Monday, February 08, 2010

Rihanna and Chris: One year later

(CNN) -- It's been 12 months since the private lives of Chris Brown and Rihanna spilled out into the Los Angeles streets following a violent argument while driving home from a pre-Grammy party.
According to a sworn statement by Los Angeles Police Detective DeShon Andrews, Brown punched her in the face numerous times, put her in a headlock, bit her fingers and ear and threatened to kill her.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June and lost several public endorsements. In August, he was sentenced to five years' probation in addition to 1,400 labor-oriented community service hours.
One leaked photo, a few soul-baring interviews and two questionable album covers later, both of the young singers now find themselves at uniquely different points in their careers.

Rihanna steered clear of the spotlight for several months, re-emerging in New York City last spring, boldly walking the red carpet at the Costume Institute Ball, with a new look and a new album to begin promoting.
"There's no restriction on Rihanna, but he [likely] can't go anywhere without his judge's permission," said deputy editor Caryn Ganz. "He has to appear for court appearances to prove that he's doing his community service," noting that the legal issues don't make it any easier for the star to move forward with his career.

Brown did release a pop-inflected album, "Graffiti," on December 7, which has sold a little more than 250,000 copies. He also sold out stops on his fans' appreciation tour, but those performances were in smaller venues than he'd played previously.

"In the immediate aftermath of the incident, there was all of this 'dead' talk -- nobody will work with him, he'll never be able to sell another record -- and that's turned out to not be true," she said. But, Ganz noted, "Rihanna is clearly doing better than he is, both in sales figures and public reception."

To date, Rihanna's literal take on being "Rated R" has sold more than a half-million since it dropped November 23. She's also taken to the stage again, performing everywhere from NBC's "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" to the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon. "Rated R" is her fourth studio release; it entered the Billboard Hot 200 chart at No. 4, and sold more in its first week than "Good Girl Gone Bad."
Brown's last album, "Evolution," sold more in its first week at 294,000 than "Graffiti" has in its seven weeks on the shelves, Ganz said.


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