Top 10 Chris Brown Songs

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Chris Brown roared on to the pop charts at the tender age of 16 with the #1 platinum hit single "Run It!" He has evolved into a compelling adult artist who ranges from R&B ballads to upbeat club music and hip hop. This is a guide to his 10 best songs.

10
of 10

"She Ain't You" (2011)

Chris Brown She Ain't You
Chris Brown - "She Ain't You". Courtesy Jive

"She Ain't You" is built around the instrumental groove from Michael Jackson's hit single "Human Nature." The sample gives the song a very retro soul feel. It was released as the fourth single from the album F.A.M.E. "She Ain't You" climbed to #5 on the R&B songs chart while hitting the top 20 on mainstream pop radio. It was one of the ten biggest R&B songs of the year.

The accompanying music video is a dance-oriented tribute to Michael Jackson. It was directed by Colin Tilley who directed Kendrick Lamar's celebrated 2015 video "Alright." The "She Ain't You" video opens with the dedication, "Dedicated to my biggest inspiration of all time ... I Love You. R.I.P. Michael Jackson. 08/29/58 – 06/25/09." Chris Brown wears an outfit similar to that worn by Michael Jackson in his "Smooth Criminal" music video. 

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09
of 10

"Yeah 3X" (2010)

Chris Brown Yeah 3X
Chris Brown - "Yeah 3X". Courtesy Jive

"Yeah 3X" was released as Chris Brown's lead single from the F.A.M.E. album. It was a return to uptempo Euro-influenced pop-dance. Chris Brown explained it was an effort to do something for his pop audience after he had been focusing on R&B and hip hop. Controversy was generated when UK producer Calvin Harris claimed "Yeah 3X" plagiarizes his single "I'm Not Alone." Ultimately Harris' name was added to the songwriting credits. The song was given to Chris Brown by Producer DJ Frank E, and it reminded Chris Brown of his hit "Forever." "Yeah 3X" was a top 30 hit on the dance chart and peaked at #15 pop. It reached the top 10 at both mainstream pop and dance radio.

Colin Tilley directed the "Yeah 3X" music video. It includes cameo appearances by Teyana Taylor, Kevin McCall, and Future Funk, all contestants from America's Got Talent.  The music video was nominated for Best Choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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08
of 10

"Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall (2010)

Chris Brown Deuces
Chris Brown - "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall. Courtesy Jive

Many reviewers believe "Deuces" is primarily Chris Brown's response to the dissolution of his relationship with Rihanna and conviction on domestic violence charges. The song shows off his beautifully soulful vocals. "Deuces" was released as part of the Fan Of a Fan mixtape with Tyga and later Chris Brown's  F.A.M.E. solo album. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. "Deuces" topped the R&B chart, reached #14 on the pop chart, and has been certified platinum.

The music video for "Deuces" was directed by frequent collaborator Colin Tilley. It is shot in black-and-white at the Los Angeles River concrete culvert. At one point Chris Brown dances in an underground tunnel. Featured artists Tyga and Kevin McCall also appear in the video.

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07
of 10

"Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes (2011)

Chris Brown Look At Me Now
Chris Brown - "Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. Courtesy Jive

"Look At Me Now" features Chris Brown rapping clumsily, but then he is shown how to do it properly by Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. The latter two received strong critical praise for their verses in the song. The production is put together in a skeletal "dirty south" style. Dance producers Diplo and Afrojack both worked on the song. "Look At Me Now" has inspired a wide range of cover versions. The song topped both the R&B and rap songs charts. It was the biggest rap hit of 2011, hit #1 on the R&B chart and went to #6 on the pop chart. "Look At Me Now" earned Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song while winning three BET Awards including Best Collaboration and Video of the Year.

The "Look At Me Now" music video earned an MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Hip Hop Video. It was directed by Colin Tilley and shot in Los Angeles. The clip was seen as a tribute to old school rap.

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06
of 10

"Run It" featuring Juelz Santana (2005)

Chris Brown Run It!
Chris Brown - "Run It!" featuring Juelz Santana. Courtesy Jive

At the age of 16, Chris Brown blasted on to the pop charts with this drama-filled dance floor banger. It was produced by Scott Storch and gave ample room for Chris Brown to introduce both his dancing and singing prowess. "Run It!" became only the third debut single from a male solo artist to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached #1 on the R&B chart in the US. The song was also a #1 smash in Australia and New Zealand as well as climbing to #2 in the UK.

The accompanying music video earned an MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best New Artist. It features girls and boys participating in dance offs in a school gym. Erik White directed the clip. Actress Destiny Lightsy appears as Chris Brown's love interest in the music video.

"Run It!" was the first single from Chris Brown's self-titled debut album. It hit #2 on the album chart and sold over 150,000 copies in its first week. "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" was a second top 10 hit single from the collection. Ultimately the album sold over two million copies in the US alone and earned two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Contemporary R&B Album.

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05
of 10

"Turn Up the Music" (2012)

Chris Brown Turn Up the Music
Chris Brown - "Turn Up the Music". Courtesy RCA

"Turn Up the Music" is Chris Brown's first single from the album Fortune. It is a dance club track that expands on the direction of his previous hits "Forever" and "Yeah 3X." "Turn Up the Music" was written and produced by the duo The Underdogs. "Turn Up the Music" was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic reaching the pop top 10 in the US while going all the way to #1 on the UK pop singles chart. It also broke into the top 10 of the dance radio chart. "Turn Up the Music" inspired controversy when Rihanna appeared on the official remix. It was her first official collaboration with Chris Brown after his conviction on domestic violence charges.

The music video for "Turn Up the Music" was co-directed by Godfrey Tabarez and Chris Brown himself. It was another clip that featured Chris Brown's impressive dancing skills. The video won Best Male Video and Best Choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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04
of 10

"With You" (2007)

Chris Brown With You
Chris Brown - "With You". Courtesy Jive

The Stargate production duo provide a simple, acoustic guitar based backing production then get out of the way of Chris Brown's romantic croon here. In addition to writing and producing, Stargate also played all of the instruments except for lead guitar played by Espen Lind. Chris Brown sings for "hearts all over the world." "With You" went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent six non-consecutive weeks there selling over two million copies. It also reached the top of the mainstream pop radio chart and the top 10 on the UK pop singles chart.

The "With You" music video co-directed by Chris Brown won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video. Chris Brown said that it shows the more adult side of his persona. It shows him dancing but not with intricate choreography.

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03
of 10

"Don't Wake Me Up" (2012)

Chris Brown
Chris Brown. Photo by Dexter A. Jones / FilmMagic

Chris Brown's dance song "Don't Wake Me Up" was originally intended for Madonna's album MDNA. However, her tight schedule precluded recording it. Dance producer William Orbit worked on the record along with Benny Benassi. Originally, websites reported that David Guetta worked on "Don't Wake Me Up," but he denied the suggestions. The song became a major pop hit reaching the top 10 on the US pop chart and going to #2 on the UK pop singles chart. It also reached the top 10 on both mainstream pop and dance radio. "Don't Wake Me Up" was one of Chris Brown's few songs to miss the R&B chart entirely. 

The accompanying music video was directed by Colin Tilley. Model Araya Nicks appears as Chris Brown's love interest. It depicts the artist moving in and out of a dream world. Chris Brown promoted "Don't Wake Me Up" by appearing live on the Today show.

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02
of 10

"Kiss Kiss" featuring T-Pain (2007)

Chris Brown Kiss Kiss
Chris Brown - "Kiss Kiss" featuring T-Pain. Courtesy Jive

After the failure of the song "Wall To Wall" to catch fire, Chris Brown's second album Exclusive was pushed back a couple of months to make room for this single. It turned out to be a wise decision as the clever blend of R&B and hip hop roared to the top of the pop and R&B charts. "Kiss Kiss" was co-written and produced by T-Pain. It has a distinctive bounce sound to the arrangement. "Kiss Kiss" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap / Sung Collaboration. The song peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B songs chart.

The accompanying music video features Chris Brown appearing as both a nerd and a jock. It was directed by Chris Brown and Erik White, a previous video collaborator. The clip was shot at Florida International University's campus in Miami, Florida. Rihanna makes a cameo appearance, and the video received a nomination for Best Choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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01
of 10

"Forever" (2008)

Chris Brown Forever
Chris Brown - "Forever". Courtesy Jive

Chris Brown himself co-wrote "Forever." The song emerged out of a jingle written for Doublemint gum. It was one of four new songs recorded for a re-release of the Exclusive album. Producer Polow da Don gave it all a Euro dance feel and it utilizes auto-tune effects. The result was a #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Chris Brown. A video using "Forever" as the song for a wedding march was uploaded to YouTube and received over 1.5 million views in its first week. "Forever" was the rare Chris Brown release to climb into the top 40 at adult pop radio.

The "Forever" music video was directed by Joseph Kahn, known for a long successful music video career including Eminem's Grammy-winning "Without Me" and Taylor Swift's Grammy-winning "Bad Blood." Model Megan Abrigo appears as Chris Brown's love interest. "Forever" earned a nomination for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Chris Brown Songs." ThoughtCo, Nov. 17, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-chris-brown-songs-4027375. Lamb, Bill. (2017, November 17). Top 10 Chris Brown Songs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-chris-brown-songs-4027375 Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Chris Brown Songs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-chris-brown-songs-4027375 (accessed November 20, 2017).