Chris Brown shows off his many talents

Not many songs can get Chris Brown into the holiday season quite like the late Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.”

So when he was asked to perform it (as well as Otis Redding’s R&B classic “Try a Little Tenderness”) in the new romantic comedy “This Christmas,” which opens today, Brown was absolutely “thrilled.”

“Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke are my idols and biggest musical influences,” Brown said in a recent interview, flashing a smile as bright as his diamond earrings.

“With the song ‘This Christmas’ I wanted to do something that was kind of different,” the 18-year-old singer says. “I mean, Donny Hathaway is an amazing artist. “So I wanted to bring my flavor to the song so when people over the age of 45 or 50 hear it they’ll be like ‘OK, he did his thing with that record.’ It’s like I can appeal to everybody and not just a younger demographic.”

The multiplatinum award-

winning singer is also scoring points for his acting in “This Christmas.” He made his film debut in the box-office hit “Stomp the Yard” and also had a recurring role on “The OC.”

“Chris Brown is the real thing and such an incredible talent,” says Loretta Devine, who plays Brown’s mother in the movie. “What’s funny is I had been listening to and enjoying his music for a while without knowing who he was. But my 3-year-old nephew sure knew about him. Chris just has that ‘it’ factor and has such a following with young and older audiences. He’s so good.”

“This Christmas” star Regina King and writer-director-producer Preston A. Whitmore II were equally taken by Brown’s work ethic.

“This movie had such a large cast of veteran and new actors, it would have been easy for everyone’s egos to get in the way,” King says. “But they didn’t. We checked them all in at the door to make this movie. It’s really a heartwarming depiction of an

African-American family.”

“There are a lot of people out there that are in the music profession that can’t necessarily make the transition to film,” Whitmore says. “Chris Brown was not late one day for filming. And even though he is an international phenom, he could have brought an entourage to the set but didn’t.”

At the rate Brown is going, he’s proving his flavor is everlasting. He recently released the album “Exclusive”; his concert tour with Bow Wow comes to Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Dec. 29. Brown credits his mother — who travels with him on press and tour stops — for keeping him so grounded.

“Having the right people around you all the time is important,” he says. “I do take the acting seriously. But this is all fun. I look at it like smoke and mirrors. I still think it’s a dream, but I ain’t pinching myself yet.”

artsentertainmentOther Arts

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read