Singer and actor Kelly Rowland took the stage at the 2022 American Music Awards to present the award for Favorite Male R&B Artist. When she announced controversial performer Chris Brown as the winner, the award show audience reacted with shock and many in the crowd began to boo the decision. Rowland, in turn, stepped in to stand up for Brown.
Chris Brown won Favorite Male R&B Artist at the 2022 AMAs
Prior to the 2022 American Music Awards, Chris Brown (along with singer Ciara) had been tapped to perform a special tribute to Michael Jackson during the show. Over the years, some have drawn comparisons between the two artists for their dance and vocal abilities. However, the AMAs scrapped the performance at the last minute.
“Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business; unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown,” a statement from Dick Clark Productions, the company behind the award show, read.
Brown was nominated at the 2022 AMAs for Favorite Male R&B Artist alongside Brent Faiyaz, Givēon, Lucky Daye, and The Weeknd. Brown ultimately came out on top.
Kelly Rowland quieted the audience and defended Chris Brown after a negative reaction
When Rowland announced Chris Brown as the winner for Favorite Male R&B Artist, the audience at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater reacted with jeers instead of cheers. After his Michael Jackson tribute was scrubbed, Brown didn’t show up at the ceremony at all, leaving Rowland to accept the award for him while simultaneously trying to calm down the crowd.
“Chris Brown is not here tonight so I’m accepting this award on his behalf,” she said.
“Excuse me — chill out,” she continued while holding up a finger as the crowd continued to boo. “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.”
Chris Brown’s career in 2022
Despite his status as a controversial figure in music, Chris Brown has continued to release music over the years, with his most recent project being his album Breezy, released in June 2022. The album features appearances from artists like Lil Durk, Fivio Foreign, Lil Wayne, Lil Baby, Wizkid, H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Ella Mai, Jack Harlow, and Tory Lanez.
With five songs from Breezy charting on the Billboard Hot 100 during its debut week, Chris Brown surpassed Elvis Presley as the eighth artist in history with the most entries on the Hot 100 chart, with a total of 112.
Breezy is nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2023 Grammy Awards, competing with Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous, Robert Glasper’s Black Radio III, Lucky Daye’s Candydrip, and PJ Morton’s Watch the Sun. Brown previously won Best R&B Album in 2012 for his album F.A.M.E.
RELATED: 2022 AMAs: The Biggest Moments of the Night