’t think he’s a good enough actor to pull this meltdown off. In either case, you do have to ask what he was doing out there in the first place. The question with Brown is: How long does a public figure have to be ostracized after beating up his girlfriend?
His fans say he’s suffered enough and should be allowed to restart his career. I think domestic violence advocates would disagree and right now, I think they may be right.
[The meltdown starts at 4:40 if you want to skip all Brown's dancing and stuff]