Chris Brown booed at AMAs, Kelly Rowland tells crowd to ‘chill out’

by 24USATVNov. 22, 2022, 6:20 a.m. 15
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The crowd at the American Music Awards of 2022 ceremony on Sunday booed when artist Chris Brown was announced the winner of the best male R&B artist category. Fellow artist Kelly Rowland presented and accepted the award for Brown, giving a supportive speech after telling the crowd to “chill out.”

Rowland reportedly appeared surprised by the crowd’s reaction, according to Deadline, though the ceremony continued.

“Now, Chris Brown is not here tonight so I’m accepting the award on his behalf,” Rowland said, before silencing the crowd’s boos. “Excuse me ... chill out.”

Rowland continued, “But I wanted 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 performer. I’ll take this award (and) bring it to you. I love you. Congratulations. And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.”

Brown was not in attendance at the show for reasons not officially stated. His absence, BBC reported, follows the American Music Awards canceling last-minute a performance Brown had prepared for the evening — a tribute to Michael Jackson, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s legendary album, “Thriller.”

Brown had posted on Instagram a seven-minute recording of the tribute’s rehearsal, featuring dance moves from classic Michael Jackson music videos, with songs such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Starting Something” and “Thriller.”

“U SERIOUS?” Brown captioned the post, after the performance was canceled. He later commented, “Would’ve been the (biggest) AMA performance but they canceled me for reasons unknown.”

This kind of tribute is not a first-time performance for Brown, as he did a similar tribute to Jackson for the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards back in 2010. But Brown’s cold reception at the American Music Awards may be tied to his controversial history outside of his music career. In 2009, Brown was charged with assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna, to which he pleaded guilty, resulting in massive backlash from the public, Billboard reported.

In addition, sources told Variety and Puck that the last-minute cancellation of Brown’s performance is allegedly tied to the history of both Brown and Jackson. The American Music Awards reportedly steered away from the image of Brown — who pleaded guilty to assault — performing a tribute to the late Jackson, who faced allegations of sexual abuse in 2005.

“Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business,” a representative of Dick Clark Productions told Puck. “Unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown.”

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