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Fame ? good and bad ? finds Chris Brown in all corners

| Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

Who is Chris Brown?

Is he the wunderkind talent who emerged at 16 with a self-titled album and a hit single, "Run It!"?

Or, is he another celebrity given to scandals that make TMZ and other gossip outlets salivate• In 2009, the Tappahannock, Va., native pleaded guilty to felony assault of singer Rihanna, then his girlfriend, and was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service.

Chances are Brown, who brings his F.A.M.E. Tour to the Consol Energy Center on Saturday, is in between. Now 22, he no longer is a fresh face, but a young man who forever will be linked to the incident involving Rihanna. He's a star whose every move will be chronicled by the tabloids. In mid-October, TMZ reported that Brown and his friend Bow Wow spent thousands of dollars on strippers at King of Diamonds, a Miami strip club. The celebrity website said at least three strippers pocketed $5,000 apiece in tips.

Salacious details aside, there's no denying Brown's magnetism and ability. "Beautiful People" from Brown's album "F.A.M.E." (which stands for Forgive All My Enemies) and features Benny Benassi, is lauded by a few media outlets as one of the year's best singles. The video for the song shows Brown and friends (including Bow Wow, T-Pain, Nelly and Diddy) riding Razor scooters, in a studio and in concert. Upbeat lyrics -- "Don't let 'em bring you down, no/the beauty is inside you" -- are buoyed by an irresistible electronic, dancehall beat. The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard hot dance-songs chart.

Three other songs from "F.A.M.E." -- "Yeah 3x," "Look at Me Now," featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, and "She Ain't You," also charted. The album, released in March 2011, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts.

Reviews of the "F.A.M.E" tour, however, have been mixed. The Chicago Tribune wrote of his Sept. 23 concert at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Chicago, "Brown struggled to maintain consistency during the uneven 95-minute show, which, nonetheless, elicited shrieks from a largely female audience."

The St. Petersburg Times, after an Oct. 7 concert in Tampa, said: "If the first part of rebuilding an image is working your tail off, then, at the very least, Brown is on his way to redemption. ... Brown was a human special effect from the start, gliding, floating, singing (or at least mouthing along to) 'Say it with Me' and 'Wall to Wall' all while wearing combat boots. I repeat: COMBAT BOOTS. Let's see Baryshnikov do that."

This seems to be Brown's fate: Forever linked to his past indiscretions, while being lauded as a performer with incandescent talents.

Additional Information:

Chris Brown

With: T-Pain and Tyga

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $35.75-$75.75

Where: Consol Energy Center, Uptown

Details: 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

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