Kelly Rowland Defends Chris Brown, Tells Booing Fans to ‘Calm Their Nerves’ at the AMAs

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

Kelly Rowland does not tend to be a controversial or controversial figure in pop music. But when the Destiny’s Child star found herself in the awkward position of having to accept the trophy for favorite R&B artist on behalf of the absent (and decidedly divisive and controversial) Chris Brown at Sunday’s American Music Awards, she ended up confronting the protesting crowd.

A little background here: Not only was Brown expected to attend the AMAs on Sunday, but he also performed a tribute to another divisive and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s milestone. excitement album. The day before the awards ceremony, Brown posted a seven-minute video to Instagram — captioned only with, “U SERIOUS?” — rehearses an elaborate medley of Jackson’s songs “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” claiming in the post’s comments that Jackson’s tribute was canceled at the last minute. To be an AMA performance but they canceled me for unknown reasons.” (A representative for the AMAs did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.)

So, Brown did not show up at the AMA on Sunday, most likely in protest, leaving announcer Rowland to accept his award. When audience members started booing after her announcement that Brown won Favorite R&B Artist over Brent Faiyaz, GIVĒON, Lucky Daye, and The Weeknd, she seemed surprised and even annoyed at the strong reaction.

“Excuse me—chill out,” Roland scolded, pointing his finger furiously at the boisterous crowd. She then continued, “But I wanted to tell Chris, Thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I want to say thank you to him for putting on an amazing performance. I’m going to take this award, bring it to you. I love you. Congratulations. And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.” .

Among the highlights of the 2022 American Music Awards, which take place Sunday, November 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, are Pink’s Skateboarding’s opening number and a tribute to Olivia Newton-John titled “Desperate for You.” Favorite Latin Artist winner Anita’s duet with surprise guest Missy Elliott on “The Lobby”; a powerful performance of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bough” by Americana Yola; and the emotional speech delivered by Best New Artist winner Dove Cameron, who is bisexual, dedicating her award to the “queer community at large” and honoring the victims of the shooting this week at LGBTQ+ Colorado nightpot Club Q.

The ceremony culminated with Lionel Richie being presented with the Icon of Lifetime Achievement Award by Smokey Robinson, after which Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth performed the Richie Medley and were joined by Ari Lennox, Mooney Long, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmy Allen, Yola, Robinson and Richie himself for an emotional performance for Richie’s 1985 film “We Are the World” with the aforementioned Jackson.

Taylor Swift was the big winner of the night, sweeping all six of her categories, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year — thus breaking her own record at the AMAs and bringing her win total to 40. For a full list of the 2022 American Music Awards winners, click over here.

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