Jordin Sparks voiced her support for Chris Brown following an uncomfortable moment at the American Music Awards on Nov. 20 where singer Kelly Rowland shushed a booing crowd when she accepted the favorite male R&B artist award on Brown’s behalf.
Sparks told TMZ that she loves Brown and believed he should’ve been at the awards ceremony on Sunday night. “People deserve to be able to grow and learn and be able to live their life without things hanging over them. Everybody deserves that … him especially,” the singer said.
Sparks, who famously collaborated with Brown on the 2008 duet “No Air,” also suggested that the AMAs should have let the singer move forward with his axed performance tribute to Michael Jackson. Brown posted a snippet of the rehearsals for the awards show on his Instagram with the caption “U SERIOUS?” and in the comments, he claimed the showcase was canceled “for reasons unknown.”
“Honestly, I think that shouldn’t even be a conversation anymore. It’s about his talent,” Sparks said of Brown’s controversial past, which includes the highly publicized domestic violence incident involving his then-girlfriend Rihanna. “They just shouldn’t have canceled the performance. That’s how I feel about it.”
On Monday, Rowland amplified her original statements to TMZ, saying “I believe that grace is very real, and we all need a dose of it, and before we point fingers at anybody, we should realize how grateful we are for every moment we get.”
She added: “We all need to be forgiven for anything that we could be doing — we all come up short in some sort of way. Grace is real, and we are humans, and everybody deserves grace, period.”
That same day, a spokesperson from the production company issued a statement via ET explaining that the cancellation was simply due to creative direction.
“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,” the statement read, according to the publication.
Brown’s last network television performance took place at the BET Awards in 2017. He’s previously claimed that he was blacklisted from the industry because of the Rihanna incident, although he has faced more legal issues since then. Brown has not directly commented on the incident after his original Instagram post, but he did post a story with the caption “You can’t fight all your battles using the same weapons.”