Troubled R+B pioneer Bobby Brown was released from jail a month early yesterday (22MAR04) - to attend an emergency hearing in a Massachusetts family court.

On 27 February (04) the MY PREROGATIVE singer, 35, was sentenced to 60 days in an Atlanta, Georgia prison, after he violated his probation terms from a past drink-driving charge.

One violation relates to a misdemeanour battery charge in which police claim Brown allegedly hit his wife Whitney Houston in December (03), leaving her cheek bruised and lip cut.

Houston is currently in rehabilitation for reported drug abuse after being admitted 10 days ago (14MAR04).

Brown is to attend the emergency hearing on Wednesday (24MAR04) after DeKalb County, Georgia Sheriff THOMAS BROWN was presented with an order requiring the presence of the singer.

He has been summoned to the family court in relation to an unspecified paternity suit. Besides his daughter Bobbi Kristina with Houston, Brown has three other children from two previous relationships.

Brown is scheduled to appear at FULTON COUNTY COURT in Georgia on 5 May (04) over battery charges.

23/03/2004 17:42