While many artists and radio stations are turning their backs on Chris Brown, who is facing two felony charges related to his alleged assault on Rihanna, Ciara is sticking by the embattled singer, including their duet "Turntables" on her new album Fantasy Ride, which is out tomorrow May 5th. Speaking to MTV News, Ciara defended her decision to keep Brown's vocals on the Danja-produced track after much deliberation.
"Honestly, with that record, it's just more about the music for me," Ciara told MTV News. "I wanted to focus on the music and leave it at that, because it's a record that I've had for a while, I love the way it sounds and it's one of my most favorite records on the album. And if I alter it, it's not gonna sound the same." Ciara had wrestled with the option of removing Brown's vocals from the track, but after huddling with her management, she opted to keep Brown's contribution intact, giving the beleaguered singer a role on a potential hit after it looked like Brown's career might be over. (For more on Ciara's album, see our in the studio interview.)
"I could try to do it a different way and I even had moments where I played with it a little bit, but it didn't feel right. So it's all about what feels good to me, so that's why I kept it," Ciara said of including the synth-heavy track on Fantasy Ride. Ciara also told MTV that the song has single potential, and a video might be in the plans as well. Ciara chose her words carefully while speaking to MTV, defending the track but not defending her duet partner, explaining the song's inclusion is for artistic integrity's sake while not mentioning why exactly there's a whole Brown embargo right now to begin with. Brown has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges stemming from the Rihanna incident.
The move is a risky one by Ciara, as most radio stations have completely eradicated Brown from their playlists, and even Hollywood seemed to be turning their back on the embattled singer after it was revealed Brown would be removed from the promotion materials of one of his two upcoming films. Less-controversial guests that appear on Fantasy Ride include Justin Timberlake on the current single "Love Sex Magic," plus The-Dream, Missy Elliott, Ludacris and Young Jeezy.
• Chris Brown's Fall: Can the R&B Star's Career Survive Rihanna Arrest?
• Chris Brown Erased From "Bone Deep" Promotion, Voluntarily Goes To Anger Management
• Chris Brown Pleads Not Guilty To Two Felony Counts At Arraignment