get it together
A crying comeback? Chris Brown blubbers his pitch as breakdowns abound at the BET Awards
Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium was the sight of many a meltdown on Sunday evening, all part of the live performances at the BET Awards.
In a publicity stunt to relaunch his career, girlfriend-beater Chris Brown paid tribute to Michael Jackson with spot-on renditions of "Remember the Time" and "Billie Jean." Brown pulled out all the stops in his personification of the late pop artist, sporting bandaged fingers and high-waisted pants.
But unlike MJ, Brown was drawn to tears during a performance of "Man in the Mirror," leaving him unable to complete the song. Brown was forced to draw upon audience participation. Of course, he's not the only one who has trouble keeping a tune.
The BET Awards was Brown's most high-profile performance since pleading guilty in summer 2009 for attacking his former girlfriend, Rihanna. His tainted public image contributed to poor reception of his latest album, Graffiti. Brown's European tour dates have been squashed because his felony assault conviction is preventing him from obtaining a work visa in the United Kingdom.
While his Michael Jackson memorial at the awards may have proved moving, Brown looked more like a beached Free Willy than an awards show savior.
Kanye West — making his first national TV appearance since he stole the microphone from Taylor Swift at the MTV Music Awards — entered atop a volcano.
Also showing signs of instability was a pregnant Alicia Keys, who writhed atop her piano while honoring Prince's BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Although such stars as Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle and Janelle Monáe also paid tribute to the artist — who, oddly enough, is still in the midst of his lifetime — Keys took center stage with her cathartic contortions.
Alicia, 29, walked away Sunday night with the award for Best Female R&B Artist. She is expecting a baby with fiance Swizz Beatz.