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"I'm definitely in a better place in my life," the singer tells the BoomBox. "Six years sober from drugs. I'm just really grateful that I can get off the heroin, the crack, the coke. I'm glad I just have a beautiful woman in my life who's always there for me. At times when it gets really hard, she's right there, you know, to hold me and let me know, you know, 'Look at where you come from and look at where you are right now.' I'm just grateful."
As far as how domestic life has been for him so far, Brown, who also has a son, Cassius, with Etheridge, says he loves being in love. "I'm definitely in love right now and I'm happy and my little boy is just, like, he's a little me," he explains. "Alicia is just a gem to be around. But we also do business together so it's just like, you know, she's my lady, man, and when you're happy, you're happy."
As for his music career, the singer is reemerging with a new album, 'The Masterpiece,' which comes out in May. "I've been basically trying to live and grow with myself and find what I wanted to write about," says Brown. "Unfortunately my mom passed [away] and I had to do something quick, so 'The Masterpiece' is just 13 years of my ups and downs and everything that I've been through. I'm just grateful to be able to put this album out because I really feel it is a masterpiece."
Brown is also getting back in touch with his musical past as he and the other members of New Edition are in talks about a reunion to coincide with their 30th anniversary next year. "I'm just, I'm at awe with being able to come together as brothers," he continues, "Business can tear friends apart but we've been working with our friendship and talking every week. It's just a good thing that, you know, I still got five brothers."
The singer also says he and Etheridge are thinking about producing a new reality TV show that would involve themselves and their kids. "I just like being open," Brown says. "I like people to see exactly what I'm about and exactly what kind of person I am and not judge me for, you know, other people's words or what other people think about me."
On how he copes with the tabloid stories about him, Brown recalls what his mother once said -- that "if they're not talking about you, you're not successful." "I'm only human," he says. "I'm going to go through rough patches in my life but it's how I pick myself up from it. And thank God I've been able to pick myself up from everything that has hurt me in the past. You have to know yourself and you have to learn to love yourself and I love myself now. I know how my kids feel about me. I know how I feel about them. And we just try to stay strong for each other."
Brown's life continues to be in the spotlight. Most recently there were media reports about Bobbi Kristina -- his daughter with Whitney Houston -- allegedly using drugs. "I did talk to her," Brown says. "I have all faith in my daughter that she's going to stay strong for herself. My daughter is doing great. I love her dearly."
Besides Bobbi Kristina, he's also the father of three other children: sons Landon and Bobby, Jr., and daughter LaPrincia. He offers these words of wisdom to his kids: "Don't do what I do. Period. Be yourself and always, always know that daddy is gonna be there no matter what."