Chris Brown at the BET Awards: Were the Tears Fake?

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At last night’s BET Awards, singer Chris Brown broke down during a tribute to Michael Jackson. Genuine emotion, or a calculated comeback attempt?

During the ceremony, Brown danced and sang to some of Jackson’s biggest hits like “Billie Jean” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.” But when he moved on to “Man in the Mirror,” he couldn’t hold it together. As he fell to the ground sobbing, the audience cheered him on in what seemed like a much-needed moment of redemption.

In August of last year, a judge sentenced Brown to five years probation and six months of community labor for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna. Since the assault, Brown’s reputation has gone down the tubes. Because of his attempts to gain public favor and revamp his career, some are skeptical that his tears were genuine.

One YouTube commenter wrote, “I hate him even more since I realized the whole performance was more about him than it was for Michael Jackson.” called for comments from fans, and some were downright nasty, saying, “I guess you can beat the life out of women, as long as you ‘cry’ at a tribute show.” But not everyone is a critic. The Los Angeles Times ran a poll on its website, and 38 percent of respondents thought Brown was simply moved by Jackson’s death.