Friday, February 8, 2019

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2015Sam Smith is the big winner at the Grammy Awards, taking Best New Artist and also Record of the Year and Song of the Year ("Stay With Me").
2011Ashlee Simpson files for divorce from Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, citing irreconcilable differences.
2011Blues singer-songwriter Marvin Sease dies of complications from pneumonia at age 64.
2009Sugarland's track "Stay" scoops two Grammy Awards - Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Country Song.
2009Ne-Yo wins the Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for the Year of the Gentleman single "Miss Independent."
2009Robert Plant and Alison KraussLil Wayne and Coldplay are the big winners at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.
2006David Bowie is awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
2005Keith Knudsen (drummer, vocalist for The Doobie Brothers) dies of pneumonia at age 56.
2003The Faux-lesbian duo t.A.T.u. hits #1 in the UK with "All The Things She Said," becoming the only Russian act ever to top the chart.
2002The Chicago Police Department receives a videotape allegedly showing R. Kellyengaging in lewd acts with a young girl. Kelly is indicted on child pornography charges, but found not guilty at trial.
1993Tom Jones guest stars on Will Smith's TV show The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, where he sings a variation of "It's Not Unusual" with Alfonso Ribeiro, whose character Carlton often dances to the song.
1990Del Shannon, struggling with depression, commits suicide at age 55.
1989Anthrax earn their first Gold album when their fourth album, State of Euphoria, is certified for sales of 500,000 copies.
1988The three remaining members of The Who reunite at Royal Albert Hall for the British Phonographic Industry awards, leading to a full-fledged 25th anniversary tour the next year.
1982Cher makes her Broadway debut in Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
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Chris Brown Assaults Rihanna

Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihannamiss the Grammy Awards, where they are scheduled to perform, after he assaults her.

After a day of rehearsals for the Grammy Awards, Chris Brown and Rihanna attend Clive Davis' annual party in Beverly Hills on Saturday, February 7. They leave in Brown's rented Lamborghini, where they get in an argument that escalates into a physical altercation. When they exit the vehicle on a residential street in Los Angeles, a witness calls 911. Police arrive to find a battered Rihanna, who identifies Brown as her assailant. Brown turns himself in, and is released on $50,000 bail.

Both singers are no-shows at the Grammy Awards (Al Green performs on short notice to fill time), but it's not until the next morning that the story breaks. According to the police report, Brown punched, bit and choked Rihanna, resulting in a number of injuries to her face that appear in a shocking leaked photograph.

Despite the abuse, weeks later the couple are back together, spotted in Miami on vacation. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Rihanna explains that the argument was over a text message Brown received from an ex-girlfriend; he lied about it and she pressed him on the issue, which is when he turned violent. "He was clearly blacked out," she says. "There was no person when I looked at him."

By the time of the interview, Rihanna has split with Brown. When asked about why she returned to him, she answers, "It's completely normal to go back. You start lying to yourself. The minute the physical wounds go away you want this thing to go away. This is a memory you don't want to have ever again."

Brown makes his amends in a public statement that reads, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person."

The story brings up the issue of why women often return to their abusers. Both Brown and Rihanna came from abusive households; Brown's stepfather used to hit his mother, and Rihanna's father was abusive toward her mother, even breaking her nose at one point, according to Rihanna.

There is a backlash against Brown, who loses his endorsements (including a deal with Wrigley's gum, for which he wrote the song "Forever") and is banned on some radio stations. His career quickly recovers though, as friends and collaborators stick by him. His first release after the incident, the 2009 album Graffiti, features a host of top producers. It gets a warm reception on hip-hop and R&B outlets and climbs to #7 on the Billboard chart. His next two albums, F.A.M.E. (2011) and Fortune (2012), go to #1.

Brown serves no jail time over the incident; he pleads guilty to assault and is sentenced to five years of probation and 1,400 hours of community service. He is also ordered to undergo domestic-violence counseling. At the hearing, Rihanna asks that no restraining order be issued, but the judge insists, ordering him 50 yards away from her (10 yards at industry events). The judge says she may lift the order after Brown does his counseling. (Rihanna never files charges against Brown; the case against him is made by the state prosecutor based on physical evidence and statements Rihanna made to detectives at the scene.)

In 2012, Rihanna defends Brown, telling Oprah Winfrey, "I just felt he made that mistake because he needed help. Who's going to help him?" Later that year, Brown appears on Rihanna's track "Nobody's Business," where they each sing:

Your love is perfection
Please point me in the right direction

In early 2013, they are officially back together. "I decided it was more important for me to be happy," Rihanna tells Rolling Stone. "I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake."

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