Christopher Maurice Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, actor, and record producer. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year, which became certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
With his first single “Run It!” peaking atop the Billboard Hot 100, Brown became the first male artist since 1997 to have his debut single top the chart. His second album Exclusive (2007) spawned his second Billboard Hot 100 number one “Kiss Kiss”. In addition to his solo commercial success, Brown has been featured on several successful singles such as “No Air”, a duet with singer Jordin Sparks, “Shortie Like Mine” with the rapper Bow Wow and “Shawty Get Loose” alongside Lil Mama and T-Pain. In 2009, Brown received significant media attention after pleading guilty to felony assault of his then girlfriend, singer Rihanna.
Following the release of his third album Graffiti in the same year of the incident, Brown’s fourth album F.A.M.E. (2011) became his first to top the Billboard 200 and earned him the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. His fifth album Fortune, released in 2012, also topped the Billboard 200. Following the releases of X, Royalty and Heartbreak on a Full Moon, Brown’s ninth studio album Indigo (2019) became his third Billboard 200 number-one album. It included his biggest hit in years “No Guidance” which peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
Brown has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Throughout his career, Brown has won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 15 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and six Soul Train Music Awards. According to Billboard, Brown has the seventh most Billboard Hot 100 entries with 93. Brown has pursued an acting career, and his personal life has been publicized. In 2007, he made his on-screen feature film debut in Stomp the Yard, and appeared as a guest on the television series The O.C. Other films Brown has appeared in include This Christmas (2007), Takers (2010), Think Like a Man (2012), and Battle of the Year (2013).
Christopher Maurice Brown was born on May 5, 1989, in the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia, to Joyce Hawkins, a former daycare center director, and Clinton Brown, a corrections officer at a local prison. He has an older sister, Lytrell Bundy, who works in a bank. Music was always present in Brown’s life beginning in his childhood. He would listen to soul albums that his parents owned, and eventually began to show interest in the hip-hop scene.
Brown taught himself to sing and dance at a young age and often cites Michael Jackson as his inspiration. He began to perform in his church choir and in several local talent shows. When he mimicked an Usher performance of “My Way”, his mother recognized his vocal talent, and they began to look for the opportunity of a record deal. At the same time, Brown was going through personal issues. His parents had divorced, and his mother’s boyfriend terrified him by subjecting her to domestic violence.
After being signed to Jive Records in 2004, Brown began recording his self-titled debut studio album in February 2005. By May, there were 50 songs already recorded, 14 of which were picked to the final tracklisting. The singer worked with several producers and songwriters—Scott Storch, Cool & Dre, and Jazze Pha among them—commenting that they “really believed in [him]”. Brown also made some input on the album, receiving co-writing credits of five tracks. “I write about the things that 16-year-olds go through every day,” says Brown. “Like you just got in trouble for sneaking your girl into the house, or you can’t drive, so you steal a car or something.”The whole album took less than eight weeks to produce.
Released on November 29, 2005, the self-titled Chris Brown album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 154,000 copies. Chris Brown was a relative commercial success with the time; selling over two million copies in the United States—where it was certified two times platinum by the RIAA—and three million copies worldwide. The album’s lead single, “Run It!”, made Brown the first male act (since Montell Jordan in 1995) to have his debut single to reach the summit of the Billboard Hot 100—later remaining for four additional weeks. Three of the other singles—”Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”, “Gimme That” and “Say Goodbye”—peaked within the top twenty on the same chart.
On June 13, 2006, Brown released a DVD entitled Chris Brown’s Journey, which shows footage of him traveling in England and Japan, getting ready for his first visit to the Grammy Awards, behind the scenes of his music videos and bloopers. On August 17, 2006, to further promote the album, Brown began his major co-headlining tour, The Up Close and Personal Tour. Due to the tour, production for his next album was pushed back two months. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received $10,000 in ticket proceeds from Brown’s 2006 “Up Close & Personal” tour. Brown has made appearances on UPN’s One on One and The N’s Brandon T. Jackson Show on its pilot episode.