Kelly Rowland has told the audience to “calm down” after they booed Chris Brown’s win for Favorite Male R&B Artist at the 2022 AMAs.

Rowland appeared on stage to present the award and announced that Brown had taken out the gong. The audience response was a mixture of surprise and boos – something Rowland didn’t take favourably to.

“Chris Brown is not here tonight, so I’m accepting this award on his behalf,” she began. The singer then referenced the general area that the boos were coming from and said, “Excuse me, chill out.”

She continued, “I want to tell Chris, ‘Thank you so much for making great R&B music,’” Rowland said. “And I want to tell him, ‘Thank you for being an incredible performer.’ I’ll take this award and bring it you. I love you. Congratulations, and congratulations to every nominee in this category.”

Over the past two decades, Brown has faced a number of assault accusations. He plead guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. Another ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran accused him of kicking her down a flight of stairs, punching her in the stomach, and threatening her with a gun in 2017, and received a 5 year restraining order against him.

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Thousands of people have taken to social media to question why Rowland protected an abuser.

One user wrote, “Kelly Rowland praising Chris Brown at an award show where one of his victims is in attendance???” Another commented,  “Kelly Rowland really told people that they were wrong for booing Chris Brown for all the shit he’s done to women. Fuck her too.”

A third penned, “Its as if these celebrities are so isolated from reality they’re like “oh i know him personally, he’s told me his side, he’s changed since then” as if we aren’t aware and that changes nothing. You should not be able to beat up to S/O and have multiple career opportunities/awards.”

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