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While Britney Spears was melting down at the MTV Music Video Awards, some artists who take their work seriously were using the occasion to shine.

Exhibits A & B: Chris Brown and Rihanna. When you leave Justin Timberlake speechless with your dance moves and routine, you’re on the right track!

And it turns out that Brown, whose “Umbrella” collaboration with Rihanna has become a hit, might be looking to establish a different partnership with her.

The 18-year-old R&B singer told Us Weekly that he’s known sexy Rihanna, 19, for years, and that she’s “awesome” and that “they are tight” and that he might have “flirted a little bit” with her at the MTV VMAs.

When pressed for more information, though, Chris Brown, who, in his own words, is “single and always ready to mingle,” clarified, “[Rihanna and I] are just friends. Great friends. We haven’t taken it to that next level… yet.”

Just give it time. These stars are poised to get together on and off the stage… like the R&B equivalent of Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia.