“I have been guilty of singing along to Run It on the radio. And every time I do, the same thought crosses my mind — ‘I should not be enjoying this’.”
Only yesterday, Chris Brown was preparing to tour Australia. Tickets were set to go on sale tomorrow for performances in some of the country’s biggest arenas: Rod Laver. Acer. The Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
This morning, the Minister for Immigration denied the RnB singer a visa. Brown’s arena tour will not go ahead as planned.
But that doesn’t change the fact that tens of thousands of Australians were preparing to pay their hard earned money to hear ‘Breezey’ play his biggest hits.
They were planning on buying t-shirts and posters.
On dancing and singing along.
On posting photos and videos of their experience on Instagram.
And all the while they would have been forgetting, forgiving, ignoring the fact that they were supporting a man with a documented history of violence against women.
Images of Rihanna’s injuries were posted online, and Brown issued a public statement apologising for the ‘incident’.
“Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired,” he said. “I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person.”
He was sentenced to five years probation and six months of community service.
Since that time, Brown has released four successful studio albums. He has won an MTV Movie Award and the prize of all musical prizes — a Grammy, for best RnB album.
Let me be the first to admit, I have been guilty of singing along to Run It on the radio. Every time I do, the same thought crosses my mind — “I should not be enjoying this”.
I wouldn’t pay for his music, and would never dream of spending my money on seeing him in concert. But for that split second, when I hear that catchy chorus, I make a choice, not necessarily a conscious one, but a choice nonetheless. I choose to compartmentalise a despicable behaviour, and a catchy pop song. I’m aware of it and I do NOT feel good about it.
Historically, it seems like we have a habit of compartmentalising the artist and their behaviour.
Many people have been able to ignore, dismiss or choose not to believe Michael Jackson’s allegations of child sex-abuse. No, he wasn’t charged. But throughout the entirety of the court proceedings, when we DIDN’T know, we still called him The King of Pop.