Although rumors have been flying that [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] was shut out of BET's Awards show — which were a tribute to Michael Jackson — on Sunday, sources for BET and Brown have told MTV News that the rumors are untrue.
Despite the controversy that has surrounded Brown since his altercation with Rihanna in February — to which he pleaded guilty earlier this month — many fans wondered why Brown, who has garnered many comparisons to Michael Jackson over his career, did not take part in the ceremony. Brown paid homage to the King of Pop during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, and many thought the young singer and fellow chart-topper Usher — who has also paid respect to Jackson in dance form over the years — should have been present at the show. Usher's absence was explained Sunday night when he released a statement saying he was overseas and expressed his regrets for not being able to attend, but there hasn't been a word from Brown.
The rumor mill was churning on Monday morning radio programs with speculation about why Brown was not included in the show, and carried over into blogs and even landed on New York's Daily News on Tuesday morning (June 30).
The rumors, for the most part, claim that BET had booked Brown for the awards show but pulled the plug due to complaints from influential people who were troubled by Brown's altercation with Rihanna. The Source
claimed that Jay-Z demanded that Brown not be on the show. Other rumors claim Cover Girl, for which Rihanna is a spokesperson, made a similar demand; the Daily News, citing an "insider," said both Jay and the Reverend Al Sharpton, who has been a spokesperson for the Jackson family in recent days, had a hand in quashing Brown's appearance (Sharpton told MTV News on Tuesday that the rumors have no validity).
Although Brown himself has not commented on the reports, a source close to his camp told MTV News that Brown was never confirmed to be a part of the show and the rumors regarding Brown and BET were untrue; a spokesperson for BET corroborated that information, adding that "the rumors are false."
While Brown was not available for comment, he issued a statement after Jackson's death that spelled out the influence the legend had on him.
"Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer," Brown said. "I am devastated by this great loss, and I will continue to be humbled and inspired by his legacy. My prayers are with his family. Michael will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. He's the greatest ... the best ever. No one will ever be better."
Brown was among the first to pay homage to Jackson, who passed away last week, in song: He teamed up with Game, Boyz II Men, Diddy and others on a song called "Better on the Other Side,"
which hit the Internet the day after Jackson's death.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
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