ASPEN, Colorado -- R&B sensation Bobby Brown left a successful stint with New Edition in 1987 to pursue a solo career, which garnered him a string of Top 10 Billboard hits and a Grammy Award. But Brown's increasingly bizarre behavior throughout the 1990s and early 2000s began to overshadow his past glory.
In 2003, Brown was arrested for misdemeanor battery after allegedly striking Whitney Houston, his wife at the time. In February 2004, Brown was arrested and jailed in Georgia on a parole violation related to a previous drunk driving conviction. Despite these travails, Whitney Houston stood by her man, citing his connections for procuring the crack cocaine both needed to survive.
But Brown's heroic intake of illegal substances culminated in a mild heart attack in 2007, at which point he and Houston finally divorced. Brown is now married to Alicia Etheridge.
While many fans saw 2007 as a turning point for Brown, the singer's problems only continued to escalate. On August 14, 2009, an arrest warrant was issued for Brown after he failed to appear in a Massachusetts court on a contempt complaint. It was also reported that he had accumulated over $45,000 in arrears for failing to make child support payments for the two teenage children he fathered with former girlfriend Kim Ward.
Today, most people know Brown for his superhuman ability to consume crack cocaine rather than for whatever musical talent longtime fans claim he once had. What people may not know, however, is that Brown has reinvented himself as one the country's leading professional snowboarders.
During his January 29 performance at X Games 14 in Aspen, Brown garnered a perfect score in Skiing Big Air. Brown's winning run included a nice railslide to 450 off the top, transitioning into a switch 450 railslide and 270 out on the disaster down box. The hitching post feature became Brown's staple as he launched a perfect hand plant misty 720 up and over. Brown continued his dazzling performance onto the canon box with a railslide to cork 810 out. After concluding the rail features, Brown offered an awe-inspiring line consisting of a rightside switch misty 900, a double cork 1260 tail grab and his trademark switch double misty 1260.
"I didn't even know he could stand on a snowboard," said former New Edition band mate Ricky Bell. "I mean, he can barely walk. Blew my mind, that's for sure."
Brown's sports manager, Barry Moshgrove, worried that being surrounded by tons of snow would create a dangerous distraction for the former singer.
"It was a little scary at first," Moshgrove recalled. "Things that night seemed to spin out of control fast. Whitney got there for support but immediately jumped on Alicia and started pulling her hair out. After that, security found her wandering around in the forest, snorting snow right off the ground. She kept yelling, 'Hell to the no! They said this powder was fresh.' But I didn't get really worried until Bobby joked about the 'street value' of the mountain."
Brown's performance, however, spoke for itself. "Now he has a gold record and a gold medal," Moshgrove beamed.
When asked about next steps in his evolving career, Brown punched a reporter, knocked over a camera and bit another snowboarder on the arm.
As security personnel escorted Brown away, he told the press, "I could really care less about what they think about me, but at the same time, I do have something to prove. The reason why I tried to kill that man is because he spat on me. That's the dirtiest thing you can do to a man."
Moshgrove hinted that the singer may be considering other sports as well, noting a recent investment in spandex shorts and a bicycle. "I can't predict the future," he said, "but Lance Armstrong, watch out."