Rihanna and Chris Brown: Romance Rekindled, or Sales Ploy?

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Photo:Gettyimage/abcnews

They collaborated on a song together. They tweet back and forth. She insists on talking to him, public opinion be damned.

So are Rihanna and Chris Brown dating again … or milking the speculation for all it’s worth?

Brown’s appearance on the remix of Rihanna’s song “Birthday Cake” ramped up rumors that they’ve gotten back together after his horrific assault on her in 2009. They’ve kept the door open to interpretation. “The bottom line is that everyone thinks differently,” Rihanna told the May issue of Elle, regarding those who’ve criticized her decision to have Brown on “Birthday Cake.” She added, “I’m still going to do what I want to do.”

There are advantages to firing up her fans, Us Weekly’s Justin Ravitz said.

“I think she likes to flirt with danger. It makes her seem more mysterious,” Ravitz told ABCNews.com. “Whether this reunion is real or imagined, it’s going to keep them both in the public eye. I don’t know if this is to boost album sales, I don’t know if this is because she’s not even 25 yet and she doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Her sales are through the roof — as of January, Nielsen Soundscan said she had sold more digital singles than any other artist in history. It’s also worth mentioning that Brown’s fifth album is due to drop in May. Making nice with the ex he tried to force out of a moving car (read the police report) might seem like a nice way to boost downloads.

We’ve seen this kind of thing before. The history of Hollywood hookups is rife with examples of couples who came together — or at least let relationship rumors linger — at convenient times in their careers:

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