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Chris Brown Laments Missed Michael Jackson Tribute in "Vibe"

December 11, 2009 12:00 AM ET

Since Michael Jackson's untimely death in late June, the King of Pop has been honored at almost every major awards ceremony, from the VMAs to the AMAs. Now comes word Jackson will posthumously receive a lifetime achievement prize at January's Grammy Awards, where his remarkable achievements will almost certainly be celebrated once again.

Chris Brown was slated to perform at last year's Grammys, but pulled out of the ceremony after his altercation with then-girlfriend Rihanna the night before the event. The assault — which resulted in Brown pleading guilty in exchange for probation, community labor and anger-management classes — also prevented the young star from participating in the Jackson tribute at the BET Awards, which were held just days after the King of Pop's death. In the new issue of Vibe, which hits stands next week, Brown confirms what Rolling Stone had learned at the time: that he was yanked from the show at the last minute.

"I was watching it, holding my face, like 'Oh my God, this is wack,' " he tells Vibe, complaining about the production values of the BET tribute. "I was expecting them to have Usher, Omarion and even Justin [Timberlake]. They were so bent on not getting me there that they messed up their own show."

Brown says the show told him he was pulled over concerns about sponsors. "I felt like BET should have been looking at the people who got drug charges, gun charges, weapons, other stuff," he adds. "You can't discriminate against one person because you're afraid the media is going to kill you."

Talking about the clubby song "Pass Out" on his new album Graffiti, Brown says he was aiming for a wider appeal, inspired once again by his fallen idol. "Michael Jackson didn't make music for one audience. Rolling Stones and the Beatles, too."

Related Stories:
Chris Brown Tells "20/20″ Rihanna Cried After Hearing "Changed Man"
Chris Brown Premieres Remorseful "Crawl" Video
Rihanna and Chris Brown's Grammy Weekend: The Days and Hours Before the Infamous Fight

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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