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Statute of Limitations on Chris Brown Hatred Ends With ‘SNL’ Booking

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Two years ago, people proclaimed Chris Brown's career was dead. He had assaulted one of the music world's most beloved artists (and bruised one of the world's most ogled faces!). He bungled his first public statement, and the second one, too. But then his hit song "Forever" was used in a heart-warming wedding video, he struck a plea deal, cried in public and voila: It's totally OK to not hate Chris Brown again!

The 21-year-old singer's image has been rehabilitated at least enough to earn him a spot as the musical guest on the February 12th "Saturday Night Live." The best part of this news: Russell Brand will host the episode, and we all know he loves to gently rib pop stars on topics that make them very uncomfortable. Brand also happens to be married to Katy Perry, a.k.a. Rihanna's best friend, and "SNL" is a very Rihanna-friendly show. If the acid-tongued Brand does go on the attack, Brown will either play along (granted, it's hard to make light of a topic like domestic abuse...), grin and bear it, or risk coming off angry and aggressive.

Brown, who will be promoting his March 22nd album "F.A.M.E.," has been slowly creeping back from that career-death sentence over the past 12 months. The statue of limitations on loathing him seemed to be ending when Drake, Kanye West, T.I., Andre 3000, and Fabolous jumped on his "Deuces" remix. Brown did hit a homophobic pothole on his road to redemption, but successfully completed his domestic violence courses and has even asked a judge to reduce his "stay from Rihanna" order to a "do not annoy" mandate. "SNL" only booked 16 acts this season (including the Lil Wayne/Eminem double whammy), so this is a big deal for Brown -- a possible way to croon his way back into America's heart for good... or until he runs his mouth on Twitter again.

[Photo: AP]

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