Singer Chris Brown has surprised fans by starting a campaign which vows to stand up for equality, for gay people, and other minority groups.

The Fine China singer, and former boyfriend of Rihanna, made the announcement via a tweet, saying that his new single ‘They Don’t Know’, which will be released on Monday is part of the campaign, called “UNITY”.

He tweeted to say the campaign aimed to “encourage all races, geners, sexes, (everyone) gay or straight to love each other!”.

Continuing, he said: “As a young inspiration to all types of people around the world, I have a moral obligation to let go of grudges or bs.”

Some were surprised by the announcement, as in the past the star has been criticised for run-ins with other celebrities, and for being party to anti-gay slurs.

Bisexual R&B star Frank Ocean, Chris Brown and their associates allegedly got into an altercation earlier this year, in which someone in Brown’s group is said to have called Ocean a “faggot“.

Brown caused controversy at the Grammy Awards by remaining the only seated audience-member during a standing ovation given to Ocean when he received his award.

Former ‘Nsync star, Lance Bass, spoke out since to say that Brown should face jail as the “only way to” be rehabilitated for using the anti-gay slur, despite it being unclear whether it was he who used the word.