As the American Music Awards prepare to go live tonight on ABC, viewers will notice the performance lineup has one fewer artist than anticipated. According to The New York Post, the AMAs have made the last minute decision to cancel Chris Brown’s Michael Jackson tribute, and neither Brown nor his most loyal supporters are happy about it. Brown took to Instagram Saturday morning to express his discontent.
“U SERIOUS?” The “No Guidance” singer captioned a seven minute reel of his AMA performance rehearsal.
“WOULDVE been the ama performance but they canceled me for reasons unknown,” Brown continued in the comments.
In the rehearsal clip, Brown begins the performance seated as he and dancers grind through choreo for his latest single, “Under The Influence.” The music breaks soon after and the energy heightens as Brown and other dancers break out new moves to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” and “Thriller.”
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the “Thriller” album, and with thousands of fans in agreement that Chris Brown is the best pick for a Michael Jackson tribute, many are stunned to learn of the cancellation, and are equally puzzled by the decision to pull the performance the day before the AMAs are set to air.
“THIS LITERALLY WOULD’VE BEEN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR,” one fan wrote in the comments.
“Jokes on them,” another wrote. “The ONLY reason I would watch the AMAs is if CB performed. Other than that it’s usually generic, uninspired trash.”
Reps for the ABC network have yet to comment on why the tribute was canceled, but the internet has its speculations. The low hanging fruit here is perhaps the network’s decision to cut ties with Brown due to the infamous altercation between the artist and his then girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. After photos surfaced of Rihanna’s severe facial wounds allegedly at the hands of Brown, many of his endorsements were stripped, and several of his upcoming performances were also canceled. As far as the AMAs go however, many are wondering, if this was the reason they decided to pull Brown’s performance, why book him in the first place?
Others speculate that this has less to do with Brown himself, and more to do with the somewhat tainted legacy of Michael Jackson. Child star Aaron Carter who tragically passed earlier this month was set to publish a memoir at some point this year. The memoir’s release has been placed on hold following his death, however, an “unauthorized” version of the book tells a story of a trip Carter took to Jackson’s home. In the book, Carter claims that he woke up to find Jackson at the foot of his bed in his underwear.
Other celebs are also beginning to wonder whether or not Brown is simply caught in the crossfires of something bigger.
Mega producer Jermaine Dupree also took to Instagram to air his thoughts following the news of the pulled performance.
“If the American Music Awards canceled the Chris Brown performance, then that means they canceled the 40th anniversary of “Thriller,” which means they canceled the Michael Jackson tribute. Black music we in trouble.”
Chris Brown’s mother reposted the video to her own account with the caption:
“Thoughts? That means what? Who or what were they really trying to cancel?”