Rihanna. (Jonathan Short/AP)

To some, the musical pairing seemed unimaginable considering Brown’s conviction for assaulting Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammys. The remixes were also released shortly after Brown’s controversial return to the music award show, which certainly didn’t help matters.

Thursday, Rihanna spoke to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show and explained why she wanted to work with Brown:

We ended up recording [the remixes] at the same time and executing them together, but I reached out to him about doing ‘Birthday Cake’ because that’s the only person that really — it made sense to do the record. Just as a musician despite everything else that was going to be the person. You know I thought about rappers, and I’ve done that so many times, and the hottest R&B artist out right now is Chris Brown. So I wanted him on the track, and then in turn he was like, ‘Why don’t you do the remix to my track?’ and it was a trade off. We did two records. One for my fans. One for his fans, and that way our fans can come together. There shouldn’t be a divide. You know? It’s music, and it’s innocent

Rihanna admitted to admiring Brown’s new music to Esquire in October, so this explanation isn’t that surprising. Still, I doubt this business-minded approach to the collaboration will change the mind of any detractors.

Listen to the interview below.