Getty Images/Jason Kempin/BET
Troubled pop stars Justin Bieber and Chris Brown showed off their sporting skills by going head-to-head at a celebrity basketball match on Saturday (28Jun14).
The pals, who have both faced legal troubles in recent months, joined the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Game, Tyga and Soulja Boy for the game, which was part of the annual BET Experience festivities leading up the BET Awards show on Sunday (29Jun14).
Brown, who has kept a low-profile since being released from jail earlier this month (Jun14), managed to defeat Bieber's team in overtime with a winning shot by Snoop Dogg.
Despite the loss, Bieber's spirits were not dampened as he shared snaps from the game on his social media accounts and thanked organisers for letting him take part.
In a Twitter.com post, he wrote, "Thank you to everyone at BET for having me today at the game. Honoured to play and thanks for being so kind."
Brown spent more than two months in prison for violating his probation relating to his assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. He walked free on 2 June (14).
R&B superstar Usher has spoken out in defence of his protege Justin Bieber once more as the fall out from the Baby singer's racial slur controversy continues, insisting the youngster is "unequivocally not a racist".
The hitmaker has come under fire this week after two old video clips, filmed in 2009, emerged online showing him using the N-word in a racist joke and singing about joining notorious race hate group the Ku Klux Klan. Bieber has issued two formal apologies to date, claiming it was a "reckless and immature mistake", and his mentor Usher subsequently branded the scandal "unfortunate", but vowed to stand by his 20-year-old charge, stating, "Every person that has grown up, grows up with something. It ain't (sic) just perfect from the beginning."
On Saturday (07Jun14), Usher took to his Instagram.com page to further express his feelings about the situation, which has threatened to derail Bieber's career. He shared a photo of himself with Bieber, and in the accompanying caption, he wrote, "As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist. "What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes."
Usher is not the first African-American celebrity to come to Bieber's defence - 50 Cent, Soulja Boy, boxers Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Mike Tyson and actress Whoopi Goldberg have also voiced their support for the youngster. Meanwhile, the embattled singer has reportedly turned to Christianity to help him get through the backlash and was allegedly baptised in a bathtub this week (ends08Jun14).
R&B star Usher has refused the chance to defend his protegee Justin Bieber following his racist joke scandal, fleeing in a car when he was asked to comment on the furore. The Baby singer issued a public apology on Sunday (01Jun14) after the emergence of footage showing him using the 'N-word' and grinning in amusement. The clip sparked outrage, and Bieber later called it a "reckless and immature mistake", adding that he was just 15 years old when the video was shot and he "didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt".
His famous pals, including boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and rapper Soulja Boy, have stepped up to defend the troubled star over the controversy, but Usher - who has mentored the singer since he was an unknown teenager - pointedly declined the chance to speak out for his young charge on Monday (02Jun14). The Burn hitmaker was spotted leaving a restaurant in Los Angeles, and when he was asked by a reporter from TMZ.com about the Bieber incident, he broke into a run, leaped into a waiting sports utility vehicle (SUV), and sped away without a word.
Earlier this week (beg02Jun14), Mayweather, Jr. showed his support for Bieber by posting a picture of the pair together on his Instagram page, adding in a caption, "Justin has been nothing but kind to me, my daughters and sons over the years. We all make mistakes when we are young, it's part of growing up. I am proud of what he's doing as a 20 year old musician and business man."
Bieber has also received support from fellow musician Soulja Boy, who tells TMZ.com, "I talked to Justin yesterday. I called him. He (is) in Cancun (in Mexico). We spoke about it. It's really just so old man. He was 15... The footage was super old. It was a very touchy, serious situation, but we all slip up, we all make mistakes and I told him, man I said, 'You're a great person...' He said, 'Thank you... for having my back.' It is what it is. Let the kid live. We all slip up, we all make mistakes. Y'all know he's not racist. I'm his homie, all his homies is black (sic)... he's not racist."
Rapper Soulja Boy was caught up in a missing car mystery on Saturday (10May14) when his Bentley disappeared from outside his home. The hip-hop star reportedly called police after realising his luxury vehicle was not in its usual spot outside his property, and he was advised to make his way to a nearby station to file a report.
However, before he could head to the station, he learned his manager had borrowed the car, according to TMZ.com.
Rapper Soulja Boy is a free man again after serving a few days behind bars on a gun charge. The Crank That (Soulja Boy) hitmaker, real name DeAndre Way, shocked fans earlier this month (Feb14) by revealing he was heading to jail, less than a month after he was arrested in California for illegal possession of a loaded gun.
The 23 year old did not elaborate on the specific reasons for his sentence or the length of his punishment.
Speaking before he turned himself in to authorities, he insisted he wasn't afraid of jail, saying, "I ain't scared (sic). It just is what it is. I done been to jail before (sic), but not for this long of a time... So, it is what it is. I gotta deal with life...I've had a lot of success. I just look at this as a minor bump. I'll get focused back on the music after it's over with."
Soulja Boy checked into a detention centre on Thursday (20Feb14), but it appears he was granted an early release as he was back on his Twitter.com blog on Sunday (23Feb14).
He shared a photo of himself in a hotel room and, in a series of subsequent tweets, he wrote, "We Made It. Keep working."
He also retweeted a message from his rap protege Young Ayers, who celebrated the star's release by posting, "They let my n**ga out time to get back to work and turn the streets up".
As WENN went to press, there was no information available surrounding Soulja Boy's brief jail term or the reasons for his release.
Way previously spent time behind bars following a 2011 arrest for felony drug and gun charges, while he was charged with obstruction of justice in 2009 after running from Georgia police during a video shoot in an abandoned building.
Rapper Soulja Boy has shocked fans by announcing he is heading to jail this week (begs17Feb14). The Crank That (Soulja Boy) hitmaker, real name DeAndre Way, shared the news with his Twitter.com followers on Saturday night (15Feb14), but the reasons for his looming stint behind bars were unknown as WENN went to press.
The hip-hop star, 23, tweeted, "5 more days until I go to jail. Appreciate everyone who was there for me while I needed y'all (sic)."
The news comes less than a month after he was arrested in California for illegal possession of a loaded gun.
Way was previously busted for felony drug and gun charges in 2011, and he was charged with obstruction of justice in 2009 after running from Georgia police during a video shoot in an abandoned building.
Rapper Soulja Boy was arrested in California in the early hours of Wednesday morning (22Jan14). The 23-year-old hip-hop star was a passenger in a vehicle travelling in the San Fernando Valley when cops pulled over the car for a minor traffic violation.
Soulja Boy, real name DeAndre Way, was detained after officers allegedly found him to be illegally in possession of a loaded gun, according to TMZ.com.
The star was reportedly taken to a local jail for booking.
Rapper Soulja Boy is facing a legal battle with a woman who alleges he is the father of her five-year-old son. The Crank That (Soulja Boy) hitmaker has been hit with a paternity suit by Diamond Shantaniece MacKay, who has filed legal documents claiming the star is the father of her son, Portland.
According to documents obtained by TMZ.com, MacKay is demanding a paternity test to confirm the rapper fathered the child.
She also claims the star has visited the young boy several times.
Rapper Soulja Boy has publicly apologised to the flight crew of an American Airlines plane after he was removed by armed police for causing a scene before take-off. The star was due to fly on Friday (09Aug13), but became embroiled in an argument with flight staff when he refused to obey an order to sit down as they made preparations for the journey.
The hip-hop star was removed from the plane by cops, and has now issued an apology to everyone involved.
He tells TMZ.com, "It was a bad night and me and the flight staff didn't see eye to eye. In hindsight, I'm extremely sorry for all inconvenience caused to the passengers and employees of the airline."
Rapper Soulja Boy spent part of his Independence Day (04Jul13) holiday fighting to regain control of his email and social networking accounts after he was targeted by hackers. The Crank That (Soulja Boy) hitmaker discovered he had been locked out of his pages on YouTube.com and Twitter.com, as well as his Gmail inbox, on Thursday morning, and wasted no time in contacting site officials to reset his login details and he was back online within hours.
He shared a screen shot of his Twitter page alerting him to an unauthorised password change with followers and wrote, "Damn I got hacked on the 4th of july".
However, he refused to let the incident mar his celebrations and added, "Turnin up at my party today, even tho my gmail/youtube is hacked I dont give a f**k no more (sic)..."
Soulja Boy has become an easy victim for cyber criminals - he also had a number of accounts hacked in March (13).
Soulja Boy was arrested in the early morning of Oct. 18, 2011 in Temple, GA with four other men on charges of possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.