Three time Grammy nominated American pop/R&B singer-songwriter and actor Chris Brown became an instant star thanks largely to his debut single “Run It” (2005), which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for five weeks. The success made Brown the first solo male recording artist to release a track that went directly to the top of the Billboard singles chart. “Run It” was also a big hit worldwide. Along with “Run It,” his self-titled debut album also spawned the Top 10 hits “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” and “Say Goodbye,” and the Top 15 hit “Gimme That.” The album brought Brown his first two Grammy nominations. He stated, “My first album was me finding myself and my voice, finding how I sing. I was rolling with the punches because everything was new to me.”
Released in November 2007, the sophomore effort “Exclusive” is known for yielding three Billboard Hot 100 top five singles: “Kiss Kiss” (#1), “With You” (#2) and “Forever” (#2). Brown nabbed his third Grammy nomination for “No Air” (2008), a duet sung with Jordin Sparks.
As an actor, Brown was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for “Stomp the Yard” (2007), his feature debut, and a MTV Movie Award for “This Christmas” (2008). His more recent and upcoming film credits include “Blood Rogues” (2009), “Phenom” (2009) and “Bone Deep” (2010). Brown has also appeared in episodes of the television series “The O.C.” (2007).
One of People Magazine's “Sexiest Men Alive” (2007), Brown is currently dating Grammy Award winning pop and R&B singer Rihanna. In December 2008, a photographer sued the couple for $1 million claiming he was hit by their bodyguards in Florida seven months before. Brown again shared a degree of notoriety with his arrest on February 8, 2009, on the suspicion of making criminal threats after a quarrel with his girlfriend. Rihanna was brought to the hospital for minor injuries, including cuts and bruises. According to the Los Angeles Times, he is being represented by defense attorney Mark Geragos. Due to the incident, Brown, who was scheduled to perform at the 2009 Grammy Awards, was replaced by Al Green and Justin Timberlake.
On a more positive note, Brown is a supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He donated $50,000 to the hospital in ticket proceeds from his 2006 “Up Close & Personal” tour. Two years later, he used his celebrity status to boost the Math-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He starred as the host in a film to promote it.
Childhood and Family:
Son of Joyce Hawkins and Clinton Brown, Christopher Maurice Brown, who would later be known as Chris Brown, was born on May 5, 1989, in the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia. He has one sister named Lytrell Bundy (nicknamed Tootie).
A born entertainer, Chris started dancing at age 2 and enjoyed singing in his church choir at an early age. He was inspired by such musicians as Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and Anita Baker, but it was some of his other idols like Rakim, Lil Wayne, and Run DMC that made him want to become a rapper. Chris also developed a love for dancing and often imitated the dance moves of such artists as Michael Jackson and Usher.
Chris, however, did not recognize that he had a knack for singing until he was 11 years old. A local production team spotted his unique talent two years later while visiting his father's gas station.
In 2004, Chris quit school to work on his album. He was homeschooled.
Chris Brown is known by the nicknames CB and Chris Breezy.
“The first thing that hit me was his unique voice. I thought ‘This kid is a star.’” Tina Davis on Chris Brown
13-year-old Chris Brown caught the attention of Tina Davis, the then-senior A&R executive of Def Jam Recordings, while at his dad's gas station. He was subsequently brought to New York City. Unlucky for Brown, when Davis was going to sign him to her company, she lost her job. With Davis serving as his new manager, he was introduced to a lot of labels and finally found a home with Jive Records. At the time, Brown was 15 years old.
In early 2005, Brown worked with renowned producers like Scott Storch, Dre &Vidal, Bryan Cox, The Underdogs, Bow Wow, and Jermaine Dupri on his debut album. “Chris Brown” was released on November 29, 2005, under the Jive label and went on to become an immediate hit. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It sold more than 2.1 million pieces in the United States and more than 3 millions pieces worldwide. “Chris Brown” has since received double-platinum certification from RIAA.
The first single, “Run It!,” featuring rapper Juelz Santana and produced by Scott Storch, became a huge hit in America, where it rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the Billboard Pop 100 and the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and in other countries like Australia (#1), Canada (#1), New Zealand (#1), the United Kingdom (#2), Ireland (#2) and Germany (#5). The single has been certified platinum by RIAA. Directed by Erik White, the music video was nominated for 2006 MTV Video Music awards in the categories of Best New Artist and Viewer's Choice.
The follow-up single, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” produced by Dre & Vidal, peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2006 and became a Top 2 hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Outside the U.S., the song rose to No. 10 and No. 13 in Australia and the United Kingdom, respectively. Like its predecessor, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” also went platinum.
The Sean Garrett-written, Scott Storch-produced third single, “Gimme That,” featuring Lil Wayne, was released in April 2006. It rose to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 25 on the Billboard Pop 100 and No. 23 on the U.K. Singles chart. It was followed by the single “Say Goodbye,” which was released on August 8, 2006. The ballad became Brown's third Top 10 single on Billboard's Hot 100 (#10) and his second single to top the R&B charts. The fifth and last single, “Poppin',” was released in November 2006. It rose to No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 6, 2007. While “Say Goodbye” earning platinum status, both “Gimme That” and “Poppin'” only went gold.
Brown collected a series of awards in 2006 for his eponymous album. He won a Teen Choice for Choice Music Breakout Artist – Male, two BETs in the categories of Viewer's Choice and Best New Artist, three Billboard Music Awards for New Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year, a Soul Train Music for Best R&B/Soul New Artist and an NAACP Image for Outstanding New Artist. “Chris Brown” also earned two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best R&B Contemporary Album.
To promote his album, the talented singer embarked on his first major tour in 2006 called “The Up Close and Personal Tour.” He also served as an opening act for Beyoncé Knowles' “The Beyoncé Experience” tour in Australia.
Because of his hectic touring schedule, the launch of Brown's second studio album had to be delayed for a few months. Originally scheduled to be released on August 28, 2007, “Exclusive” finally hit music stores in the United States on November 6, 2007. The album rose to No. 4 on the Billboard 200, sold 1.9 million in the United States and has been certified platinum by RIAA. In other countries, “Exclusive” went platinum in the U.K. (#3) and Canada (#16) and double-platinum in Ireland (#2), New Zealand (#3) and Australia (#5).
“I'm 18 in this album. I'm not losing fans and I'm not disrespecting women, but you reach the maturity of taking it to the next level with a girl. It was only necessary for me to have at least one song like that.” Chris Brown (on his album “Exclusive”)
The lead single, “Wall to Wall,” which was released on May 28, 2007, proved to be a disappointment. Brown, however, soon bounced back with his sophomore effort, “Kiss Kiss,” featuring and produced by rapper T-Pain. It rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on Billboard's R&B and Hip-Hop Chart. It was certified platinum by RIAA.
The third single, “With You,” followed in December 2007. Produced by Stargate, the song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 5, 2008, and became a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Pop 100 (#2) and Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart (#5). Also a worldwide commercial success, the single rose to the Top 10 in various countries like Canada, the U.K., Australia, Turkey and New Zealand. “With You” netted a 2008 MTV Video Music award for Best Male Video and marked Brown's second best-selling single.
Seven months after the album release, Brown launched a deluxe edition on June 3, 2008, under the title “Exclusive: The Forever Edition.” The new version consisted of four new tracks, most notably “Forever,” which was co-written by Brown, J. Jones, B. Kennedy, Rob Allen, and Andre Merritt. The song rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 3 on the U.K. Singles chart. It also enjoyed strong chart performances in such countries as Ireland, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. “Forever” won a 2008 Teen Choice award for Choice Music R&B Track. Also in 2008, Brown received such awards as a Kids Choice for Favorite Male Singer, Teen Choice Awards for Choice Music R&B Artist and Choice Music Male Artist, a World Music for Best R&B Male, and two American Music awards for Soul/Rhythm and Blues - Favorite Male Artist and Pop/Rock - Favorite Male Artist. In support of “Exclusive,” Brown conducted an U.S. tour named “The Up Close and Personal Holiday Exclusive Tour.” From December 2007 to February 2008, he visited more than thirty venues with guest performances from other artists such as Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, Sean Kingston, Shop Boys, Keyshia Cole and Lil Mama. The documented footage was released in June 3, 2008, as the double album of “Exclusive: The Forever Edition.”
Brown gained additional success through his collaboration with “American Idol” season 6 winner Jordin Sparks on the song “No Air,” which was released on February 11, 2008. Taken from Sparks' self-titled debut album, the single peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also a massive hit worldwide. It was nominated for a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and brought the two a 2008 Teen Choice for Choice Hook-Up and a 2009 People's Choice for Best Combined Forces. Brown also won another People's Choice award that same year for Best Male Singer. In addition to “No Air,” Brown has also been featured on several other singles like “Shortie like Mine” (with Bow Wow), “Shawty Get Loose” (with Lil Mama and T-Pain), “What Them Girls Like” (with Sean Garrett and Ludacris) and “Freeze” (with T-Pain).
Brown branched out into acting in 2006. He made his big screen debut a year later in “Stomp the Yard,” a drama directed by Sylvain White where he had the supporting role of Duron, opposite Columbus Short, Meagan Good and Ne-Yo. He was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the category of Choice Movie: Breakout Male for his work in the film. Also that year, he had a recurring role on the Fox comedy series “The O.C.” and was seen in the film “This Christmas,” a family drama from director//writer Preston A. Whitmore II. As Michael 'Baby' Whitfield, he was nominated for a MTV Movie award for Breakthrough Performance. Among his costars in the movie were Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, Keith Robinson, Loretta Devine and Delroy Lindo.
Recently starring with Karen Garcia in “Blood Rogues” (2009), Brown is set to play roles in the upcoming movies “Caramel” (2009, helmed by Melvin James), “Phenom” (2009, with Henry Simmons) and “Bone Deep” (2010, opposite Matt Dillon, Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen).
People's Choice: Best Combined Forces, “No Air,” 2009 (shared with Jordin Sparks)
People's Choice: Best Male Singer, 2009
American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues - Favorite Male Artist, 2008
American Music: Pop/Rock - Favorite Male Artist, 2008
World Music: Best R&B Male, 2008
MTV Video Music: Best Male Video, “With You,” 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Music R&B Track, “Forever,” 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Hook-Up, “No Air,” 2008 (shared with Jordin Sparks)
Teen Choice: Choice Music Male Artist, 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Music R&B Artist, 2008
Kids Choice: Favorite Male Singer, 2008
NAACP Image: Best Male Artist, 2008
Billboard Music: Artist of the year, 2006
Billboard Music: New Artist of the Year, 2006
Billboard Music: Male Artist of the Year, 2006
Soul Train Music: Best R&B/Soul New Artist, 2006
NAACP Image: Outstanding New Artist, 2006
TRL: Fake ID Award, 2006
BET: Best New Artist, 2006
BET: Viewer's Choice: “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” 2006
Teen Choice: Choice Music Breakout Artist - Male, 2006