Rihanna is explaining her recent collaborations with Chris Brown, the onetime boyfriend who was convicted of beating her up the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards.
"The hottest R&B artist out right now is Chris Brown," she said Thursday on Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show, referring to her tune "Birthday Cake." "So I wanted him on the track."
Then they cut a deal for the benefit of their fans, she said.
Fans of each of the artists have often been at odds since the assault, which resulted in Brown pleading guilty to a felony charge and being sentenced to many hours of community service, anger management and domestic violence courses and five years' probation.
Breezy and Rihanna, however, mixed things up around the beginning of the year with a Twitter flirtation that got a bit weird. Months later, they were collaborating.
"He was like, ‘Why don’t you do the remix to my track?’ and it was a trade-off," Rihanna said. "We did two records. One for my fans. One for his fans, and that way our fans can come together.
"There shouldn't be a divide. You know? It's music, and it's innocent."
Chris Brown has been accused of "robbery by sudden snatching" after an incident Sunday night in Miami in which he allegedly grabbed a woman's cellphone and drove away with it.
No arrests have been made and no warrants issued, TMZ said Thursday, indicating an investigation was ongoing. According to E! News, the Florida state attorney's office was preparing a warrant for Brown's arrest.
Per the incident report, Christal Spann, 24, and some friends saw Brown leaving Miami Beach's Cameo nightclub by a side door and followed him outside, where she saw Brown get into a black Bentley. Using her iPhone 4S, worth approximately $500, she approached the car and took a picture of him sitting in it, the report said.
It was at that point, she told police, that Brown allegedly reached through the car window, grabbed the phone away from her, called her a name and said, "You ain't going to put that up on no website."
He then allegedly rolled up the car window and drove away with the phone, Spann told police.
Despite positive progress reports, the singer is still on supervised probation related to his 2009 guilty plea to felony assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna. On Feb. 9, a judge in L.A. ordered Brown to continue reporting to a probation officer in his home state of Virginia, rather than going unsupervised because of good behavior.
Though Breezy and Ri-Ri have reconciled to the point of collaborating on a couple of songs together, and Brown recently tweeted that people could hate all they want because he won a Grammy and isn't going anywhere, he still has to obey all laws -- or he could find himself headed to jail on a probation violation.
A birthday wish in 140 characters or less would seem harmless enough, but not in the case of Chris Brown and Rihanna.
The former couple made some waves this weekend with an exchange on the social media service that's simple in sentiment but complicated given their back story.
"Happy Birthday Robyn!" Brown tweeted (warning: responses may contain profanity) on Sunday to the "We Found Love" singer, full name Robyn Rihanna Fenton. Rihanna responded with a "Thanks!" — but the fan reaction that prompted seconds after was a lot more, uh, animated.
From profane cries of disgust to emoticon-laden messages of hope, the mixed reactions are understandable. In 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in a now-famous Grammys eve altercation in Hancock Park — one that left the singer badly beaten, especially on her highly visible face.
The tweets, which marked Rihanna's 24th b-day, come on the heels of speculation that Brown will appear on an upcoming remix track from Ri's latest album, "Talk That Talk."
Is it appropriate for the former duo to tweet at each other? Or collaborate musically, for that matter? Tell us in comments.
Chris Brown was all sunshine and light Wednesday afternoon, proclaiming on Twitter, "TeamBreezy, the Grammy I received was for those of you who supported my music and the hard work and growth in my life. I thank you! Love U!"
Nice enough, if you were unaware that on Tuesday he -- or whoever was powering his Twitter feed -- had gone rather ballistic about that very same Grammy.
Seems Chris wasn't cool with it when a few folks, celebs included, raised an eyebrow about his high-profile performance presence at this year's Grammy Awards, only three years since he missed the show after losing his temper and hitting then-girlfriend Rihanna in the face.
(It was an outburst that resulted in a guilty plea to one count of felony assault, for which Brown is still on probation. He's already completed the anger-management program he was sentenced to.)
"How dang long did they give Nicki Minaj to do whatever that was? Strange," Miranda Lambert said Monday on Twitter, discussing performances at the Sunday awards show. "And Chris Brown twice? I don't get it. He beat on a girl... Not cool that we act like that didn't happen. He needs to listen to Gunpowder and lead and be put back in his place. Not at the Grammys."
Well, at a certain point, Brown had apparently had enough. His Valentine's Day outburst read, in part, "HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now!" And in case that in-your-face all-caps missive wasn't enough, he wrapped it up with profanity that you can find here unredacted (the tweet itself has been removed from the @chrisbrown stream).
Brown addressed the media in a later, also-deleted tweet: "DEAR MEDIA.. Ur plan is not working.. I'm not going anywhere so get used to me." The Times' opinion section, for one, has had a thing or two to say about Brown's appearance Sunday.
So who is the real Breezy -- the soft-spoken singer-dancer stumbling over his Grammy acceptance speech for R&B album Sunday and tweeting rainbows and unicorns on Wednesday afternoon, or the zero-to-60 anger blaster telling folks they could "blank off" Tuesday, now that he had that Grammy in hand, imagining a media conspiracy Tuesday morning and beating his girlfriend's face bloody back in 2009?
Let us know what you think in the poll below, and in comments.
Quiet and unassuming, Jean Baptiste — who is nominated alongside the controversial Chris Brown for the rap song award for the triumphant single "Look at Me Now" — walked down the Grammys red carpet Sunday answering questions in hushed, respectful tones.
"That's the biggest thing," he replied when asked if Brown's reemergence center stage at the Grammys, three years after his Grammys weekend assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, was causing a stir. "Chris Brown is an actual friend of mine and seeing him break through with this song again is wonderful."
If it's Grammys weekend, it must be time to check in on Chris Brown and his probation progress in the infamous Rihanna-assault case.
Brown beat then-girlfriend Rihanna just about three years ago, after a party the night before the Grammy Awards, where she was to perform. She was unable to perform, and he wound up pleading guilty to assault, for which he's serving five years' probation.
And that probation will continue, supervised, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge decided Thursday. Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, had argued that his client should be allowed to finish supervised probation early, on account of good behavior.
However, Judge George Lomeli sided with prosecutors, and Brown will continue to report to a probation officer in his home state in Virginia.
The R&B singer has already completed a yearlong domestic violence program, anger-management classes and about half of the community service he owes the court. Nominated this year for three Grammys, he's slated to perform at the ceremony Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Rihanna and Chris Brown's possible Twitter love affair took a new turn over the New Year's weekend -- now what was all sweetness and light looks to be turning into a digital simulation of the neighbors having a loud fight with the windows open.
After Brown rang in the new year in Las Vegas with girlfriend Karrueche Tran, pics of the couple together reportedly didn't sit right with Rihanna, who tweeted Monday, "How can you lie to her, while u lay with me???.....If you don't have an answer, you don't have to answer."
Of course, Rihanna could be tweeting about her dog for all we know, but she does have a recent history of sending out suspiciously timed love tweets that are just minutes behind Brown's similarly vague love tweets.
There's been no responding tweet from Chris Brown, so maybe he doesn't have an answer. Or maybe he's expanded on his resolution to stay away from the media in 2012?
Also no word on Twitter from Brown's girlfriend, Tran. But that may be because she's too distracted by all that food on her plate. If there's any love triangle going on here, it may be between Brown, Tran and McDonald's.
Chris Brown and Rihanna, whose romance had a spectacularly violent and public flame-out in 2009, appear to be hooking up again -- at least on Twitter.
The singers sent a few public tweets Thursday that seemed to have very specific audiences.
At 4:06 p.m., Brown, who follows Rihanna on Twitter and vice-versa, tweeted, "Love U more than u know!" A minute later, Rihanna tweeted, "I'll always love u #1LOVE."
This isn't the first time the two parties, who have been separated by a court-mandated restraining order that requires Brown stay 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times, have shown signs of looking for a reunion.
On Dec. 15, Chris Brown's mother, Joyce Hawkins, tweeted, "HELLO LADY I MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU!!!!! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!"
While that in itself isn't unusual (90% of "Mombreezy's" tweets involve love in some capacity) this one was matched a short time later by Rihanna, who tweeted, "Miss+Love u 2."
Brown and Rihanna's relationship came to a very public end when Brown was arrested on domestic assault charges after an incident with Rihanna, which left her with visible injuries on her face and body. Brown later pleaded guilty to a felony and accepted a plea deal of community service and five years' formal probation. Rihanna has since said she's still a Chris Brown fan.
Will the couple reunite? Not without a return visit to court. The judge's restraining order is in place until 2014.
Looks like Chris Brown is taking a romantic turn in his acting career, but CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has slammed on his own breaks.
News of the young singer's casting in an adaptation of Steve Harvey's book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" has Cooper up in arms, given Brown's real-life record with women.
On a recent "Anderson Cooper 360," in his skewering segment the Ridiculist, the silver fox dripped with enough sarcasm to necessitate the fashionable Wellingtons he dons during flood coverage.
"I, for one, cannot imagine why this did not happen sooner, because if there's one thing you can say about Chris Brown, who's currently on probation for viciously assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna, he just oozes romance," Cooper said.
Cooper brought up Brown's past, including his "Good Morning America" meltdown in which a Robin Roberts interview that invoked Rihanna sent him tearing up a dressing room.
"And then there was the time he called a bunch of photographers 'gay' because he thought they called the police to give him a parking ticket," Cooper said.
"Hmm -- you know, just like in 'Sleepless in Seattle.'"
Brown responded Sunday with a Tweet saying, "I guess some people need ratings!!! LOL!!! Much love!"
Chris Brown was the viewers' choice winner at the BET Awards on Sunday night -- and then he wasn't. But it turns out he actually was, despite Drake having come onstage and accepted the trophy for his "What's My Name" collaboration with Rihanna.
Winners' names were being read off tablet computers instead of the traditional envelopes, and presenter Tiffany Greene, a fan who'd won a "106 & Park" contest to announce the winner, got tripped up by "human error," a BET exec said after the show.
Greene was "bawling backstage" at the Shrine Auditorium and blaming BET, she tweeted Sunday. By Monday, however, the 23-year-old had regained her composure, thanking the network for the opportunity and explaining via Twitter, "Last night I was tweeting backstage out of pure emotion and nerves. I actually feel a lot better today and the kind words have truly helped."
Brown, who also took home the awards for male R&B artist and best collaboration, with Lil Wayne, was brought out on stage at the end of the show by host Kevin Hart, who clarified it all for the record: Brown was the viewers' choice winner, as well as the FANdemonium pick, given to the artist with the "livest fans."
Steven Hill, the BET president in charge of music programming and specials, took responsibility for the gaffe. "That BET Awards Viewer's Choice mix-up was due to human error," he said late Sunday on Twitter. "And I was the human that made that error. I apologize to ALL affected."
So, with that all cleared up, there's time to address a more important question: What was up with that collar, Breezy?