Kelly Rowland defends Chris Brown, tells booing crowd to ‘chill out’ at AMAs ceremony

Kelly Rowland on stage at the American Music Awards 2022. (Photo: ABC)

Kelly Rowland on stage at the American Music Awards 2022. (Photo: ABC)

Kelly Rowland isn’t usually a very divisive or controversial figure in pop music. But when the Destiny’s Child star found himself in the awkward position of having to accept the Favorite Male R&B Artist trophy on behalf of the absent (and decidedly divisive and controversial) Chris Brown at Sunday’s American Music Awards, he ended up facing the protesting crowd . .

A little background here: Not only was Brown expected to attend Sunday’s AMAs, but he was also expected to perform a tribute to another divisive and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s milestone. Thriller album The day before the awards show, Brown posted a seven-minute Instagram video, only with the caption, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” — of him rehearsing an elaborate choreography of Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” claiming in the post’s comments that his tribute to Jackson had been canceled on the latter. “I was supposed to be the mistress, but I was canceled for unknown reasons,” she wrote. (A representative for the AMAs did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.)

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So Brown didn’t show up to Sunday’s AMAs, presumably in protest, leaving host Rowland to accept her award. When audience members began booing after she announced that Brown had won Favorite Male R&B Artist over Brent Faiyaz, GIVĒON, Lucky Daye and The Weeknd, she seemed surprised and even annoyed by the strong reaction.

“Excuse me, relax,” Rowland scolded, pointing sternly at the rowdy crowd. He then continued, “But I wanted to say to Chris, thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I want to say thank you for being an amazing performer. I’m taking this award, I’m bringing it to you. I love you. Congratulations. And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.” .

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Highlights from the 2022 American Music Awards, held Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, included Pink’s roller-skating opening number and Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You” tribute ; Favorite Latin Artist winner Anitta’s duet with surprise guest Missy Elliott on “Lobby”; a powerful rendition of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bough” by American artist Yola; and Best New Artist winner Dove Cameron’s emotional speech, who is bisexual, in which she dedicated her award to the “queer community at large” and paid tribute to the victims of this weekend’s shooting at Colorado’s LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q.

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The ceremony culminated with Smokey Robinson presenting Lionel Richie with the Icon Award, after which Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth performed a Richie medley joined by Ari Lennox, Muni Long, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmie Allen, Yola, Robinson, and the Richie himself for a soulful performance of “We Are the World,” which Richie wrote in 1985 with the aforementioned Jackson.

The big winner of the night was Taylor Swift, who swept all six categories, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year, breaking her own AMAs record and bringing her win total to 40. For a full list of American Music de 2022 The award winners, click here.

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