Chloe Bailey’s Controversial Music Collaboration With Chris Brown Debuts to Mixed Reviews

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R&B and pop artist Chloe Bailey was recently criticized for announcing a collaboration with fellow R&B singer-songwriter Chris Brown. The pair’s duet, “How Does It Feel” dropped on streaming platforms today, alongside an accompanying music video featuring both singers. The track is the first single from Bailey’s debut solo album, In Pieces. Bailey previously released music alongside her sister Halle Bailey, and the pair have received several Grammy nominations for their work.

The backlash towards the collaboration was born out of years of domestic violence convictions and allegations against Brown from several of his previous romantic partners. Brown was notoriously proven guilty of beating Rihanna during their relationship, and just last year his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran was awarded a permanent restraining order against him after he threatened to kill her in a voicemail.

Shortly after the debate about the ethics of the Chris Brown feature took over the internet, Chris Brown chimed in and addressed the situation himself. He focused on the Rihanna incident, which he claims to have apologized for privately. Brown went on to list several white celebrities who have allegations or charges of domestic abuse. The post to his Instagram story started a further discussion about domestic abuse in music and entertainment at large, specifically due to his inclusion of Emma Roberts on the list. Roberts was never charged for allegedly hitting ex-boyfriend Evan Peters, who opted not to press charges. The incident was revisited across social media, as many of the details remain unclear.

The revisiting of the Roberts controversy briefly distracted from the Chris Brown controversy, until the widely contested single dropped today. Some were surprised that controversies aside, they enjoyed the single musically.

Others remain none too pleased, as there were several other powerful male R&B artists that Bailey could have chosen for her first collaboration as a solo artist, but she chose one with a history of alleged abuse.


Others feel that while the video is visually appealing, the damage to Bailey’s reputation as an artist may have not been worth it.  Brown’s slightly older demographic of fans are likely not the same demographic that Bailey caters to, and many critics feel that this was a misstep.


Why are those two making fun of sel? They both can’t afford it. Selena defends hailey and takes a picture with her to stop the hate against her and this is supposed to be the thanks? #selenagomez is such a Queen – a Beauty inside & out and don’t deserve this After all. #haileybieber #kyliejenner #selena #kylie #haileyandselena #haileyandjustin #jelena #justinbieber #justinandselena

♬ original sound – Marta Courtenay

Chloe Bailey never responded to any of the backlash– a move that some felt was hypocritical after a career of making women-empowering music.


It’s time to check in your #chrisbrown nostalgia goggles at the door! That man has been terrible. #musicnews #chloebaileywashere #inpieces???? #hennyondatok #hottakes

♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim


Many felt that Brown’s abuse was continuously minimized throughout his career.


will not be streaming! #fyp #chrisbrown #chloebailey

♬ Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2 – PinkPantheress & Ice Spice

Brown’s pattern of abuse has particularly impacted Black women, and how cases of domestic violence in entertainment against Black women are handled in the media. Some TikTok users felt that this collaboration sets a dangerous precedence for Black women artists, and young Black listeners.


Id understand if he was sorry and worked on himself through ALL these events but hes not #chrisbrown #chloebailey

♬ How Does It Feel – Chlöe & Chris Brown

The conversation that this single has generated alone has already begun to shroud Chloe Bailey’s solo artist career. The backlash has led many to announce that they plan to boycott the single, or even the upcoming album.

Some fans want listeners to see how it feels for themselves before casting judgements on the entire album. In Pieces drops on streaming platforms on March 31.

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