Bobby Brown Gets Engaged – On Stage!

05/09/2010 at 02:00 PM EDT

Bobby Brown Gets Engaged – On Stage!
Alicia Etheridge and Bobby Brown
Earl Gibson III/AP
For concertgoers at Metro Park in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday, the hottest ticket at the annual Funk Fest wasn't the performance by '90s girl group SWV or the line for fruity refreshments as temperatures climbed into the 90s. It was watching singer Bobby Brown propose to his girlfriend of nearly three years, manager Alicia Etheridge.

Holding their 11-month-old son Cassius, Etheridge joined Brown on stage as he got down on one knee and presented her with a ring. The crowd roared its approval as a beaming Etheridge kissed Brown, who remained kneeling.

Brown, who had a troubled 15-year marriage to Whitney Houston and most recently appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, seemed elated to have the audience in his corner.

"We shouted, we screamed," fan Carol Pearsall told the Florida Times-Union. "We supported him."

Added her husband, Paul, "Hopefully he'll get it right this time."

His ex also shared in their joy. Houston tells PEOPLE, "I am very happy for Bobby and Alicia and I wish them all the best."

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