AMAs 2022: Chris Brown BOOED as he wins after his Michael Jackson tribute performance was axed… but Kelly Rowland leaps to his defense and tells audience: ‘You need to chill!’

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An absent Chris Brown was booed as he won a gong at the 2022 American Music Awards on Sunday – days after claiming his planned Michael Jackson tribute at the show was scrapped at the last minute.

The singer, 33, picked up the Favorite Male R&B Artist award, with Kelly Rowland, 41, accepting the trophy in his absence.

As Kelly announced Chris as the winner, a chorus of boos broke out, with the Destiny’s Child star telling the audience to ‘chill out’ as she lauded him for his contributions to music.

She said: ‘Now Chris Brown is not here tonight so I’m accepting this award on his behalf. Excuse me… chill out.

‘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 — bring it to you. I love you. Congratulations. And congratulations to all the nominees in this category.’

This comes days after Chris claimed he was supposed to perform a Michael Jackson tribute at the AMAs- only for it to be scrapped last minute.

The singer, who is infamous for beating up Rihanna when they were dating, alleged that he was given no reason for the decision.

He fired up his Instagram and posted a lengthy stretch of rehearsal footage in which he could be seen channeling some distinctly Michael Jackson-esque moves.

‘WOULDVE been the ama performance but they cancelled me for reasons unknown,’ he fumed in the comments. His caption was simply: ‘U SERIOUS?’

The footage he posted showed a group of female backup dancers swirling around him a they worked their way through their strenuous choreography.

They were performing a rollicking medley that included Michael’s hits Beat It, Billie Jean, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and Thriller.

All four of those songs were from Michael’s legendary 1982 album Thriller, which will arrive at the 40th anniversary of its release this month.

However in recent years Michael’s legacy has come under the shadow of renewed allegations that he molested children, particularly after two accusers starred in the 2019 HBO docuseries Leaving Neverland on the subject.

In 2009, four years after he shot to fame, Chris notoriously beat up his then-girlfriend Rihanna to the point that she had to be hospitalized.

That year, Michael died at the age of 50 from a cardiac arrest he suffered after having propofol administered as a sleep aid.

One year later Chris starred in a Michael Jackson tribute at the BET Awards, where he was also nominated for best male R&B/pop artist.

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Rihanna shocked the public when she briefly got back together with Chris, a decision she explained years later by telling Vanity Fair: ‘I was that girl.’

She described herself as a ‘girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I’m one of those people built to handle s*** like this.’

Meanwhile Chris went onto date model and actress Karrueche Tran, who filed a domestic violence restraining order against him in 2017. Tran was in attendance at the AMAs.

Chris, whom Karrueche accused of threatening her as well as physically abusing her, was temporarily banned by the order from going within 100 yards of her.

The AMAs saw Taylor Swift complete a clean sweep – winning all six categories she was nominated in.

Taylor won the awards for Favorite Pop Album and Favorite Country Album for Red (Taylor’s Version), Favorite Music Video for All Too Well: The Short Film, Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop Female Artist and Favorite Country Female Artist.

Swift, 32, prevailed in a loaded category that included Adele (30), Bad Bunny (Un Verano Sin Ti), Beyoncé (Renaissance), Harry Styles (Harry’s House) and The Weeknd (Dawn FM).

She said in her acceptance speech: ‘This album is a re-recorded album, and I cannot tell you how much my re-recorded albums mean to me, but I never expected or assumed that they would mean anything to you.

‘So I can’t thank you enough for caring about this album that I’m so proud of.’

She went on to thank a number of collaborators on her music and videos

Swift also captured the honors for favorite music video for her short film for All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).

She was nominated against Adele (Easy On Me); Bad Bunny ft. Chencho Corleone (Me Porto Bonito); Harry Styles – (As It Was); Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow – (INDUSTRY BABY).

‘This short film was ten years in the making, and the only reason I got to write and direct the film is because you the fans chose the song,’ Swift said in her second acceptance speech of the evening. ‘You chose it – no one at a record label chose, you picked it. You said that is the song that matters to us, and it was just so happens that it was the song that matters the most to me.’

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She also thanked actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien for trusting her ‘as a director’ for the video with their ‘immense talent.’

Swift’s third, and most prominent, victory of the evening came as she was named artist of the year. She was named with the vaunted honors over fellow nominees Adele, Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, Drake, Harry Styles and The Weeknd.

In her third acceptance speech of the evening, Swift said she was grateful for her fans for supporting her projects in recent years.

‘You know, in the past few years, I have released more music than I did in the entire decade preceding that, and I really feel like that’s down to the fact that you, the fans, made it clear that you wanted to hear lots of music that I would make – you encouraged me,’ she said.

Swift continued: ‘And so, I found that the more music I made and the more music I put out, the happier I was. The more I just kept that channel open and just kept creating, kept making things, and the more that happened, the more you guys were like, yeah, keep doing it. And the happier I was, so I have the fans to thank, essentially, for my happiness.

‘And I love you more than I can say. I cannot express how unbelievable it is to me that I still get to do this and that you still care, so thank you underlined with 13 exclamation points! I don’t know what to say. I love you.’

Machine Gun Kelly took home the honors for favorite rock artist. He bested a field including Imagine Dragons, Måneskin, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Lumineers.

Dan + Shay took home the award for favorite country duo or group, besting a field including Lady A, Old Dominion, Parmalee and Zac Brown Band.

Chris Brown, who was not in attendance at Sunday’s event, won the honors for favorite male R&B artist, defeating a field including Brent Faiyaz, Givēon, Lucky Daye and The Weeknd.

Presenter Kelly Rowland accepted the honors for Brown, thanking the artist for making great R&B music and being an incredible performer.

Anitta won favorite female Latin artist, prevailing in a category including Becky G, Kali Uchis, Karol G and Rosalía.

Wizkid, who was not present, was the winner in the category of favorite Afrobeats artist, besting fellow nominees. The 32-year-old artist won in a category that also included Burna Boy, CKay, Fireboy DML, and Tems.

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Måneskin won the favorite rock song award for their song Beggin’. They were nominated against Foo Fighters (Love Dies Young); Imagine Dragons x JID (Enemy); Kate Bush (Running Up That Hill A Deal With God) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Black Summer).

In the category for favorite hip-hop song, presenter Liza Koshy accepted the honors on behalf of the winner Future featuring Drake & Tems for Wait For U.

Other nominees included Jack Harlow (First Class), Kodak Black (Super Gremlin), Latto (Big Energy) and Lil Nas X featuring Harlow (Industry Baby).

The Harry Styles hit As It Was claimed the honors for favorite pop song, winning in a category that also included Adele (Easy on Me); Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto Cast (We Don’t Talk About Bruno); Lizzo (About Damn Time); and The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber (Stay).

Presenter Kim Petras accepted the honors on behalf of the superstar singer, who was not at the show on Sunday.

Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny landed the most nominations at this year’s American Music Awards with eight, taking home two awards for Favorite Male Latin Artist and Favorite Male Latin Album for Un Verano Sin Ti.

The nominations are based on performances on the Billboard music charts, streaming and album sales, radio play and social media engagement.

Winners were determined by fan votes and announced at the ceremony at Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Lionel Richie was honored at the ceremony as he received the Icon Award.

Stevie Wonder led the performance for his contemporary, while Charlie Puth and Ari Lennox joined the keyboard virtuoso for a medley of Richie’s most popular material.

The 2021 ceremony saw K-Pop icons BTS earn the most wins with three including top honor artist of the year as the most nominated singer Olivia Rodrigo earned new artist of the year.

The seven member South Korean pop boyband – who also earned favorite pop group or duo and favorite pop song – was given the most coveted crystal pyramid trophy of the night as they beat out heavy hitters including Ariana Grande, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd.

Harry Styles won Favorite Male Pop Artist and Favorite Male Pop Song for As It Was