NEW YORK — Since word of Chris Brown's alleged altercation with Rihanna first broke back in February, a number of opportunities have slipped through Brown's hands in the aftermath. Wrigley suspended a Doublemint gum commercial campaign featuring the singer, he voluntarily backed out of the Kids' Choice Awards, and some radio stations even stopped playing his music.
But Ciara, with whom Brown burned up the stage at last year's BET Awards, decided to stick with him for her track "Turntables" from her album Fantasy Ride, which is released Tuesday. The move is a high-profile sign of support for the singer, along with T.I. insisting that Brown will still star in and make promotional appearances for "Takers" (formerly known as "Bone Deep"), for which the rapper is serving as one of the film's producers.
"You know what it is? Honestly, with that record, it's just more about the music for me," Ciara told MTV News last weekend. "I wanted to focus on the music and leave it at that, because it's a record that I've had for a while, I love the way it sounds and it's one of my most favorite records on the album. And if I alter it, it's not gonna sound the same. So for me, really it's nothing more than about the music, so I kept it there."
In the months leading up to her album's release, Ciara mentioned in previous interviews she had thoughts about tinkering with the record and perhaps removing Brown's vocals altogether. The synth-heavy number, produced by Timbaland protégé Nate "Danja" Hills, features the two performers trading sultry vocals about chasing the other down and turning the tables on their situation. The song seems ripe for a video, and while that probably won't be happening any time soon, Ciara is decidedly upbeat about including the hit on her album's final track list.
The decision, she said, was supported by her entire team.
"I'mma be honest with you, pretty much everyone on my team was supportive [of keeping the record on the album]. Because we knew what the whole reasoning of wanting to keep it was," she explained. "Being as though I was leaving it at that, I felt OK about that. When you listen to the album, from the beginning to the end, it feels good to you, and it just felt good to me. I could try to do it a different way and I even had moments where I played with it a little bit, but it didn't feel right. So it's all about what feels good to me, so that's why I kept it.
"It definitely took time [to make the final decision]," Ciara added. "In the decision-making process for the records, once you get down to the last few days, that's when you kind of know. It definitely took time, but [the question was] more if the record made sense for the album, period. And that's how I weighed all the records."