Chris Brown's violent history repeats itself

FLESH AND BLOOD: The cover of Brown's album Royalty, named after his daughter, who is seen here with him. Brown said his mother was abused for years by her boyfriend, barely a year before he beat former girlfriend Rihanna.


    Sep 02, 2016

    Chris Brown's violent history repeats itself

    CHRIS BROWN'S arrest after a stand-off with police has reinforced a reputation the singer is unlikely to want - as one of the world's most high-profile perpetrators of domestic violence.

    The artist, who rose from a local church choir to sudden pop fame, was released on US$250,000 (S$340,950) bail late on Tuesday after a woman alleged that he pointed a gun at her.

    The 27-year-old R&B singer and rapper was arrested after keeping officers outside his Los Angeles home for hours as he took to Instagram to upbraid the police to his legion of fans.

    The winner of the Miss California Regional beauty pageant said he threatened her after a night of partying when she admired the jewellery of one of the singer's associates.

    Brown said he was innocent.

    But he pleaded guilty in the best known of his many legal run-ins - beating his then girlfriend Rihanna ahead of the 2009 Grammy Awards.

    Another woman also accused him of battery earlier this year in Las Vegas.

    Among other incidents, he was arrested in 2013 for punching a man who tried to take a picture with him.

    Raised in rural Tappahannock, Virginia, he began singing as a child in a church choir.

    Legend holds that record label scouts discovered him at 13 while he was working at his father's petrol station.

    Brown impressed his audiences by singing in a rich, melodious voice with a capacity for higher ranges, as well as dance moves that showed clear inspiration from Michael Jackson.

    His first single, Run It!, reached No. 1 in the US. It appeared on his self-titled 2005 debut album which earned him his first Grammy nominations.

    Yet, Brown had been scarred by his childhood.

    Little more than a year before he beat Rihanna, he told talk show host Tyra Banks that he watched his mother endure years of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend.

    He said the domestic violence at home affected his views on women.

    "I don't want to go through the same thing or put a woman through the same thing that that person put my mum through," he added.

    Rihanna has said that she also grew up witnessing abuse against her mother.

    She described her relationship with Brown as an overwhelming love that made her overlook danger.

    Brown in an interview with The Guardian said he lost his virginity at age eight to a teenage girl - which he laughed off as a sign of precocious sexuality shaped by viewing pornography, although commentators noted that from a legal standpoint, he was raped.

    Some of Brown's fans have argued that he is a victim of double standards, with the media quick to gloss over abuse claims against white stars.

    Brown on his Instagram videos voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality, calling the police "the worst gang in the world".

    Coinciding with his personal woes, critical praise for him has slipped. While he remains a major selling artist, only his 2014 album X won the acclaim of his early work.

    Brown has also been involved with scuffles with fellow artists, including Drake and Frank Ocean.

    In one of the most bizarre incidents, he was barred last year from leaving the Philippines in a dispute over not performing at a concert.