Chris Brown finds himself in familiar, controversy-courting territory

Chris Brown's Cali Christmas controversy was another reminder of the fragility of Brown's image.

Chris Brown is, yet again, getting attention for his personal life -- and not his music.

In the middle of his performance at Power 106 FM’s annual Cali Christmas concert on Friday night, Brown began bantering with the crowd. It stared innocently enough: “How many ladies out here single tonight?” he asked, before female fans screamed in response. “Well, I’m single too.”

But it was his next words -- an unprintable, expletive-ridden dismissal of his on-and-off girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, to introduce his ubiquitous hit “Loyal” -- that pulled the focus away.

The rant spread on social media, and turned into a digital war of roses. Tran took to Twitter to respond, and Brown fired back a shocking missive on Instagram -- there was even the accusation that Tran cheated on the singer with his rival Drake (the two have previously sparred over Rihanna).

The controversy was another reminder of the fragility of Brown's image.

Earlier on Friday, Brown received a Grammy nomination for “X,” an album that weathered more than a year of legal woes and was ultimately panned by critics.

While Brown could have used the Cali Christmas moment to toast the accomplishment and thank fans and peers for sticking by him, he instead bashed his ex.

This comes after a recent stint in rehab and time behind bars, which was where he landed after being expelled from a court-ordered rehabilitation facility, thereby violating the terms of his parole related to the 2009 felony assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. Despite this, or maybe because of it, his music has never suffered.

Brown’s performance at Cali Christmas was a fiery, true-to-form showing for the talent, scandal-plagued singer. His complex footwork was as masterful as ever and vocally he was sharper than a few recent award show appearances.

But, thanks to his own antics, none of Brown's performance is being talked about. 

But, hey, he’s been here before -- and as time has shown, he’ll be back.

Twitter: @gerrickkennedy

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World