At the same awards show on Feb. 8, 2009, the singer was shockingly absent after the violent altercation with her then-boyfriend the night before.
Today, insiders say both singers are getting their lives and careers back on track.
Rihanna, who took home two Grammys for "Run This Town," last weekend, "is like a princess of music," a source tells PEOPLE. "She really has her stuff together."
The singer is also moving forward in her personal life. She's been dating L.A. Dodger Matt Kemp in recent months. Says the source of her relationship: "Rihanna knows what she wants." And despite recent buzz about Kemp's troubled past, adds the source, "He makes her happy."
Brown Has MaturedAs for Brown, 20, "He's in good spirits," says MTV's Sway Calloway. "He's been doing work and speaking in circles with people who also have been victimized by domestic violence."
Adds someone close to the singer, "He has matured a lot in the last year and people will see that when he re-emerges." For now Brown is single and working to improve himself. "He wants to be a better person before he gets serious with someone again," the source says. "This wasn't something he took lightly."
In terms of his career, Brown also now sees how his personal and professional life are linked. "He's learned that when you're a celebrity, public perception is fragile," says Calloway. "But I think he'll recover. He's a good dude who made a big mistake."
Though the exes are not in touch (Brown was ordered not to contact Rihanna for the next five years in addition to his probation and community labor), the R&B star told Diane Sawyer in November that she wishes Brown well.
"I want him to do well, have a great career, have a great life and grow up," Rihanna said. "And just take this as something you had to go through to grow up and learn."
With reporting by JESSICA HERNDON and TIFFANY MCGEE