Image Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.comIt was without a doubt the most divisive performance at the 2010 BET Awards last night. To cap off the scheduled Michael Jackson tribute, tarnished R&B star Chris Brown came out and did a flawless moonwalk, only to break down in tears as he tried to sing “Man in the Mirror.”
Brown’s overwhelming display of emotion spoke to many people watching the awards. For these viewers, Brown was turning the page on the tumultuous phase of his career that began when he infamously beat then-girlfriend Rihanna last February. Others, like me, felt the precise opposite way. Brown pleaded guilty just a year ago to a very serious felony. Intimate partner violence is not something you can make up for with a few well-executed dance moves or on-stage sobs. In this view, there was something unseemly about Brown using a tribute to a late legend as an opportunity to turn the spotlight on himself and score some career-rehab points.
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