Thursday, 3 September 2009

Hard man goes soft

R&B singer Chris Brown is on a journey of contrition as he tries to make up for the fact that he beat up his girlfriend, Barbadian singer Rihanna, on the eve of this year's Grammy Awards.

In a televised interview with Larry King, he discussed the terms of his probation and insisted that it was a one-off incident that wouldn't happen again, which must come as a big relief to any woman who's ever nursed a bruised face to promises that "It'll never happen again." Bizarrely, the 20-year old also made a point of distancing himself from his stepfather, who he watched regularly beat his own mother, insisting they're nothing like each other.

Suggesting that he may have been a musical prodigy, but never cracked a book in English literature classes, Chris compared his relationship with Rihanna to 'Romeo and Juliet'. And we all know how well that story turned out.

Still, he's been making amends for talking with his fists, and has been busy removing graffiti, picking up rubbish and washing cars as part of his sentencing. In total, he'll do 180 days of community service and will attend a year's worth of domestic violence counselling. He's also done the rounds talking to the media about how sorry he is and saying, hey, give me a break, I'm young. The hope is that, if he puts the effort in now, this won't spell the end of his career.

But he may have fatally misjudged the mood of a nation, if his appearance on Larry King is anything to go by. The domestic abuse is one thing, people will forgive and forget. But I can't see the urban-music loving audience being willing to embrace an R&B artist who turns up to interviews dressed as the Fresh Prince's cousin Carlton. Sporting a pastel blue sweater and a bow-tie, he could have been auditioning for a new Revenge of the Nerds movie.

Someone needs to get Trinny and Susannah on the case - after all, Chris clearly needs some styling tips and they could both do with a good slap.

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