On Tuesday February 24, 2015, American rapper and R&B singer, Chris Brown, was forced to abruptly cancel his Tuesday night concert in Montreal and tonight’s concert that was scheduled to take place in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre.
On Ticket Master’s website, there is only a short statement citing “immigration issues” for the reason for the short notice cancellation.
Chris Brown used the equally as brief Twitter to announce the same cancellation of his Between the Sheets tour dates in Canada just hours before he was supposed to take the stage in Montreal, Quebec.
"The good people of the Canadian government wouldn't allow me entry. I'll be back this summer and will hopefully see all my Canadian fans!" Brown tweeted. Brown also mentioned via Twitter that both shows were sold out.
While neither Brown or his publicist confirmed why he was turned away at the border, the glaring question of the impact of his criminal record on his immigration statue comes to mind. Brown has several criminal charges to his name.
Thus, if Brown truly wants to return to Canada in the summer, he will have to deal with the Canadian Border Service which can – on a case-by-case basis – prohibit any non-Canadian citizens with past criminal convictions from entering the country.
The most infamous of conviction under Brown’s belt would be the 2009 sentencing to five years’ probation for the assault of his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.
Brown had also been charged with numerous violations of probation, he was jailed for nearly three months in 2014 because he violated his probation by getting into a fight outside a Washington hotel the previous year. He has also had his probation revoked by an L.A. judge after Brown was found to have travelled without approval and had failed to complete his community service requirements.
Most notorious on his rap-sheet is the 2009 assault of Rihanna. Just after midnight on February 8, 2009, Brown and fellow vocal artist phenomenon Rihanna, who were dating at the time, got into an argument. This argument escalated a physical confrontation where Rihanna – to the shock of the music industry and both their fan bases – was badly attacked by Brown with visible facial injuries that required medical attention.
Brown turned himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) Wilshire station at 6:30 p.m. (PST) and was booked under suspicion of making criminal threats. While the police report did not mention the victim by name, media outlets were quick to report that the assault had been on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.
Someone called 911 concerning the altercating, but when the LAPD arrived, Brown had already fled the scene. Rihanna was taken to the hospital where she would be treated for her injuries. Eventually, photos of Rihanna’s battered face were released by the press and circulated widely.
Following Brown's arrest, it was widely reported that several commercial ads featuring him were suspended, his music was withdrawn from multiple radio stations, and he withdrew from public appearances, including one at the 2009 Grammy Awards, where he was replaced by Justin Timberlake and Al Green.
On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats in relation to the case. He was arraigned on April 6, 2009, and pleaded not guilty to one count of assault and one count of making criminal threats. On June 22, 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to a felony and accepted a plea deal of community labor, five years' formal probation, and domestic violence counseling.
Many were upset that Brown had received a plea-deal, especially since he dodged prison time. Roslyn Muraskin, director of the Long Island Women's Institute, was reported saying,
"This is a person who attacks a woman for no reason whatsoever and now gets away with the attack."
"Even Paris Hilton got more jail time!" National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said in a statement.
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