At the afterparty, hosted by the tag team of Diddy and “Hustle and Flow” actress Taraji P. Henson, everyone from a show producer to the cast of the soon-to-be-revived BET series “The Game,” as well as some of the night’s winners and presenters had something to say about Brown’s emotional performance of “Man in the Mirror,” during which the singer fell to his knees crying, genuinely unable, it seemed, to sing the song.
“You know who stole my heart tonight?” Henson asked.
“Chris Brown!” answered Diddy, host Queen Latifah, BET personality Tigger and a group of others in near-unison.
“He was so vulnerable,” Henson continued. “I love you Chris!”
During the tribute, Brown channeled Michael as he danced to “Remember the Time,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean.”
The winner in the Best Male R&B Artist category, Trey Songz, said, “Chris killed that. He left his heart on the stage. He gave genuine emotion. I was proud of him and I was happy for him for having that moment.” Songz didn’t mention Brown choking on the lyrics during the song: “He did that justice. Everybody’s been waiting for that.”
Brown may have been waiting for his turn to do a tribute to his idol Michael Jackson, but it was clear from comments he made later in the show that he was disappointed by his inability to keep his emotions at bay onstage.
“I let ya’ll down before, but I won’t do it again,” he said as he accepted the award for the AOL Fandemonium prize, which was presented by siblings Brandy and Ray J. “I promise.” Fans voted online, giving Brown the win over Nicki Minaj, Trey Songz and Justin Bieber