Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown Back on Dating Scene

05/29/2007 at 05:35 PM EDT

Bobby Brown Back on Dating Scene
Brown and Etheridge on May 26
rob rich/everett collection
Bobby Brown, whose divorce from Whitney Houston became final in April, is back to his bachelor ways.

"I'm dating, so it's not like I'm single," Brown, 40, told PEOPLE at Stereo by the Shore in Southampton, N.Y. on Saturday.

Asked whom he was dating, the "My Prerogative" singer replied, "My friend," and looked over at the woman holding his hand.

A source at the club identified Brown's companion as Alicia Etheridge. Another source close to the singer confirmed to PEOPLE that he is indeed dating Etheridge. She was formerly the president of the M. Gray Music Academy, Macy Gray's after-school music program.

"They were kissing in the car," says a source who observed the couple before they headed into the club, where besides his signature song Brown also performed "Every Little Step."

The twosome – who apparently got together this month, a source tells PEOPLE – stayed at the event until 3 a.m. and did in the club what they were doing in the car: kissing.

Reporting by JEFFREY SLONIM and TIFFANY McGEE

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