Kelly Rowland shushes crowd as they boo AMA winner Chris Brown

She told the crowd to 'chill out' after announcing his win

kelly rowland amas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland had some sharp words for the audience at the American Music Awards, after they booed musician Chris Brown. As Rowland accepted the award for Best Male R&B Artist at the ceremony on his behalf, the announcement was met with a chorus of boos. 

Halfway through her acceptance speech, she raised a finger to shush the audience and continued, “Excuse me, chile. Chill out.”

After the crowd quietened down, she continued, “I want to 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,” she said.

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Brown revealed on Instagram that he was initially set to perform a Michael Jackson medley at last night’s star-studded awards, though his performance was cancelled last minute. He shared rehearsal footage of the performance on Instagram, sharing in a comment underneath, “WOULDVE been the ama performance but they cancelled me for reasons unknown.”

Ciara elaborated that the performance was for the 40th anniversary of Thriller and revealed she was set to perform with him in rehearsal footage. She supported Brown in a tweet, calling him a “rare breed of this generation” and continued, “Always fun to rock with you.”

Event producers Dick Clark Productions said to Puck News, “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.”

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Brown's win follows a series of controversies regarding the musician, who pled guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in a car on the way to the 2009 Grammy Awards. He later pled guilty to a count of felony assault and was ordered to do community service, as well as undergo five years of probation. 

In 2019, he was arrested on suspicion of rape in Paris and called the accusations “false" on Instagram, additionally calling his accuser a “bitch” and saying it was "against his character and morals" in a now deleted Instagram post. He was later released without charges.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.