R&B's bad boy Chris Brown is back in the public eye -- he beat up ex-girlfriend Rihanna two years ago -- after leading the list of winners with criminal pasts at the BET Awards.
Brown took home four awards on Sunday night, including the viewers' choice prize, amid some confusion at the 11th annual celebration of black musicians, actors and sports people.
In an unfortunate turn, Brown was announced as the winner of the viewers' choice award . . . and then ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Canadian rapper Drake awkwardly appeared on stage to accept on her behalf.
But at the end of the show, it was revealed that Brown was the rightful winner even though Rihanna's name was on the teleprompter.
Brown's music career nosedived after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in February 2009. He publicly apologised, underwent court-ordered domestic violence counselling, and did six months' community service.
Earlier this year, he topped the US pop album chart. "I know it's been a long road, so I just appreciate every blessing that's been in front of me."
He shared BET's best collaboration prize with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. The latter spent spent most of 2010 behind bars on a weapons charge. Brown's other awards included best male R&B artist and best video.
Averting a family feud, singer/actors Willow and Jaden Smith shared the Young Star award, while their tearful father, Will Smith, looked on.