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

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

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

Kelly Rowland does not tend to be a very divisive or controversial figure in pop music. But when the Destiny’s Child star found herself in the awkward position of having to accept the award for Favorite R&B Artist on behalf of the absent (and certainly divisive and controversial) Chris Brown at Sunday’s American Music Awards ceremony, she faced a protesting audience. .

A little background here: Brown is not only expected to attend Sunday’s AMAs, but also to perform a tribute to the divisive and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, in celebration of Jackson’s landmark 40th birthday. Thriller album. Days before the awards, Brown posted a seven-minute Instagram video — only to caption it “U SERIOUS?” — about him rehearsing an intricately choreographed medley of Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” noting in the comments of the post that his Jackson tribute had been canceled at the end. minutes. “COULD have been an ama performance but they canceled on me for unknown reasons,” he wrote. (A representative for the AMA did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.)

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So, Brown was a no-show at Sunday’s AMAs, apparently in protest, leaving presenter Rowland to accept her award. When audience members started booing after he announced that Brown had won Favorite Male R&B Artist over Brent Faiyaz, GIVĒON, Lucky Daye, and the Weeknd, he seemed aback and even annoyed by the strong reaction.

“Sorry – chill out,” Rowland scolded, sternly pointing his finger at the bustling crowd. He continued: “But I want to say to Chris, thank you so much for creating great R&B music. And I want to tell him thank you for being an amazing performer. I’m going to accept this award, bring it to you. I love you you. congratulations. and congratulations to all the nominees in this category.

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Among the highlights of the 2022 American Music Awards ceremony, held Sunday, November 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, were Pink’s roller-skating opening number and the tribute “Hopelessly Devoted to You” to Olivia Newton-John; Favorite Female Latin Artist Anitta duets with surprise guest Missy Elliott on “Lobby”; a powerful performance of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bough” by Americana artist Yola; and an emotional speech by Best New Artist winner Dove Cameron, who is bisexual, in which she dedicated her award to the “huge queer community” and honored the victims of this weekend’s shooting at LGBTQ+ Colorado nightspot Club Q.

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

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

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