Chris Brown has announced that his planned Michael Jackson tribute performance at this year’s American Music Awards has been cancelled without any explanation.
On Saturday morning (November 19), the singer posted a video to his Instagram account in which he can be seen rehearsing with a group of dancers. The clip starts with Brown and two women performing to his latest single, “Under The Influence,” before the music transitions to the intro gongs of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
From there, Chris Brown is joined by a group of male dancers as they recreate Michael’s choreography from the video, adding a few modern touches. They proceed to do the same with “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and “Billie Jean” before closing their rehearsal with “Thriller.”
An hour after sharing the seven minute video, however, Breezy returned to the comments to give his fans some bad news. “WOULDVE been the ama performance,” he wrote, “but they cancelled me for reasons unknown. [shrug emoji]”
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The announcement came just a day ahead of the 2022 AMAs, which are scheduled to take place on Sunday (November 20) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The preliminary list of performers announced on October 31 did not include Chris Brown or mention a Michael Jackson tribute.
The idea that this year’s AMAs would incorporate a tribute to Jackson isn’t far fetched as his seminal album Thriller celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. All of the songs included in Chris Brown’s rehearsal video appeared on the 1982 album.
The AMAs have not responded to Chris Brown’s statement.
While the “Go Crazy” singer’s performance may have been nixed, several other Hip Hop and R&B artists are scheduled to take the stage during the awards ceremony, which will also be broadcast on ABC at 8:00 p.m. EST.
GloRilla, J.I.D. and Lil Baby have all been confirmed as 2022 AMA performers. Stevie Wonder and Ari Lennox will also be on hand to perform a medley of songs by Icon Award recipient, Lionel Richie — who will become the only artist to touch the AMAs stage in every decade since the show was launched in 1974. Afrobeats stars WizKid and Tems are also scheduled to perform.
While he may have been snubbed by the AMAs, Chris Brown was among the artists to earn the most nominations at the 2022 Soul Train Awards.
He tied Lizzo with five nominations, including Album Of The Year for his latest offering, Breezy. That placed Chris Brown behind only Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige, who each nabbed seven nominations; and Ari Lennox who also boasts an Album Of The Year nomination among her six nods.
The Soul Train Awards were tapped in Las Vegas on November 13, however winners won’t be announced until the ceremony airs on BET on November 27.