Chris BrownSinger / Actor
Born: 5 May 1989
Birthplace: Tappahannock, Virginia
Best known as: The teen R&B sensation who pleaded guilty to assaulting the singer Rihanna
Chris Brown was only 16 years old when he hit the top of the charts with his pop-flavored R&B single "Run It." Brown's fresh-faced good looks and sweet songs of young love made him a teen heartthrob, with music critics comparing him to Michael Jackson and Usher. Brown grew up in a small town northwest of Richmond, Virginia, where he started planning a singing career in his early teens. He had a record deal with Jive Records by 2004, along with a crew of experienced producers assigned to mold his songs into radio-friendly hits. His eponymous first album was released in November of 2005, with the single "Run It" followed up the charts by "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)." The single "Gimme That" was a summertime hit in 2006, his ballad "Say Goodbye" was included in the soundtrack for the movie Step Up (2006, starring Channing Tatum), and in 2007 he flirted with acting, appearing on TV in The O.C. and on the big screen in Stomp the Yard. He spent 2007 and 2008 recording Exclusive -- featuring the hit "Kiss Kiss" -- and touring. His squeaky-clean image took a hit in February of 2009 when he was arrested and charged with beating his girlfriend, singer Rihanna, im a car on the day of the annual Grammy Awards. He pleaded guilty to a charge of felony assault in June of 2009, as part of a plea deal that led to a sentence of five years of probation and counseling on domestic violence.
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