Kelly Rowland quieted unrest from the audience after Chris Brown’s American Music Award win was booed on Sunday.
The former Destiny’s Child member announced that Brown was the winner of the Favorite Male R&B Artist category, noting that the 33-year-old was not there to receive the trophy — but she would accept it on his behalf.
“Excuse me,” Rowland, 41, said amid boos from the crowd. “Chill out.”
The “Dilemma” singer called Brown an “incredible performer” and went on to speak directly to him.
“Chris, thank you so much for making great R&B music,” the actress concluded. “ll take this award [and] bring it to you. I love you. Congratulations, and congratulations to all the nominees in this category.”
Social media users had mixed feelings about Rowland’s defense of Brown, who has repeatedly been accused of violence against women.
“Why was Kelly Rowland going so hard for Chris brown on that stage?” one viewer asked via Twitter, with another writing, “What the f–k is Chris brown doing still winning awards and why is Kelly Rowland up there thanking his ass wtf truly.”
A third, however, shared their gratitude, adding, “Thank you Kelly Rowland for that genuine love you just showed Chris Brown for winning.”
The dancer claimed on Saturday that he was supposed to perform a Michael Jackson tribute at the 50th annual awards show.
“U SERIOUS?” Brown told his Instagram followers over the weekend, sharing footage from what appeared to be a rehearsal. “WOULDVE been the ama performance but they cancelled me for reasons unknown.”
The show’s producers have yet to address the performance’s seemingly sudden cancellation.
The songwriter has found himself under fire many times since assaulting Rihanna in 2009, from being accused of hitting a woman in 2021 — an investigation that was later dropped due “insufficient evidence” — to being sued for allegedly drugging and raping a woman in 2020.
Brown denied both of the allegations against him, posting on Instagram during the 2020 accusation, “Whenever I’m releasing music or projects, ‘THEY’ try to pull some real bulls–t.”
Brown also made headlines for alleged altercations with his ex-girlfriend Karreuche Tran, who made an appearance as a presenter during Sunday’s show.
The on-again, off-again couple dated from 2010 to 2015, with Tran claiming in 2017 that Brown punched her in the stomach and pushed her down a set of stairs.
The actress subsequently obtained a five-year restraining order against her ex.
Brown denied her allegations at the time and said she “doesn’t need a restraining order” and accused her of trying to “promote something.”