Chris Brown Performed Michael Jackson tribute on BET Awards ... before breaking down

*It was a night of comebacks at the BET Awards, and none more unexpected than Chris Brown performing an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson.

The embattled pop star has mostly kept a low profile since pleading guilty to felony assault for beating up Rihanna in February 2009. But here he was, center stage, mimicking Jackson’s signature dance moves with almost eerie accuracy. Introduced by Jermaine Jackson, Brown embodied the King of Pop, wearing his fedora and spangled glove and moonwalking across the stage to “Billie Jean.”

Then, as Brown grabbed a microphone to sing “Man in the Mirror,” he broke down in tears. His voice cracked, he couldn’t sing, and at one point he crumpled to the stage in apparent agony. It was a moving moment made even more so by the song’s lyrics and Brown’s recent past.

The 21-year-old returned to the stage later in the show when he won the AOL “fandemonium award.”

“I let you all down before, but I won’t do it again. I promise you,” he said.

Sunday’s ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium began with a comeback: Kanye West opened the show atop a volcano onstage in his first TV appearance since dissing Taylor Swift at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

T.I. also made a triumphant return to television in his first TV performance since being released from prison in December. Backed by Travis Barker on drums, T.I. performed “Yeah Ya Know,” and later returned to the stage to sing “Hello, Good Morning” with Diddy-Dirty Money, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj, who won for female hip-hop artist.

Read the FULL report on the awards HERE.

Watch Chris Brown’s performance and breakdown here: