R&B superstar Chris Brown has had a long and tumultuous relationship with fame, and according to a new report, he is losing the fight.
A Billboard expose on his life today paints a picture of a deeply troubled, disturbed young man prone to dangerous, often violent tendencies.
Still only 27, Brown rose to fame in 2005 with the release of his self-titled debut album, then fell from grace after beating Rihanna in 2009.
While he rebuilt his career to the point where he still works with (and is one of) the top names in music, he has always lived on the edge.
Brown has spent time in jail for violating probation, and has run afoul of the law often since the infamous assault on his famous ex.
He then kicked off 2017 with a feud with Soulja Boy over another ex, Karrueche Tran, who sought a restraining order against Brown.
Earlier this week, Tran’s friend also reportedly filed a restraining order against Brown after the star allegedly threatened to shoot him.
Accusations of Chris beating up Karrueche have also surfaced in recent weeks. Even for Brown, these bouts of anger are unusual.
One source close to the singer fears that it may end badly, telling Billboard, “I got to say with all my heart, he’s dancing with death.”
Brown reportedly doesn’t take medication for his bipolar II disorder, according to the source, despite being diagnosed with it in 2014.
The condition, defined by depressive and hypomanic episodes, is often set off by periods of extreme stress or drug and alcohol use.
According to people close to him (not just Soulja Boy, who spoke of this often during their feud), the singer allegedly uses a litany of drugs.
Chris is known to smoke pot, sip on lean (a mixture of promethazine, codeine syrup and a soft drink), and go on cocaine or Molly binges.
Brown’s former manager, Mike G, accused the star of pummeling him in a “drug-fueled rage” last year. (Mike G. quit that very day.)
Brown used to meditate to combat his aggression after he was jailed in October 2013 for violating probation by punching a man in D.C.
When he finally got out in June 2014, friends and family felt they saw a changed man at a surprise party then-GF Tran threw for him.
Chris' longtime choreographer, Flii Stylz, said he would “sit down and meditate. I liked that Chris meditated when he was frustrated.”
It's not clear if he still does this, but the singer's troubled childhood (he lost his virginity at age eight) is clearly at the root of his issues.
He remains occasional contact with his father, Clinton Brown, who split with his mother, Joyce Hawkins, when Chris was just 6 years old.
Hawkins “keeps a distance from Chris,” according to insiders, though “when the baby [Royalty] came into play, they became much cooler.”
Just as friends thought a stint in jail might mellow him out, Royalty's arrival seemed to signal a shift in his lifestyle, only to be short lived.
Chris has admitted being an Internet stalker and reportedly punishes crew members, not just his exes, on tour if he's in a foul mood.
After he beat up his manager who quit, Chris allegedly went without one during his One Hell of a Nite tour, which kicked off in May 2016.
Increasingly reckless, his temper would flare.
We had no manager telling us what to do or where we were going,” one former security team member said of the harrowing tour.
“He would make people sleep on the bus [instead of hotels] when he was mad at them. He was threatening people and cops."
"He was calling himself the devil.”
Think he can turn this around anytime soon?
We can only hope, for the sake of his daughter and those around him who still care about him, that he gets professional help, fast.
It's incredible that his talent has carried him this far and sustains such an erratic lifestyle, but this is not going to end well otherwise.