Reggae Sumfest 2018

For Chris Brown, the focus is back on his music

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NEW YORK – Two years ago, the Grammy Awards appeared to mark the end of Chris Brown's career. This year, it is serving as a new beginning.

Life for the multiplatinum sensation dramatically changed on the eve of music's biggest night in 2009, when he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna and both were forced to bow out of the ceremony. In the months that followed, he saw his reputation tarnished, he had to plead guilty to a felony, and his comeback CD, "Graffiti," was a commercial disappointment.

But with the success of his brush-off anthem "Deuces," three nominations at this year's Grammys (including best contemporary R&B album), an upcoming CD and an Australian tour in April, the focus on Chris Brown has returned to his music, without adding the Rihanna-prefix.

"We feel good now that everybody's talking about his music, which is exactly what Chris' intention is," said Tom Carrabba, the executive vice president and general manager of Jive Label Group, Brown's home label since he released his first album at age 16. (Brown's representative said the singer would not be interviewed for this story and, as of now, would not be attending the awards).

Carrabba says Brown has a newfound confidence, which he believes is the reason for the singer's current success.Over the past year, Brown has released a flurry of music. After "Graffiti," released in December 2009, failed to create a buzz for the singer like his past albums, Brown put out various mixtapes. One of those, "Fan of a Fan," a collaboration with rapper Tyga, featured "Deuces," a mid-tempo tune that hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart for nine weeks; the platinum-selling single peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100 chart. The music video for the song was No. 1 on BET's Top 100 videos of 2010.

"Deuces" is up for best rap/sung collaboration at the upcoming Grammys, where it will compete with Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" and B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," songs that are all up for the coveted record of the year award and had been No. 1 pop hits in 2010.

Reggae Sumfest 2018

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Reggae Sumfest 2018