Chris Brown Set to Sing Jackson Tribute as Rihanna Looks On

First out-of-court encounter for the former couple

By Emily Feldman
|  Wednesday, Jul 8, 2009  |  Updated 9:58 AM PDT
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Life and Times: Michael Jackson

Brown is expected to perform a tribute to the King of Pop with other artists in what will be his first time on stage since his pre-Grammy night fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna that left her bloodied and bruised.

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Chris Brown and Rihanna are expected to have their first out-of-court encounter tonight when the R&B singer returns to the stage for a Michael Jackson tribute at the BET Awards tonight.

Brown is expected to perform a tribute to the King of Pop with other artists in what will be his first time on stage since his pre-Grammy night fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna that left her bloodied and bruised. Pop princess Rihanna is scheduled to be in the audience.

"Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer," Chris said to Access in a statement. "I am devastated by this great loss, and I will continue to be humbled and inspired by his legacy."

The former R&B power couple have kept their distance since their Feb. 8 blowout that left Rihanna with a battered face and Chris Brown sentenced to 5 years probation, counseling and community service -- a fate he learned last Monday when he plead guilty to one count of felony assault.

Sunday's award show will be the first event the two are both scheduled to attend since their time in court.

Access Hollywood reported that Chris Brown will be part of a tribute performance to Michael Jackson, his idol who died suddenly on Thursday.

"Michael will be deeply missed, but never forgotten," Brown told Access in a statement. "He's the greatest… the best ever. No one will ever be better."

The BET Awards set to air at 8 p.m. EST and will feature performances by stars like Drake, the Canadian star whom Rihanna has been linked to, Jay-Z, Keyshia Cole, Fabolous and Ne-Yo, as part of a tribute to the late King of Pop. 

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