R&B singer Chris Brown stole the show during the 2010 BET Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles as he paid tribute to the pop icon Michael Jackson, only days after the first anniversary of his death.
The 21-year-old performer — wearing Jackson’s trademark glove and fedora — sang and danced to several of Jackson’s classic songs, including The Way You Make Me Feel and Billie Jean, but it was his final number that captivated the crowd.
As Brown attempted to sing Man in the Mirror, he broke down in tears.
“I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love… I’m starting with the Man In The Mirror… I’m asking him to change his ways,” Brown attempted to sing as his voice cracked.
Watch the clip on RadarOnline.com
RadarOnline.com reporter Jessica Campbell got reactions backstage at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, and many stars were moved by Brown’s tearful rendition.
“There is nobody better that can portray Michael Jackson better than Chris Brown today in my opinion,” The Blind Side’s Quinton Aaron told RadarOnline.com.
“I was actually onstage while he was doing it,” singer Elle Varner told us exclusively. “[His performance was] right before my performance, so I had to hold it back, I was about to go on in 20 seconds and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t cry right now, I can’t cry right now.’”
Said gorgeous TV personality Claudia Jordan of Brown: “Let him do what he loves to do and what he was born to do and that is perform and I think when he sang Man in the Mirror he was really effected and that really touched him. I think he really, really felt those words and that’s why he broke down, it was a real and pure moment.”
Brown’s working hard to rehabilitate a tainted image left in the wake of his brutal beating of ex-girlfriend / pop superstar Rihanna in Hancock Park, California on February 8, 2009. As a result of the vicious attack, Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to 180 days of community labor as part of the plea deal he made in June 2009 for the assault; he also must keep his distance from her for five years as part of a restraining order tied to the incident.
His first musical offering since the attack, last year’s Graffiti, garnered awful reviews and poor album sales followings its December 2009 release.
Rihanna has since moved on, and has a new man in her mirror — handsome Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp.
An encore broadcast of the 2010 BET Awards airs Tuesday, June 29 at 7/6c on BET.