Kelly Roland told an audience to “chill out” while she accepted an American Music Award on behalf of Chris Brown.
Chris Brown, who punched Rihanna back in 2009 and has since had multiple allegations of violence against other women surface recently, won Favorite Male R&B Artist. The crowd in the Microsoft Theater immediately booed the announcement.
“Excuse me,” Rowland said. “Chill out.”
Cameras then panned to show the audience booing and jeering the win.
Rowland proceeded to praise an abusive man.
“I wanna tell Chris thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I wanna tell him thank you for being an incredible performer. I’ll take this award, bring it to you. I love you. Congratulations.”
Twitter users condemned Brown. “doing all that for chris brown in 2022 is…whatever 🤨,” wrote one user. Another said, “Shame on Kelly Rowland for supporting an abuser.”
On Instagram, Brown had confirmed that his scheduled appearance on the show had been canceled. He had previously been scheduled to appear at the AMAs and perform a tribute in honor of the 40th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Brown planned to perform Beat It, Billie Jean, Wanna Be Starting Something and Thriller.
It appeared that Brown was shocked to learn of the cancellation.
“WOULD’VE been the AMA performance but they canceled me for reasons unknown,” the singer said on Instagram.
He shared a seven minute long rehearsal video of what appeared to be his performance for the AMAs.
TMZ reported that AMA organizers hadn’t spoken about the alleged cancellation. Brown’s fans on Twitter acted abhorrently, writing “He ain’t did nothing wrong publicly lately that y’all can say is the reason” (LATELY) and “The disrespect to want Chris Brown to perform, let him rehearse and waste his time and then cancel on him is next level.”