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 doesn’t 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 accepting the trophy for Favorite Male R&B Artist for the absent (and decidedly divisive and controversial) Chris Brown at the American Music Awards on Sunday, she faced a protesting audience. .

A little background here: Not only was Brown expected to attend the AMAs on Sunday, but she’s also paying tribute to another divisive and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s milestone. Adventure the album. The day before the awards show, Brown posted a seven-minute Instagram video – “U SERIOUS?” Only captioned with. — he rehearsed an elaborate dance routine of Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Gonna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” announcing in post comments that he canceled his Jackson tribute last time. would have been the show, but they canceled me for unknown reasons,” he wrote. (A rep 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, presumably in protest, letting host Rowland accept his 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 shocked and angered by the strong response.

“Sorry—calm down,” scolded Roland, pointing at the rowdy crowd. She later added: “But I just wanted to say Chris, thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I want to tell him thank you for being an incredible performer. I will take this award and bring it to you. L love you. best wishes. And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.”

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Pink’s roller-skating opening number and tribute to Olivia Newton-John were among the highlights of the 2022 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 20. Favorite Female Latin Artist winner Anita’s duet with surprise guest Missy Elliott on “Lobby”; a powerful performance of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bough” by Americana artist Yola; and bisexual Best New Artist winner Dove Cameron’s emotional speech, in which she dedicated her award to the “larger 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, Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth performing a Richie Medley, and Ari Lennox, Muni Long, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmie Allen, Yola, Robinson, one it was. and Richie for a sensational performance in 1985’s “We Are the World,” co-written 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 — breaking her own AMA record and bringing her total to 40 wins. For a complete list of 2022 American Music Award winners, click here.

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