Grammy nominated R&B and pop artist Chloe Bailey is facing backlash for collaborating with fellow R&B singer-songwriter Chris Brown. Brown has long been accused of domestic abuse by several of his former partners, and plead guilty of beating Rihanna. Photos from the night that Brown was arrested over the incident in 2009 were incredibly graphic, and raised alarm bells from former fans on social media.
Reminder that the LA resident who found Rihanna crawling on the street after Chris Brown threw her out the car said she was so bloody, beaten and disoriented that he thought she'd been hit by a car https://t.co/wb1ktwJmkC
— hannah (@antifamouss) February 16, 2023
Bailey’s single, “How Does It Feel”, is set to debut February 24. Chris Brown will feature in the music video, according to a teaser that Bailey shared on Twitter.
2ND PIECE. HOW DOES IT FEEL @chrisbrown. 2/24 🫀 pic.twitter.com/fjAjW6Sk6f
— Chlöe (@ChloeBailey) February 16, 2023
In the years that passed since their relationship, Brown has stated in interviews that he apologized to Rihanna, and the pair even collaborated on several songs after the initial incident. Some feel that the apology needs to be respected, as it appears that Brown and Rihanna have handled the situation privately. Others pointed out Brown’s continued problematic comments in the many years since the incident.
chris brown apologists are so strange to me “he apologized” ok cuz the apology went back in time n unbeat all those women ??? “rihanna still worked with him after” … cuz rihanna was the only person he abused ? right ??? like be soo fr
— kami 🧸 (@jkskami) February 16, 2023
rihanna could publicly forgive chris brown & I would still look at anyone who collaborates w/him sideways. apart from the severity of what he did to her, the women who’ve spoken out, sued, won cases against him along with his own words show that he is, at best, a terrible person pic.twitter.com/M3frWMqZws
— Sal (@TheSaltySal) February 16, 2023
Some pointed to Brown’s hugely successful music career as the reason that Bailey chose to collaborate with him.
chris brown and rihanna could make a whole album with the songs they got together, but of course people gonna drag R&B girls for making music with one of the most talented R&B artist we have CHILL pic.twitter.com/nZDoNXpkY9
— m (@bhrisbrwn) February 16, 2023
Despite Brown’s success, critics were quick to point out that Bailey is at her own pinnacle of success and that she did not need to do this collaboration with him to boost her career. Chloe Bailey and her sister Halle Bailey, who sometimes perform together as Chloe x Halle, both began their careers making cameos on Disney channel. Both sisters maintain a young female fan base, and some feel that working with a convicted domestic abuser who has made negative comments about Black women sends the wrong message.
So, Chris brown:
– nearly beat Rihanna to d3ath
– has abused other women
– strangled a woman
– is a colourist
– has misogynistic, abusive song lyrics
– stalked karrueche + had a restraining order against him
– mocked kehlanis suicide attempt
– has SA allegations
— in my 👽 era (@afrorckprincess) February 16, 2023
The Chris Brown backlash Chloe is getting isn’t even just about Rihanna? He literally mocked Kehlani after her 2016 suicide attempt?
— Ira (@iramadisonthree) February 16, 2023
TikTok and Twitter users were quick to question the decision, given that there are numerous other male R&B artists that some felt would suit the collaboration better, including Anderson Paak.
@ChloeBailey was giveon not available? anderson paak? khalid? bruno mars? daniel caesar? or literally anyone else? pic.twitter.com/S1CC3Luu3q
— 💌 (@trickybrina) February 16, 2023
chloe… was it something i did? like baby don’t do this to us rn please be lying
— anania (@Anania00) February 16, 2023
Other Black women musicians took to Twitter to speak on the issue.
i just searched it up bc I didn’t know what you were talking and I 💔
— Jensen McRae (@Jensen_McRae) February 16, 2023
Brown has collaborated with several other female artists since the initial domestic violence charges, including Tinashe, Normani, and Kelly Rowland. Fans of these artists feel like a change needs to be made in music to stop awarding abusers.
The way I’ve had to watch Ariana, tinashe, Normani and now Chloe dance with sht brown…..this is starting to feel like a personal attack. pic.twitter.com/G74QpRKRnX
— N. (@nayathedisciple) February 16, 2023
Others voiced that the Chloe Bailey controversy opens up a much larger conversation of why producers feel that young female artists need to boost their careers by collaborating with controversial artists like Brown.
What exactly are all these female artists from Ciara , to Kelly Rowland , Normani and now Chloe Bailey trying to prove in propping up or working with Chris Brown because I really don’t get it.
— Clipsee is meeting HOOK in 1 MONTH (@lustz4life) February 16, 2023
We're failing Black women in music if they feel like they have to collaborate with a known abuser in order to chart.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) February 16, 2023
Amid the criticism, some offered a counter-point. Chloe and Halle are 24 and 22 respectively, and are likely receiving advice from older career advisors, which creates a generational disconnect. This was also brought up in regards to their personal lives.
We can't be too hard on Chloe and Halle. You're lucky if you didn't have bad taste in men in your early 20s.
— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) February 16, 2023
Chloë & Halle BOTH racking up abuse apologist allegations in one (1) week is nuts like who the hell is working pr for them????
— ISTSSOTLOATWAB 𖤐 (@leoxeloo) February 16, 2023
While Chloe’s record label and producers likely felt the pairing with Brown would make for a respectable collaboration in the R&B world, fans cited that the new pop culture takes abuse very seriously, and may not be able to give the new track an unbiased listen.
chloe bailey making a song with chris brown in 2023, it’s like she’s afraid of success
— jenny sais quoi (@jennytheleo) February 16, 2023
Chloe Bailey ruining her own career was not on my 2023 bingo card pic.twitter.com/zqHYRf87aR
— 𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐚𝐠𝐚 (@rvfaga) February 16, 2023
Especially due to the controversy, fans and critics alike have turned a watchful eye to Chloe’s upcoming release. Her debut solo album, In Pieces, drops in March.