Chris Brown picked the wrong day to mess with Vanessa Carlton: International Women’s Day. Not that any day would be a good day to see a man known for his past domestic violence sharing your art on his social media feeds, but the fact that Brown decided to express his affinity for Vanessa Carlton’s 2001 hit “A Thousand Miles” on a day dedicated to celebrating women was too much for the pianist and singer — and she told him, and the world, as much.
In a series of Instagram posts that have since been deleted (or set to private), Brown first shared a clip of “A Thousand Miles,” on International Women’s Day, March 8th. Vanessa Carlton quickly made it clear she was not okay with Brown linking himself to her music, even if he had positive things to say about her work:
Brown famously pleaded guilty to felony assault against his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.
Rihanna went to the hospital and then to the police after Brown attacked her the night before the Grammys, and the disturbing photo of the singer’s injuries, which TMZ obtained from the LAPD at the time, let the public see just how much violence Brown had committed. In 2013, he was arrested again for punching a man in Washington, D.C. And in 2016, he was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly threatening a woman with a gun at his home, and other accusations and altercations surfaced in the years between.
Brown responded to Carlton’s post by sharing a screenshot of her message, and adding a message of his own: “I posted a song that was and still is a great song and the artist felt she was doing her duty as a WOMAN to continue to spread this kind of hatred today. I won’t keep it up long. I just hope she knows she is loved and her song is great.”
The only post in the exchange that’s still up is Brown’s second response — because apparently he didn’t get the hint — a clip from the 2004 movie White Chicks that features Terry Crews singing along to “A Thousand Miles.” Carlton said nothing else, but set her account to private.
It’s a bummer that Vanessa Carlton had to take time out of her #InternationalWomensDay to explain to someone with a history of violence against women why she didn’t want her music associated with him. But while Brown kept pushing the issue, Carlton took the higher ground.