Saturday, April 13, 2013
Halle Berry, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake and more have had their moments.
By Kyle Anderson
Despite the triumphant TV returns of Kanye West, T.I. and El DeBarge at Sunday night's 2010 BET Awards, the big headline from the show was Chris Brown's moving tribute to late superstar Michael Jackson. Brown flawlessly executed all of Jackson's most classic dance moves (including a scorching moonwalk), but when it came time to lend his voice to Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," Brown broke down in tears and could not sing, apparently overwhelmed by the emotion of the situation.
Crying in public is hardly a new phenomenon in the world of popular culture. Brown joins the list of some of the biggest stars in the world who have also broken down on television.
Halle Berry When Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress at the 74th Annual Academy Awards in 2002 (for her work in "Monster's Ball"), she became the first African-American woman to take home the prize. That, combined with the overwhelming experience that was making the emotionally-charged "Monster's Ball" and the huge standing ovation she received, threw Berry into hysterics during her acceptance speech. "This moment is so much bigger than me," she said.
Kelly Clarkson When Kelly Clarkson won the very first season of "American Idol," she was initially in a state of shock. Unable to express how she was feeling to the television audience who voted her the victor over Justin Guarini, she moved on to her performance of "A Moment Like This." When she hit the lyric, "I can't believe it's happening to me," she finally broke. She managed to get through the song, but to continuously apologized for her emotion.
Justin Timberlake Ashton Kutcher's hit MTV show "Punked" certainly pushed a lot of his famous friends to the brink, but few had a reaction like Timberlake. When Kutcher's crew of actors pretended to be federal officers seizing most of his possessions for failure to pay back taxes, Timberlake flipped out and wept. Usually, Kutcher's reveal at the end of the episode throws the celebrity in question into laughing jags or fits of anger, but Timberlake was clearly just filled with relief.
Tonya Harding Athletes cry all the time, but it's usually because of the overwhelming thrill of victory or the agony of bitter defeat. Rarely do they weep during a particular competition, but that's exactly what Harding did at the 1994 Winter Olympics. After dealing with her connection to the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan in the run-up to the games, Harding took the ice only to realize that a lace on one of her skates had broken. In between sobs, she pleaded with the judges to allow her to get new laces and start over. They allowed it, though Harding still only finished eighth.
Crystal Bowersox The season nine "American Idol" runner-up had an extremely emotional run to the finals (including a harrowing health scare), but it took merely the presence of her father and a particularly heartfelt song to push her to tears. Bowersox slipped a handful of sobs into her performance of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions' "People Get Ready" during Inspirational Week on the show. It was one of the many performances that put Bowersox in the discussion of the best "Idol" contestants of all time.
Tracy Morgan The always unpredictable star of "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" has had a tough life and a challenging career, but the mere mention of co-star Tina Fey sent Morgan on the crying train when he visited with Oprah Winfrey on an episode of her show back in April. "She's my friend. Tina is my friend. I love her," he told Winfrey as he was fighting back tears.
"Crying Girl" There are an awful lot of "American Idol" moments on this list, aren't there? Ashley Ferl gained notoriety during the show's sixth season not as a contestant but as a particularly emotional audience member. The 13-year-old Ferl was so taken with "Idol" contestant Sanjaya Malakar's take on the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" that she sobbed uncontrollably, earning herself a great deal of screen time and the privilege of becoming an Internet meme for a while.
Did we miss any? What is the best incident of celebrity crying? And what did you think of Brown's performance? Let us know in the comments!Related Videos
Some think Brown's Michael Jackson tribute was sincere, while others view it as a sympathy ploy.
By Gil Kaufman
While Chris Brown's onstage breakdown during a Michael Jackson tribute at Sunday night's BET Awards likely left many viewers speechless, MTV News readers had plenty to say about the emotional tribute to the late King of Pop.
Many commenters weighed in on an MTV News story about the performance, during which Brown executed some spot-on Jackson choreography for "Remember the Time" and "Billie Jean" while modeling some of MJ's signature looks. He then cried and was unable to get out the lyrics to the moving "Man in the Mirror."
"He left his heart on that dance floor and when those tears dropped from his face, so did the audience around the world," Music4Ever wrote. "He truly gave that his all and showed Michael that he was his idol."
Kjabbamodern called Brown's performance "amazing" and said he was spot on. "When you watched the awards you truly felt the incredible spirit he had, and when he broke down, it was truly genuine. Anyone that cannot understand that and see his true spirit is seriously NOT human. [Brown] made a mistake. ... I hope people find it in their hearts to forgive this young man."
The performance was one of the most high profile for Brown since the singer pleaded guilty last summer in connection with his attack on former girlfriend Rihanna. Since then, he has struggled to get his career back on track, meeting with disappointing sales for his album, Graffiti, and recently being forced to cancel European dates when the conviction stopped him from obtaining a work visa in the U.K.
Not everyone was convinced of the emotional sincerity of Brown's teary display. "Publicity stunt ... so funny that most of these commenters don't even remember all the backlash MJ had to endure!!" Eddie wrote. "Where was the forgiveness then? So sad that a sick person like Chris can put on a show of 'tears' to a REAL MUSICIAN'S MUSIC to get sympathy. ... His tears were for what he lost, which I pray he will never get back!!!"
Insantity wasn't feeling it either, adding, "I guess you can beat the life out of women, as long as you 'cry' at a tribute show."
Rebel was less harsh about Brown's intentions, writing, "This young man has suffered ENOUGH. Just let him move on and remember that there is not one amongst us who has never made a mistake in their life."
The night included notable performances from Alicia Keys, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, T.I. and Diddy. But Shai182 said simply, "Chris Brown's performance was hands down the best performance of the night!!! He killed it!!!" And chickhappy23 opined, "MJ would have been proud & we know u'll hold true to your promise Chris."
MTV's readers weren't the only ones torn over the tribute from one of Jackson's most avowed young followers. The Los Angeles Times ran a poll of readers on its site, asking whether they bought Brown's performance. At press time, 39 percent said that "Chris was thinking only of Jackson and was choked up by his death," followed by 21 percent who countered, "Chris was 100% faking a breakdown to get sympathy." The rest of the vote was split between 12 percent who said, "Chris was 50% upset by Jackson's death and 50% over-acting to get sympathy," and 9 percent who thought, "Chris was 100% freaked out that he had a real singing gig again. It had nothing to do with Jackson or faking it."
Was Chris Brown's BET breakdown genuine? Continue the conversation in the comments.Related Videos