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EXCLUSIVE! After BET Awards Onstage Breakdown, Chris Brown Sobs Backstage 'This Night Saved My Career!'

Mon, June 28, 2010 1:47am EDT by 61 Comments
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Chris was so emotional about making his big comeback that he couldn’t stop crying onstage!

Chris Brown is back! The singer brought a surprising amount of emotion to his Michael Jackson tribute performance at the BET Awards Sunday night when he broke down sobbing onstage – and as it turns out, his tears were real.

After hearing that “Cary Grant” would be performing to celebrate the one-year anniversary of MJ’s death, the crowd was shocked to see Chris take the stage at LA’s Shrine Auditorium June 27. After dancing to hits like “Billie Jean” and “Smooth Criminal”, things turned serious when he performed “Man in the Mirror.” The 21-year-old couldn’t stop crying, choking out the words and stumbling as he seemed to beg his fans’ forgiveness for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna more than a year ago. He also seemed to be crying for himself, and the career he nearly lost as a result of his actions.

In addition to his onstage meltdown, the REAL waterworks occurred backstage, can exclusively report. “This night saved my life, and my career. Thank you for everything,” he told pal Ray J backstage. The men hugged twice before Chris started welling up once again. Our eyewitness adds that his tears were genuine, and he seemed both relieved and elated to finally have his career back on track.

Chris does seem to be making a huge comeback. In addition to having the support of the Jackson family – he and MJ’s brother, Jermaine, walked offstage arm-in-arm, crying together – Chris also beat Justin Bieber (gasp!) for BET’s “Fandemonium” (fan pick) award, saying in his acceptance speech, “I let you guys down before, but I promise I won’t do it again.”

Chris, consider “Man in the Mirror” your official “Redemption Song.”

Laura Schreffler & Russ Weakland