CHRIS Brown plays Dublin’s O2 tonight. It’s not a cause for celebration.
The rapper is the most reviled man in music – and with good reason. In 2009, he beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna, so badly she had to hide herself away from the public gaze for the best part of three months.
A court had to place a restraining order on Brown for her own safety. She told police that the beating was symptomatic of an “ongoing and escalating abusive relationship”.
Since then, Brown has shown precious little remorse. His last album offered the finger to anyone who took umbrage at his brutality and appeared to glory in his bad-boy reputation.
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, he went and had the image of a woman’s bruised face tattooed onto his neck.
And, only last week, he revealed his true colours when he engaged in a twitter war of words with US comedian Jenny Johnson. His hate-filled, misogynistic comments are too vile to publish.
It is remarkable, then, that thousands of Irish fans seem to be happy to ignore his murky past and to stump up hard-earned cash to see him proffer his dubious brand of rap tonight.
Do they not feel even the slightest bit guilty about lining the pockets of a man whose fists caused such damage to Rihanna’s pretty face?
If you’re in any doubt about what he did to his superstar girlfriend, there are a handful of post-beating photos to be viewed online.
It says something about his reputation that the country’s three major promoters refused to have any part in this show.
And it’s encouraging to see that his popularity here has plummeted since 2008, when the then teen played three sold-out gigs in the O2. That tickets are still available for tonight speaks volumes.
Still, thousands of people will head to the big venue at the Liffey and are likely to give him a hero’s welcome.
It’s a pity more people here haven’t followed the lead of outraged Swedes and place posters of a battered Rihanna around Stockholm in the days up to his show there.
We need to stand up to people like Brown. And they best way to do so is to stop buying his albums and going to his shows.
Maybe then, he will start to show some remorse.