Kelly Rowland doesn’t tend to be a hugely controversial or controversial figure in pop music. But when the Destiny’s Child star found himself in the awkward position of having to accept the trophy for favorite male R&B artist on behalf of absentee (and definitely divisive and controversial) Chris Brown at the awards ceremony. American Music Awards on Sunday, she ended up facing the protesting public. .
A bit of context here: Brown was not only scheduled to attend Sunday’s AMAs, but also pay tribute to fellow controversial and controversial artist, the late Michael Jackson, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s monument. Thriller album. The day before the awards, Brown posted a seven-minute Instagram video – captioned only with “U SERIOUS? — of him rehearsing an elaborately choreographed medley of Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” claiming in the post’s comments that his Jackson tribute was canceled at the last minute. “THAT WOULD have been ama’s performance but they canceled me for unknown reasons,” he wrote. (A representative for AMAs did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.)
So Brown was absent from Sunday’s AMAs, likely in protest, leaving presenter Rowland to accept his award. When audience members began to boo after announcing that Brown had won Favorite Male R&B Artist over Brent Faiyaz, GIVĒON, Lucky Daye and The Weeknd, she seemed taken aback and even annoyed by the strong backlash.
“Excuse me – relax,” Rowland growled, pointing sternly at the rowdy crowd. She then continued, “But I wanted to say to Chris, thank you so much for making great R&B music. And I want to say thank you to him for being an amazing performer. I’m going to take this award, I’m bringing 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 ceremony, held on Sunday, November 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, included Pink’s roller skate opening number and the tribute “Hopelessly Devoted to You to Olivia Newton-John; the duet of Anitta, winner of favorite Latin artist, with surprise guest Missy Elliott in “Lobby”; a powerful performance of Song of Soul winner “Break the Bough” by Americana artist Yola; and the moving speech of Best New Artist winner Dove Cameron, who is bisexual, in which she dedicated her award to the “queer community at large” and paid tribute to the victims of this weekend’s shooting at the LGBTQ+ nightclub Colorado Club Q.
The ceremony culminated with Lionel Richie being presented with the Icon Award for Lifetime Achievement by Smokey Robinson, after which Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth performed a mix of Richie and were joined by Ari Lennox, Muni Long, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmie Allen, Yola, Robinson, and Richie himself for a sentimental performance of “We Are the World,” which Richie wrote in 1985 with the aforementioned Jackson.
The big winner of the night was Taylor Swift, who swept all six categories including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year – breaking her own AMA record and bringing her total wins to 40. For a list complete list of 2022 American Music Award Winners, click here.
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