Chris Brown Today Show
Credit: NBC

April 1 probably wasn't the best choice of date for Chris Brown's big Today mea culpa. Even so, the troubled singer opened up to Matt Lauer on this morning's show, easily fielding questions about his volatile relationship with on-again, off-again girlfriend Rihanna and earnestly expressing how much he's changed since his 2009 felony assault charge. (The windows in Today's dressing rooms must be breathing a sigh of relief.)

After a few cursory inquiries about Brown's new album, X, Lauer got down to brass tacks. The anchor asked Brown to describe how he's matured since entering the music industry as a teenager, and then made his own assessment: "The biggest difference I would note and tell our viewers about is right now, you are agreeing to sit down and talk about things that you hadn't talked about over the last three years."

Brown responded with a nod, a smile, and a monologue: "I've been humbled by the whole experience, from me losing everything to me having to regain public opinion, or whatever it is. But most importantly, you know, knowing that what I did was totally wrong, and having to kind of deal with myself and forgive myself in the same breath, and being able to apologize to Rihanna, and being able to be that man that can be a man, you know?" Later, Brown noted that he wants his music to "inspire the world" — and, more specifically, "people that have been in my situation." I'm not even going to touch that one.

When Lauer pointed out that some cynics won't believe Brown's contrition — especially considering the singer's recent rant about women and even more recent Drake diss — Brown just shrugged and said, "I think everybody's entitled to their opinion. For me, it's a learning process. I just have to take it one day at a time. I can't make everybody like me."

Instead, he continued, "I'm not going to focus my life on trying to please those people. Only thing I can do is just please my family, myself, and please her." Anyone want to bet whether this outlook will live to see April 2?

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