Chris Brown's fifth studio album Fortune arrives July 3, promising counter-intuitive song titles ("Don't Judge Me") and the strength to fight your darkest of demons. A naturally gifted performer with a history of violent outbursts, many washed their hands of Brown back in 2009, the year he was found guilty of beating then-girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy Awards, bringing a very real and very ugly problem to the forefront of popular culture. Through this, Brown's dedicated Team Breezy members have steadfastly remained by his side, earning a Ph.D in how to brush off "the haters," while others have labeled him music's most troubled sociopath.

With more than one public freak-out and several regrettable tweets, Brown hasn't made it easy on his followers or even casual music fans over the years. Despite a 2012 Grammy Award win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Can the public accept a so-called "comeback" more than once, or should we all take the Liz Lemon approach and reject his presence in mainstream pop culture entirely?

As we've done with the similarly topsy-turvy careers of Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, Popdust has taken a closer look at the life of Chris Brown, in order to better prepare for next week's release. Recall his emergence as a Virginia-born talent and Billboard record holder, and relive his scary transformation into a convicted felon and magnet for controversy. He's only 23-years-old, and yet, it feels like we've been praising, chastising and searching for ways to defend him for years. Who knows what's to come?

For PART 1: "Run It!" and signs of America's next triple threat, click NEXT

With more than one public freak-out and many regrettable tweets, Chris Brown hasn't made it easy on music fans over the years. Despite the 2012 Grammy win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Is the public willing to accept his so-called "comeback," or should we reject his attempts all together? To better determine what the future for Fortune holds, Popdust examines Chris Brown's highest of highest and lowest of lows.

PART 1: "RUN IT!" RUNS TO NO. 1 AND AMERICA MEETS ITS NEWEST TRIPLE THREAT (2005-2009)

"RUN IT!" HITS #1 (NOVEMBER 26, 2005)

It's easy to forget, now that Brown's written an entire encyclopedia of scandals, just how promising an act he used to be. Scott Storch-produced "Run It!", which spent five weeks at No. 1, got people talking, without reservations, about how he was the next Usher and the next Michael Jackson combined—and he was only 16 at the time. It's arguably held up better than anything else he's done; even established Brown-haters have a hard time changing the dial when it's on the radio.

HOLLYWOOD CALLS (2007—PRESENT)

With his debut single proof he has what it takes to succeed, and a growing legion of fans soon to be known as Team Breezy, it's not surprising that Hollywood saw a bankable future in the photogenic star. Brown began with roles in the dance-centric Stomp the Yard (2007) and holiday-themed This Christmas (2007), before starring alongside Matt Dillon and Hayden Christensen in 2010's Takers, seeming poised to go onto larger, leading roles à la Justin Timberlake. Brown also had a small role in 2012's ensemble film, Think Like A Man—and we'd be remiss to ignore his three-episode stint on our beloved The O.C.

PERFORMS WITH RIHANNA AT THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS (SEPT. 9, 2007)

In 2007, Chris Brown was getting ready to assume his place as one of the country's biggest pop stars, and the VMAs gave him the ideal platform with which to do so. You might not even remember the song that he initially performed—"Wall to Wall," the flop lead single off sophomore LP Exclusive—but Brown himself was spellbinding, a whirling dervish of jaw-dropping dance moves and boundless energy. Meanwhile, fellow burgeoning teen pop star Rihanna stopped by for a bit of her own mega-hit "Umbrella"—the two would soon be rumored to be dating—and after the requisite MJ tribute dance, Brown really set it off with a closing dance to his T-Pain-featuring "Kiss Kiss," soon to become his biggest hit. The Top 40 was officially his for the taking.

For exposing the previously unseen Angry Breezy click NEXT.

With more than one public freak-out and many regrettable tweets, Chris Brown hasn't made it easy on music fans over the years. Despite the 2012 Grammy win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Is the public willing to accept his so-called "comeback," or should we reject his attempts all together? To better determine what the future for Fortune holds, Popdust examines Chris Brown's highest of highest and lowest of lows.

PART II: DISASTER, REALIZED

ASSAULTS RIHANNA BEFORE THE GRAMMY AWARDS (FEBRUARY 8, 2009)

The night that changed it all for Chris Brown (in the not-good way) occurred the weekend of the Grammys in 2009, when an argument between Brown and pop megastar (and then-girlfriend) Rihanna escalated to physical violence, with Rihanna ultimately needing hospitalization for her injuries. The horrific photos and even more brutal police report from the night revealed Brown to be a sociopathic thug, and the star who seemed on his way to becoming one of the biggest triple-threat pop talents since Michael Jackson became a social pariah overnight. Brown disappeared from public view for months after, and it seemed an entirely safe assumption at the time that the guy's career would never fully recover.

SAYS GOODBYE TO A MAINSTREAM ENDORSEMENT DEAL (2009)

As the first single off his Exclusive: Forever Edition reissue, the Polow Da Don-produced "Forever" was one of Chris Brown's biggest and best hits to date, soaring to #2 on the charts (along with "With You," his highest-charter as a solo performer) and earning critical raves that had eluded many of his prior hits; it seemed like the song that would take Brown's already-impressive career to a whole other level. It's your call whether Brown's single, with its Doublemint-slogan chorus, was a cutting-edge sponsorship campaign and well-timed career boost, thus a high, or a ghoulish mutant of product-placement and ad creep that nobody questioned, thus a low. (This likely depends on whether you're more apt to use the phrase "cutting-edge" or "ad creep.") Either way, it's no good to get yourself arrested and lose the endorsement, leaving nothing but a disgraced single stripped of its jingle. Low.

"FOREVER" GETS A SECOND LIFE, THANKS TO YOUTUBE (JULY 16, 2009)

Despite Doublemint's decision to scrap Brown and "Forever" in the Rihanna aftermath, the song quickly became totally inescapable once again, thanks to its use as the soundtrack to a wedding viral video (you know the one). Jill & Kevin's "JK Wedding Dance" has amassed 76 million views to date, becoming popular enough for a parody during Jim & Pam's wedding on The Office in October. Without this, Brown's career would have arguably been toast.

"A CHANGED MAN" VISITS LARRY KING (SEPT. 2, 2009)

Following Brown's several-month-long disappearance after the Rihanna assault charges, he reappeared on a pre-taped segment on Larry King Live in September. He showed contrition without ever directly taking responsibility for or explaining his actions, and received greater attention for his odd choice of attire (that bowtie!) than anything he actually said during the interview. Around the same time, Brown also released "Changed Man," a song that seemed to apologize for the incident ("Ima make it up to you / and show the world / I'm a changed man") but also seemed to cast himself at last partly as the victim ("I'm doing all that I can / And everybody hates Chris / They can never understand"). Both set the unfortunate precedent for the next couple years of Chris Brown responses to PR mishaps, by apologizing without ever really apologizing for anything.

GRAFFITI FAILS TO IMPRESS (DEC. 8, 2009)

Eight months of public hibernation interrupted by few questionable attempts at remorse proved to do little for Brown's music career. Following the Rihanna incident—which seemed to trigger a broader discussion on domestic violence with every passing month—Brown released Graffiti, in December; no need to apologize if you can't place it. Lead single "I Can Transform Ya" made an initial impression on the Hot 100 with its club leanings and Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz guest appearances, while second single "Crawl" was much more forgettable. Amid its competition—remember Glee albums?—his third studio album still managed a respectful second-place debut, but has sold only 341,000 copies to date, suggesting the public was not yet ready to deal with Chris Brown yet—or at least wanted some better material before they considered doing so.

For the first of two Chris Brown comebacks click NEXT.

With more than one public freak-out and many regrettable tweets, Chris Brown hasn't made it easy on music fans over the years. Despite the 2012 Grammy win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Is the public willing to accept his so-called "comeback," or should we reject his attempts all together? To better determine what the future for Fortune holds, Popdust examines Chris Brown's highest of highest and lowest of lows.

PART III: THE COMEBACK COMMENCES

HONORS MICHAEL JACKSON AT THE BET AWARDS (JUNE 28, 2010)

The first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death was met with multiple tributes by the music community worldwide. Having never shied away from listing Jackson as his biggest influence, Brown accepted the honor of paying homage to the King of Pop at the 2010 BET Awards. He danced his way through "Remember The Time," "Smooth Criminal" and "Billie Jean" before becoming overwrought with emotion once the sounds of "Man in the Mirror" began to chime in. When it came time to sing, Brown was paralyzed, his vocals going in an out before he fell to his knees. Still undecided on Brown as both a performer and a human being, following the year's previous events, the public seemed split on whether this was a fine tribute and brave display of emotion, or an impressive dramatic performance deserving of another look from Hollywood casting agents.

TRIES TO SEE IF BLONDES REALLY HAVE MORE FUN (MARCH 2011)

While in the midst of his musical comeback, Chris Brown continued his growth as one of the country's most unpredictable pop stars, a status punctuated somewhat comically with his dying his hair platinum blonde in early 2011. "Look At Me Now," he appropriately tweeted, and look we did, with mouth firmly agape at the hairstyle only Ron Artest had been crazy enough to rock in the previous decade. The move made little sense at the time, and seems little wiser over a year later—though if Brown was at all lacking for publicity around the release of F.A.M.E., the dye job at least ensured people would be talking about him for one reason or another.

EXPERIENCES THE AWKWARDNESS OF TALKING ABOUT NUDE PHOTOS (MARCH 4, 2011)

Whether he should expect such an invasion of privacy as a major celebrity or simply realize that taking nude photos of himself is stupid, Breezy expressed "disappointment" following the pre-F.A.M.E. full-frontal photo leak. His attempts to remove the incident from our memories, and any lingering belief that this was another blatant publicity grab, started and stopped with the phrase "leak my wang out," and suggested that he might be cool with doing porn in the future.

F.A.M.E. BRINGS THE FOCUS BACK TO THE MUSIC (MARCH 18, 2011)

In 2007, the idea of F.A.M.E. (an acronym that's about either forgiving one's enemies, fucking one's haters, thanking one's fans, or some combination of those) even existing, let alone going gold or earning awards and critical praise, would've seemed ridiculous. Partial credit goes to "Yeah 3x" and Benny Benassi-produced "Beautiful People," two singles with essentially the same strategy: make a dance track so slick and professional that it hardly matters who's on vocals. But the real reason for F.A.M.E.'s success is "Look At Me Now." It's as defiant and unrepentant a track as Brown's produced—the chorus, "look at me now / I'm getting paper," is pretty close to blatant trolling—but thanks to a prickly, minimal backing track by Diplo and Afrojack and an astonishing double-time verse by Busta Rhymes, whom everyone suddenly realized was very much missed, nobody minded.

GOOD MORNING AMERICA FREAK-OUT (MARCH 22, 2011)

The Twitter beefs and blonde dye job were one thing, but the incident that pushed Brown back into frightening territory happened at the taping of Good Morning America, where host Robin Roberts decided to ask Brown about the 2009 Rihanna incident, a move that sent the pop star into a fury. The interview ended tensely, and upon returning to his dressing room, Brown allegedly smashed his window and then ripped off his shirt, storming out of the building. He was back to playing in pickup basketball games by the end of the day, but not before reminding everyone—in a rather disturbing manner—that he was still a guy that you definitely wouldn't like when he's angry.

RECEIVES REINFORCEMENT FROM THE BET AWARDS (JUNE 19, 2011)

With hit singles like "Deuces" and "Look At Me Now" re-opening doors for him that seemed to be permanently closed in the fallout of his 2009 assault charges, Chris Brown was again one of the nation's biggest stars, a status cemented by his dominance at the 2011 BET Awards. Brown won all five awards he was nominated for, including three for "Look at Me Now" (Video, Collaboration and Viewers' Choice), which he also performed with Busta Rhymes in an I'm Back medley performance of recent hits. "I know it's been a long road," said Brown while accepting the Best R&B Artist trophy. "I just appreciate every blessing that's been put in front of me."

DRAWS A RECORD-SETTING CROWD ON TODAY (JULY 15, 2011)

NBC's summer concerts have seen an array of superfans sleeping out on the cold, dark Midtown streets before the show, in hopes of gaining prime position for their stars. But in 2011, no one drew a larger crowd than Brown. Even with his behavior on another network's morning show a few months prior, Matt, Ann and the Today team were willing to risk broken windows and missing chairs in order to enjoy the kind of high-flying, bowtie-clad performances Breezy was known for. Close to 20,000 fans gathered outside, and the decision to invite him back the following year proves the network is willing to look far enough beyond potential damages in order to land a huge ratings grab. As for Brown, it's always good to have Al Roker on your side.

TWEETS, DELETES, TWEETS SOME MORE (2011)

Pick a day in the past few year—any day—and there's approximately a 33% chance Chris Brown got himself into a since-deleted Twitter donnybrook, rant and/or full-grown beef. Between the time he sorta called Raz-B gay, the time he sorta apologized after calling some paparazzi gay, the time Brian McKnight called out the Rihanna incident, the time Miranda Lambert called out the Rihanna incident, the time wrestler CM Punk called out the Rihanna incident, with extra fighting words, the time he deleted his Twitter after an all-purpose rant... his feed's the social-networking Tyson zone. It happens so often with Chris Brown that when someone made up a fake threat against Cher, it seemed half-plausible.

For a second comeback Liz Lemon cannot support click NEXT.

With more than one public freak-out and many regrettable tweets, Chris Brown hasn't made it easy on music fans over the years. Despite the 2012 Grammy win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Is the public willing to accept his so-called "comeback," or should we reject his attempts all together? To better determine what the future for Fortune holds, Popdust examines Chris Brown's highest of highest and lowest of lows.

PART IV: COMEBACK, PART TWO

WINS A GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST R&B ALBUM (FEBRUARY 12, 2012)

Chris Brown, as an artist who's as much pop as R&B, being assessed by a Grammy committee that tends to favor more traditional acts, in a year that as we've seen wasn't so great for him, wasn't a favorite in anyone's Grammy pool (Team Breezy, as always, excepted.) Yet F.A.M.E. beat every throwback R&B, soul, or gospel act on the slate. You could argue name recognition, but that slate also included R. Kelly, whose lush Love Letter was the exact sort of throwback that critics love (and that Kells doubled down upon) and the exact sort of controversy-dodging release that Brown probably craves. It's as close to an upset as that year's Grammys got (summary: Adele won the rest), and if Brown looked a little smug thanking God and his fans then unceremoniously leaving the stage, you can't say he didn't have a reason.

CELEBRATES HIS GRAMMY WIN BY BEING A SLEAZEBAG (FEBRUARY 12-13, 2012)

At least F.A.M.E. winning an award was a win for Chris Brown; the resulting news detritus was good for no one. Buzzfeed rounded up lots of mostly teenage Chris Brown stans who posted 'I'd let Chris Brown beat me,' and the kids got almost as much media and Internet hate as Brown did. Chris Brown may or may not have tried to pick up a woman with the line "I promise I won't beat you" and a few too many comments-section laffs were had. Brown may or may not have stolen another woman's cell phone with unsolicited photos of him, and look, there's just nothing positive out of any part of this news cycle.

RECORDS TWO REMIXES WITH RIHANNA (FEBRUARY 20, 2012)

In one of the most shocking moments of a young 2012, the former lovers reconnected on two tracks, trading verses on respective remixes ("Birthday Cake" and "Turn Up The Music"). At the time of their release, there was little commentary from Brown or his partner, yet the world exploded with opinions and protests, alleging this was all a giant PR stunt, or worse: a sign that they had romantically reconciled. Brown certainly got the attention, as Rihanna remained evasive during the height of the matter, only later explaining she didn't think recording a song with her abusive ex would be "a big deal," particularly when he's the hottest artist in the game.

TAKES A BOTTLE TO THE FACE (JUNE 14, 2012)

It doesn't do much for your PR to get conked on the chin with a bottle during a club fight. It does even less for your PR when that happens during a fight with Drake. It does less still for your—and everyone's—PR when the cause is reportedly more Rihanna stuff.