Blubbering Chris Brown Steals Show at BET Awards
By PopEater Staff Posted Jun 28th 2010 06:01AM
But the standout moment of the night came when Brown broke down and blubbered his way through a tribute to his idol, Michael Jackson. Watch Brown starting at the :45 mark:
Brown has been laying low since being sentenced to community service for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna in early 2009, and recently was denied entry into Great Britain to play a series of concerts there because of his criminal record.
Jermaine Jackson introduced Brown, who came out wearing a fedora and glove and moonwalked his way through 'Billie Jean' without missing a step. Then, as he grabbed a microphone to sing 'Man in the Mirror,' he broke down in tears. His voice cracked, he couldn't sing, and at one point he crumpled to the stage in apparent agony.
Later, he apologized to fans, but for more than messing up the night's performance. "I let you all down before, but I won't do it again. I promise you," Brown said.
But was it for real? As the first tear welled in his eyes, it became impossible not to wonder whether Brown was showing genuine grief over the death of Jackson or whether he was trying to drum up sympathy as he struggles to regain control of his career.
He performed the dance moves to 'Billie Jean' flawlessly and it was only when the slow ballad of 'Man in the Mirror' arrived that he showed any emotion. An LA Times snap poll asked fans what they thought, with 20% saying he was faking. A healthy 39% believed he was sincere. A commenter on MTV News aptly asked, "Was it for real, or was he trying to get attention for being softer? I'm sure he feels bad about Michael's death, but is he just trying to get away from the bad boy image with the crying thing?"
West opened the show with a performance of his new single, 'Power.' Looking defiant in a red suit, shades and a ridiculously big chain around his neck, the rapper powered through the aggressive song while standing atop an erupting volcano set piece.
It was a triumphant comeback for the star, who like Brown has been avoiding the spotlight.
Other highlights included Usher performing 'There Goes My Baby,' Eminem and a choir doing his new single, 'Not Afraid,' and the return of 1980s hitmaker El DeBarge, who blazed back onto the stage to play old hits and the title track from his first new album in 16 years.
Prince received BET's lifetime achievement award. "I'm just so thankful to be a part of this world of music," he said. "Thanks for a wonderful night. I'll never forget it as long as I live."
The BET Awards honor the year's best in music, sports and film in 19 categories. Winners are selected by a voting academy comprised of industry insiders and executives, music journalists and a group of fans randomly selected by BET.com.
► For a full rundown of performances and winners, go to Black Voices.
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