Chris Brown (1989- )

Chris Brown Exclusive Album Cover
Chris Brown Exclusive Album Cover
Copyright held by the record label or the artist. (Fair use)

Listen while you learn!

Hear a soundtrack specially chosen to enhance your learning about Chris Brown (1989- )

Let it play in the background as you study and immerse yourself in this topic!

R&B superstar, rapper, lyricist, actor, and dancer Chris Brown, one of the most successful contemporary artists of the 21st century, was born Christopher Maurice Brown on May 5, 1989, in Tappahannock, Virginia, to Clinton Brown and Joyce Hawkins. He has one older sister, Lytrell Bundy.

Brown began performing for his church choir and community extravaganzas in Tappahannock as a child. In 2005, he left Essex High School and headed for New York City to pursue a music career, and soon after, he signed with Jive Records at 16 years old. His self-titled debut album, Chris Brown, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and sold 154,000 copies within its first week. It was RIAA-certified triple platinum in the United States, platinum in Australia, and gold in Canada and the United Kingdom. The single “Run It!” from the album zoomed to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 and remained in the top ten for six consecutive weeks, selling 3 million copies. In 2006, the album was nominated for “Best Contemporary R&B Album” at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. At the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles that same year, Brown received an “Outstanding New Artist” award.

In 2007, the album Exclusive hit No. 4 and became certified quadruple platinum in the U.S. The single “With You” became No. 2 for two weeks, while “Say Goodbye” sold 1 million copies.

Brown juggled his hectic schedule to perform in the film Stomp the Yard and the holiday comedy-drama film This Christmas that same year. These roles were followed by the single “Forever” in 2008, which peaked within the top ten in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US and sold six million copies.

In 2009, “I Can Transform Ya” from the album Graffiti sold 2 million and the album reached No. 7. In 2010, “Deuces” peaked at No. 1, selling 3 million copies, while “Don’t Judge Me,” which came out in 2012, sold 1 million. That same year, at the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Brown accepted his first Grammy for “Best R&B Album” for his album F.A.M.E., which debuted at no. 1 on Billboard 200. It was certified triple platinum in Australia and gold in Ireland. Fortune was also No. 1 in 2014, while X reached No. 2. Royalty and Heartbreak on a Full Moon peaked at No. 3 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Both albums were certified gold in the U.S.

In 2019, Brown’s Indigo was no.1. and certified platinum. Three years later, in 2022, Brown came out with his tenth studio album, Breezy, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, followed by Under The Influence in 2023, which peaked at No. 12.

Despite his success, Brown has had numerous legal problems. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to felony assault charges after beating his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. In 2012, Brown fought with the singer Drake, and in 2013, he was accused of punching and threatening to shoot singer Frank Ocean. In March 2014, he was jailed for a probation violation, and in 2016, he was arrested after a nine-hour standoff with police at his Los Angeles home after a woman called 911 claiming he threatened her with a gun. The impact of these incidents was explored in a 2017 documentary, Welcome to My Life.

Chris Brown was the first male singer with 20 multi-platinum singles in RIAA history, and all his solo albums became chart-topping hits on the Billboard 200. Brown is the father of three children: Royalty Brown, Aeko Brown, and Lovely Brown.