Jordin Sparks defends Chris Brown amid AMAs controversy: “People deserve to be able to grow”

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Jordin Sparks has joined Kelly Rowland in defending Chris Brown, after the singer was booed by audiences at the American Music Awards.

Sparks, who collaborated with Brown on the 2008 duet ‘No Air’, told TMZ on Tuesday (November 22) that she “love[s] Chris” and thought “he should have been” at the awards ceremony, which took place at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre earlier this month.

“People deserve to be able to grow and learn and be able to live their life without things hanging over them”, Sparks said, before declaring that “everybody deserves that, especially him”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Sparks discussed the cancellation of Brown’s expected AMAs appearance, where he was said to be performing a tribute set for Michael Jackson. Days ahead of the ceremony — which saw Brown win the AMA for Favourite Male R&B Artist — the singer claimed on Instagram that the awards body cancelled the tribute “for reasons unknown”.

Referencing the axed performance, Sparks said: “They just shouldn’t have cancelled the performance. That’s how I feel about it.” The singer went on to discuss Brown’s past controversies — which include his highly publicised domestic violence case involving ex-girlfriend Rhianna — saying “honestly, I think that shouldn’t even be a conversation anymore. It’s about his talent”.

In addition to the domestic violence case, which took place in 2009, Brown has faced a slew of legal battles in recent years, including potential jail time for owning a pet monkey and a lawsuit over an alleged dog attack involving his housekeeper. Last year, Brown was reportedly under police investigation over the alleged battery of a woman, charges that were later dropped due to “insufficient evidence”.

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Sparks’ defence comes days after that of Rowland, who, when accepting Brown’s AMA on his behalf, hit back at boos from the audience, saying: “Excuse me. Chill out.” Rowland doubled down on her defence of the singer this week, telling TMZ that “before we point fingers at anybody, we should realise how grateful we are for every moment we get… everybody deserves grace, period.”

Sparks is the latest musician to defend their relationship with the controversial singer in recent times. In July of this year, Joey Bada$$ stood by his decision to collaborate with Brown on the 2022 track ‘Welcome Back’, saying at the time that “people make mistakes.” Justin Beiber echoed these sentiments in 2019, writing in an Instagram post that Brown’s talent is “over looked… because of a mistake he made”.