Chris Brown has had a long and tumultuous relationship with fame, and in a new Billboard profile of the singer published on Thursday, March 2, several insiders paint a dark picture of his life in and out of the spotlight.
The 27-year-old R&B singer, who first rose to fame in 2005 with the release of his self-titled debut album, recently made headlines for kicking off the new year with a volatile feud with rapper Soulja Boy over his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. And on Wednesday, March 1, Tran’s friend reportedly filed a restraining order against Brown after the singer allegedly threatened to shoot him.
Some of those closest to Brown portray him as a troubled star spiraling out of control amid bouts of anger, with one source even telling Billboard: “I got to say with all my heart, he’s dancing with death.”
Below are the five most shocking claims from Billboard’s profile of Brown.
1. Brown Reportedly Doesn’t Take Medication for His Bipolar II Disorder
According to Billboard (and as reported by The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets back in 2014), the singer was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, a condition defined by depressive and hypomanic episodes (the latter of which are less extreme than a typical “mania”), three years ago. According to a report by Brown’s probation officer at the time, Brown’s episodes were often set off by periods of extreme stress or drug and alcohol use. In the Billboard piece, the writer says that Brown “hadn’t been taking his medication” for the condition.
2. The Singer Allegedly Uses a Litany of Drugs
Numerous sources told Billboard that Brown is known to smoke pot, sip on lean (a mixture of promethazine//codeine syrup and a soft drink) and go on coke or Molly binges. Brown’s former manager Mike G accused the singer in 2016 of pummeling him in a “drug-fueled rage,” which led to his quitting that day.
3. Brown Used to Meditate to Combat His Aggression
Brown was jailed in October 2013 after he violated his probation by punching a man in Washington, D.C., who was allegedly trying to take a picture of him. When he was released in June 2014, friends and family saw a changed man. At a surprise party that his then-girlfriend Tran threw for him, the R&B crooner was “the best I’ve seen him,” Brown’s longtime choreographer Flii Stylz told Billboard, adding that around that time, Brown would “sit down and meditate. I liked that Chris, who meditated when he was frustrated.”
4. He Keeps in Touch With Some Parts of His Past
The Billboard profile claims that Brown is still in occasional contact with his father, Clinton Brown, who split with his mother, Joyce Hawkins, when Chris was just 6 years old. Clinton voiced his disapproval of Chris’ volatile relationship with ex-girlfriend Rihanna back in 2013 (the pair briefly reunited after their infamous 2009 pre-Grammy argument), telling the New York Daily News that he “personally really didn’t want him and Rihanna back together.” By contrast, Chris' mother “keeps a distance from Chris,” according to a former team member, though “when the baby [Royalty] came into play, they became much cooler.”
5. He Would Punish Crew Members on Tour if He Was in a Mood, Sources Said
After allegedly beating up former manager Mike G, Brown reportedly went rogue without a formal manager or publicist during his One Hell of a Nite tour, which kicked off in Europe in May 2016. At times, sources claim, his temper would flare up on the road, and he would take it out on his team. “We had no manager telling us what to do or where we were going,” one former security team member told Billboard. “He would make people sleep on the bus [instead of hotels] when he was mad at them. He was threatening people and cops. He was calling himself the devil.”
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