Chris Brown’s sixth studio album Royalty comes out Friday, a decade after his self-titled debut. The once a small-town kid with big dreams is performing his music across the world and has become an international icon in popular music in a matter of a decade. The 26-year-old singer is one of the leading forces of new school R&B, adding elements of pop, hip-hop and soul to create his signature sound. He’s arguably one of the top male R&B artists.
It seems like it was only yesterday when Brown was doing small shows for local radio stations. One of the earliest memories was a string of Back to School concerts for a radio morning show. He was just a teen then but his captivating performance wowed his teen and young adult audience with much less fan-fare than he has now.
Brown’s rise to fame was almost instant. His debut single “Run It,” released in 2005, blew up on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 38 weeks.
The bubbly teen pop-star would skyrocket from there, eventually performing several major tours and selling out major arenas like Madison Square Garden in New York and Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Brown has successfully conquered the urban and pop music landscape with countless hits and unforgettable gems. To become an icon one has to grow as an artist. Brown has proven his staying power with a diverse discography of songs that show his evolution.
Rated R&B breaks down Brown’s ten year career and how the songs make him a music icon:
Chris Brown’s self-titled debut album made him a global superstar. His first single “Run It” catapulted him ahead of some of his competition at the time. His follow-up singles from his debut album were also huge hits. With “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” Brown cleverly campaigns for his potential lovers heart and he commands the dance floor king title on “Gimme That.”
Brown began exploring a different sound on his 2007 album, Exclusive. His crossover hit “With You,” which was a blend of pop and urban sounds, was arguably one of the top pop ballads of that year. That was just the beginning. From there, Brown released a bunch of dance tracks that flew straight to the top of Billboard and transformed him into a singing and dancing icon. His new songs “Zero” and “Fine By Me” are already taking over pop airwaves.
Brown eventually graduated from teen singer to king of the club records as time went on. “Deuces” shot to number one on the R&B charts and was one of his first big collaborations with his rapper friend Tyga. It definitely took him into a new phase of his career and laid the groundwork for other major club tracks like “Loyal” and “Look At Me Now.”
Smooth R&B Tracks
Chris Brown’s staying power has always been the fact he nails the smooth R&B jams along with the club records. He is able to bridge the gap between throwback R&B cuts and new school beats on records like “She Ain’t You,” “Take You Down” and his fresh track “Back To Sleep.”
Chris Brown has become an icon in popular music after a decade of ruling the music scene. Listen to our playlist of Chris Brown’s top hits: