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Chris Brown Album Anticipation ‘Not Showing Any Weakness,’ Music Insider Says

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Chris Brown can thank his good track record for helping himrebound from his February 8 assault on former girlfriend Rihanna.

 

 

His third album, "Graffiti," is due out on December 8, andhas been building steady interest, thanks to two promising songs in themarketplace. The dance track "I Can Transform You" is top 30 on the BillboardHot 100 Chart and the power ballad "Crawl" is receiving positive reviews.

It would seem like that the ordeal that left Rihanna's facebloodied and bruised on the eve of the Grammy awards might have lost ChrisBrown some fans.

Immediately following the incident Wrigley's dropped him fromits Doublemint ad campaign. He missed out on several high profile award showappearance opportunities, including the Teen Choice Awards, BET Award's MichaelJackson tribute, Video Music Awards and American Music Awards.

Last week, it was reported that superstar pop producer andartist Timbaland removed Chris' vocals from a song from his album, "Shock ValueII," set to be released on the same day as "Graffiti." While a spokesperson forChris described his removal from the Timbaland album as a "mutually creativedecision," I can't help but wonder what role Chris' troubles may have played.

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Could any of these factors indicate that Chris would experiencea lackluster release date?

According to music business insiders, the answer is, "No." Despitethe altercation, the talented 20-year-old pop singer and dancer has not lostany momentum.

"I really don't think he's lost a step with his fan base,"says Raphael George, Billboard magazine's associate director of charts.

George said that "I Can Transform You" is doing well on thecharts, comparable to Chris' performance prior to the incident.

"I think his music, at least on the R&B side isperforming as past singles," George said. "'I Can Transform You' is almost top10. It's No. 11. Chances are it will be top 10 next week."

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George added that the video for Chris' song "Crawl" is"actually pretty good."

Joe Fleischer, Chief marketing Officer for BigChampagneMedia Measurement, is seeing similar strong metrics for Chris online.

"He's not showing any weakness in people's interest,"Fleischer said.

"If you look at our data around peer to peer activity, I cantell you it is already at 3.2 million."

Fleischer notes that last week, Chris was top 15 on YouTube,top 20 on iTunes, and 13 across all of BigChampagne's formats.

"In terms of the way we look at records and determine excitement,there is no change really," Fleischer said. "Chris Brown is as exciting topeople with his new music as he has ever been."

The Hollywood location of theAmoeba Music retail chain won't scale back its promotion of Chris' "Graffiti"album.

"At the moment [our set up] will be consistent with what ithas been in the past," said floor manager Rick Sanchez. "I don't think therehas been any reluctance on his fan base as far as his new release goes."

Sanchez added that he is anticipating a slightly largerorder of Chris' music but attributes that to the holiday season.

The public's interpretation of Chris' response has played akey role in the continued support.

Chris has addressed the tragedy on Larry King Live and MTVNews. He taped an interview with "20/20" that is scheduled to air on December11.

"I think he's done a good of being pretty open," Georgesaid. "He promised not to do this again. People are getting that he made amistake. I don't hear the outrage about it any more. Even with his music comingout, I don't hear any talk about, 'Let's ban his music.'"

The unconditional support is a testament to Chris' talentand reputation.

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He is fortunate to be able to rebound so smoothly,considering the popularity of the involved parties. "Not only is he accused ofbeating his girlfriend, his girlfriend happened to be Rihanna," said RoyTrakin, Hits magazine senior editor.

While Trakin feels that "time heals all wounds," he thinksthe assault has had a negative impact on Chris and Rihanna.

"This has been a lose lose all the way around," Trakin said."I don't think this has helped either one of their recording careers. It's hardto say. I just think that there's a bad taste in people's mouths when somethinglike this happens. There's an audience that blames the victim. It inspiredRihanna to dig deep and make a darker record met with critical acclaim. Is thisthe type of record that her fans are expecting? I don't know?"

Rihanna's album, "Rated R," will make its sales debutWednesday, and is not expected to land in the No. 1 spot. That position ispegged for Britain'sGot Talent runner-up Susan Boyle.

"Rated R" is reportedly on tap to land in the top 5.

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