Chris Brown says it “hurts” when his charity work is questioned as a ploy to garner public support.
The headline-making singer, who turns 21 on May 5, told AOL’s PopEater.com that his efforts to raise funds for the community of Richmond, Virginia, and those affected by the earthquake in Haiti is “not for PR or press.”
“When it’s a question of, ‘Oh, is he doing this to gain fans or get his image back?’ it hurts,” he said. “When you do something genuinely from your heart, it’s not for PR or press. If that was the case, I’d try to get Obama or somebody.”
The singer, who is currently serving five years probation related to the February 8, 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, said wants to lend his support to his hometown with an upcoming charity concert.
“It hurts because it’s from my heart and I’m from Virginia and want to help my community out. I’m always here, and I always want to help out,” he continued. “Even with the Haiti stuff I’m doing… I wanted to do my own so that some of the proceeds would benefit them.”
On May 15, Chris will host and headline a charity concert, “Virginia Stand Up! A Call to Action” with Trey Songz, Keri Hilson, T-Pain, Mario and Ryan Leslie also performing.
“I always wanted to do something in my community,” he said when asked about the concert. “Richmond and Virginia isn’t the wealthiest place, there’s a lot of poverty and people struggling, so I always wanted to give back from my community.”
According to the singer, the reaction from his fellow Richmond residents has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The response has been incredible,” Chris said. “I still live out here, so people come up to me if I’m in the store and tell me, ‘I think it’s great what you’re doing.’ It’s going to be incredible. Everybody’s happy about it.”
The R&B singer might be just shy of 21, but feels he’s already accomplished so much in his short life, that it’s time to give back.
“Kids are rebellious and a lot more concerned with their own personal lives than anybody else’s, so I can understand why a lot of younger artists tend not [give back] until they get older,” Chris explained. “But I’ve done everything… been a pop star, traveled the world, movies, the whole nine, so I feel like as a young guy, so many people look up to me. Kids, adults, parents – from my position, it’s about helping out. Why not? I’ve got everything else. Everyone’s been supportive of me, so why not help other people in need who need it more than I do?”
Over the weekend, Chris performed the National Anthem prior to the Shane Mosley/Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, causing some to question whether or not a boxing match was an appropriate venue for the embattled singer to perform.