Singer dances flawlessly but is overcome by emotion when time comes to sing.
By Rochell Thomas
When Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo and New Edition were performing tributes to Michael Jackson during last year's BET Awards show, Chris Brown was nowhere to be found, even though many felt he was an obvious choice to honor the fallen legend. Brown's assault on Rihanna several months earlier presumably kept him out of the show.
On Sunday night (June 27), Brown finally got his chance to publicly honor the man he idolized -- and while his dancing was flawless, when the time came for him to sing, he simply fell apart.
After being introduced by Jermaine Jackson, Brown beautifully channeled Michael as he danced to "Remember the Time," "Smooth Criminal" and "Billie Jean." Yet when he grabbed a mic to sing "Man in the Mirror," he choked up, visibly weeping.
"I'm gonna make a change for once in my ..." Brown's voice trailed off. He was out of breath and sounded hoarse. Tears stained his cheeks as he paced the stage, holding the microphone by his side. "This ... wind is blowing my ... Who am I to..." He clearly knew the lyrics but they failed to come out.
Brown faded in and out of the song, closing his eyes, grimacing, trying to soldier on. Whether it was the emotion of the moment or the past 16 months, Brown struggled and failed to find his voice, even though the pre-recorded backing vocals played on.
Finally, he gave up, raised a bandaged finger to the sky and fell to his knees as Michael Jackson's voice could be heard saying, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror." The camera cut from Brown to an audience member who clearly uttered "Oh my God," in shock.
The audience loudly sang the words that Brown could not. Their aid seemed to move Brown to rise from his knees and mouth the words along with Jackson's voice, while gesturing along with the mic as tears rolled down his face. In the audience, actress Taraji P. Henson could be seen mouthing, "That's all right baby," as Brown walked offstage to Jermaine Jackson, who moved to console him.
Brown's emotional performance echoed through the rest of the show. When Niecy Nash came onstage to present the Video of the Year award, she said, "When Chris Brown started crying I got choked up."
Backstage, "a lot of folks were getting misty-eyed, understanding that he was overwhelmed with emotion," BET publicist Zabrina Horton said. "Me, personally, I think 'Man in the Mirror' was great for him to do because I'm sure he still feels bad about Rihanna and wants to be forgiven. He has to make that change himself for himself and he knows that."
Later in the show, when accepting the AOL Fandemonium prize, which measures an artist's "online and mobile fan power," Brown spoke briefly.
"I didn't really prepare a speech because I didn't really think I was gonna be backstage," he said. "But bottom line, I couldn't never do this without my fans. Team Breezy, all the support I've been getting from day one.
"I just wanna say one thing,' he concluded. "I let y'all down before but I won't do it again, I promise. I love y'all, good night."
What did you think of Chris Brown's Michael Jackson tribute at the BET Awards? Let us know in the comments below.Related Videos
Director Jon Chu says it won't be a 'typical concert film.'
By Kara Warner
All right, Beliebers: We know you're still digesting Justin Bieber's VMA performance, Best New Artist win and Canadian reunion with Drake on the white carpet, but now we have some more info about your favorite teen heartthrob. His 3-D concert movie is due February 11.
Deadline first reported the big news from Paramount on Wednesday (September 15), but MTV News has been following the film's development since its inception. Director Jon Chu told us the film is for Bieber's fans and that it won't be just a typical concert movie.
"[It's] a movie for his fans, a movie for people who don't know him, and we're gonna tell the underdog story of where he came from," the "Step Up 3D" director explained. "Because it's a really fascinating story and it has a lot to do with our sort of digital lifestyle now. He was able to do what corporations try to do now when they use YouTube and they don't even know what to do with it yet. It's a pretty cool story for our time."
Chu said his goal is to make the film a blend of concert/biopic/documentary. "There's not going to be acted-out scenes, and I can't talk about the rest. It's not your typical concert film and it's not going to be a biopic ... but it is about his life. I think it's more of a documentary. We're going to figure it out as we go," he said. As for how much of it will be in 3-D, he said, "You'll have to see it. We're figuring that out now."
The Biebs has a lot on his plate. In addition to the film, he is working on his new video for "U Smile," his memoir hits bookstores in October, he'll appear on "CSI" next week and is also said to be involved with Will Smith's upcoming top-secret movie.
Are you counting down the days until February 11? Let us know in the comments below!
For young Hollywood news, fashion and "Twilight" updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.Related Photos
'I couldn't get into my own sets at one point, which I thought was hilarious,' Ryan Murphy says.
By James Dinh
Britney Spears may be a pop princess, but "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy felt as if the president had stopped by the set during Spears' recent visit to William McKinley High. Murphy dished about what went down when the singer filmed her cameo for the "Britney/Brittany" episode.
"It was literally like the President had come," Murphy told E! Online. "We all had to wear wristbands. I couldn't get into my own sets at one point, which I thought was hilarious."
Murphy thought Spears was moved by the cast's admiration for her. "I think she was really impressed about how so many kids of the show do what they do because they grew up wanting to be Britney Spears," he said. "She was really sweet with them. We had a number with a bunch of 8-year-old dancers in the show and she spent a lot of time talking to them, and they did the number for her ... She was so sweet, she's great with kids, she was so awesome."
But security remained tight, Murphy said, because "everybody was sort of trying to get into the set and find out what the hell she's doing in the episode." What Spears will be doing on the show is still unknown, but a picture the singer tweeted from the set suggests that she may be playing some sort of receptionist.
Aside from hanging with the pop princess on set, the "Glee" creator also got to hear some of Spears' new material. "I got to hear some of the music she's putting out later this fall or early next year," Murphy said. "It's really a great return to form for her; the songs are amazing so I feel she's riding the crest."
And while there has been talk of Madonna tunes blaring the speaker intercoms once again, Murphy has also revealed that Britney "probably" will reprise her cameo spot on "Glee" episodes.
Last week, the singer tweeted photos of herself on set alongside Murphy and castmember Heather Morris. Posing in front of a set that looked similar to the singer's "Me Against the Music" video backdrop, Spears channeled the Madonna look that was donned in their 2003 collaboration.
What kind of character do you want to see Britney play on "Glee"? Share your thoughts in the comments below!Related Photos
'I hope that no one gets that mantle put on them,' Judd Nelson says at movie's 25th anniversary screening.
By Eric Ditzian
In February of 1985, the young hot-shot actors soon to be dubbed the Brat Pack assembled in Los Angeles for the premiere of their brand-new flick, "The Breakfast Club." A then-16-year-old Molly Ringwald settled into her seat with an eye on heading home to do homework afterward. Meanwhile, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez where nowhere to be seen.
"Emilio and I were in the bathroom throwing up from sheer nerves," Nelson recalled. "It was already playing and we walked out like, 'We can't watch this!' We knew it was a great script, but you don't know if the public will think that way."
Just over 25 years later, a considerably less nervous Nelson gathered with his cohorts to celebrate the film's silver anniversary and to honor the memory of Hughes, who passed away in August 2009 at the age of 59. And as the cast (minus Estevez) walked the red carpet outside the Paris Theatre in New York, they spoke to MTV News about which young actors have taken over the pop culture mantle of the Brat Pack.
"I have to say Lindsay Lohan is a really, really talented actress, and my heart goes out to her," Ringwald told us. "I really wish the press would lay off of her and that somebody would step up and really help her."
"Lindsay Lohan!" seconded Ally Sheedy, before adding, "There are all the cool 'Harry Potter' kids!"
Hughes became inextricably bound up with the Brat Pack back in the day, writing and directing films like "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink" and, of course, "Breakfast Club." Anthony Michael Hall, who first collaborated with Hughes for 1983's "Vacation," noted how a new generation of directors has risen up after Hughes to address similar issues of alienation and slackerdom.
"Judd Apatow does great work. Kevin Smith does great work," he said. "In terms of the young talent in the industry today, I salute them. The world has changed so much, and it's more competitive than ever."
For his part, Nelson remains wary, even 25 years later, of the Brat Pack label. "I hope that no one gets that mantle put on them," he said. "I'm not a fan of that term. I think people look back on that term in a cuddly way, but I still think it's reprehensible. I hope that no one is painted with such a broad brush."
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