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 isn’t the most divisive or controversial figure in pop music. But when the Destiny’s Child star found herself in the awkward position of accepting the Favorite Male R&B Artist trophy from the absent (and certainly controversial) Chris Brown at Sunday’s American Music Awards, she protested. The performer was injured while confronting the audience. .

A little background here: Brown was not only expected to attend Sunday’s AMAs, but to pay tribute to another divisive and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, in celebration of what would have been Jackson’s 40th birthday. fat the album A day before the awards, Brown posted a seven-minute Instagram video – simply captioned “U serious?” – He rehearsed an elaborately choreographed medley of Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” claiming in the comments of the post that his Jackson tribute was the last. Deleted. Minutes. “It was supposed to be an AMA performance but they canceled on me for unknown reasons,” he wrote. (A representative for the AMAs 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, possibly in protest, leaving presenter Rowland to accept her award. When audience members began booing when she announced that Brown had won Favorite Male R&B Artist over Brent Fayez, GIVOON, Lucky Daye, and The Weeknd, she seemed surprised and angry by the backlash.

“Excuse me—relax,” Roland snapped, pointing a finger at the furious crowd. She then continued: “But I want to tell Chris, thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I want to tell him thank you for being an incredible actor. I will take this prize and bring it to you. I love you. congratulations And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.

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Highlights of the 2022 American Music Awards ceremony, held Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, included Pink’s roller-skating opening number and “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” a tribute to Olivia Newton-John; Favorite Female Latin Artist winner Anita’s duet on “Lobby” with surprise guest Missy Elliott; a powerful performance of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bow” by American artist Yula; and an emotional speech from Best New Artist winner Dave Cameron, who is bisexual, in which he dedicated his award to “Care Community at Large” and this weekend’s LGBTQ+ Colorado nightclub Q.

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The ceremony culminated in Lionel Richie being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Icon Award by Smokey Robinson, followed by Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth performing a Richie medley, joined by Ari Lenox, Monae Long, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmy Allen, Yola , Robinson, and Ritchie himself for an emotional performance of “We Are the World,” which Ritchie wrote with the aforementioned Jackson in 1985.

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 — breaking her own AMAs record and bringing her win total to 40. . For a complete list of 2022 American Music Award winners, click here.

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