A Los Angeles judge says pop star Chris Brown must serve five years of probation and perform six months of community labour for beating his former girlfriend, Rihanna.

Brown, 20, appeared in a Los Angeles court Tuesday afternoon to be formally sentenced for the February attack on the Barbadian-born singer.

Brown's sentence will be served in his home state of Virginia. He will have to return to Los Angeles frequently to update a judge on his progress.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June. He apologized to fans in a video and said he has apologized to Rihanna, who did not appear in court Tuesday.

The judge says the chief of police in Richmond, Va., will supervise Brown's community labour directly.