February has been a rocky month for Chris Brown. The R&B superstar, still largely defined by the altercation three years ago in which he beat up then-girlfriend Rihanna on the way to the 2009 Grammy Awards, has been at the center of several recent headline-making controversies. The latest stems from robbery accusations in which a Miami club-goer alleged that Brown snatched her cellphone out of her hand and drove away with it. Here, a look back at Brown's scandal-packed February:
1. The Grammy backlash
Fans and musicians were incredulous when Brown won Best R&B Album and performed twice at the Grammy Awards. "Chris Brown twice? I don't get it. He beat on a girl…," tweeted country star Miranda Lambert. "Not cool that we act like that didn't happen." Really, says Lori Adelman at Feministing, it was "absolutely unacceptable" for an abusive singer to be "so uncritically welcomed and promoted by the music industry." Perhaps more egregious, says Jarrett Wieselman at The Insider, is that Brown performed twice while viewers were only afforded one brief tribute to Whitney Houston, who died the night before the ceremony.
2. The expletive-fueled Twitter rant
Brown didn't take that Grammy criticism lying down, throwing an explicit Twitter tantrum days after the ceremony: "HATE ALL YOU WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That's the ultimate FUCK OFF!" Suffice it to say, that tweet failed to silence his detractors. The outburst reconfirms his reputation as "a temperamental hothead who shows no remorse or respect," says The Hollywood Gossip. It was a terrible PR move, says Andy Neuenschwander at Yidio, that proved Brown is still "deserving of no one's trust."
3. The "vile" pickup line
Many bloggers were outraged when Us Weekly ran an exclusive story alleging that Brown was wooing women with what it describes as "the most vile pickup line ever." An unnamed woman told the magazine that Brown approached her at a Grammy gift lounge and asked her, "Can I get your number? I promise I won't beat you!" She claims that his friends then laughed and cheered, "That's his new line!" Brown's rep called the report "absolutely not true," saying that "he did not say that nor would he joke about that." Still, says Gossip Cop, it's a testament to Brown's unsavory reputation that so many news outlets quickly jumped to "some ugly conclusions" following the arguably believable report.
4. The "stomach-turning" duets with Rihanna
Chris Brown and Rihanna shocked the entertainment industry when, three years after he brutally beat her on the way to the Grammy Awards, the former couple teamed up for two duets, appearing on remixes of each other's new singles. It's a "stomach-turning" development, says Amelia McDonnell-Parry at The Frisky. Even more "unbelievable," says Max Read at Gawker, is the jarringly explicit nature of Brown's lyrics on Rihanna's "Birthday Cake": "Girl, I wanna f*ck you right now/ Been a long time, I've been missing your body." The whole ordeal "leaves a horrible taste in the mouth," says Lucy Jones at the U.K.'s Telegraph.
5. The phone-snatching incident
The singer is accused of "robbery by sudden snatching" after an altercation with a fan outside the Miami Beach nightclub Cameo. Brown was allegedly leaving the club when Christal Shanae Spann followed him outside and tried to take a picture of him through his car window. He reportedly said, "Bitch, you not gonna put this up on no website," ripped the phone from her hand, and drove away. Because Brown is still serving a five-year probation sentence related to his assault of Rihanna, says Gil Kaufman at MTV, "an arrest in the alleged Miami phone snatching incident could land him behind bars for probation violation."