He was all set to take to the American Music Awards stage, but Chris Brown was dealt a heavy blow. The veteran entertainer has a career that spans decades with a fanbase that reaches around the globe. Despite his controversies, Brown has maintained a successful run from film to music to dance. He was supposed to star in a tribute to Michael Jackson at the AMAs last weekend, but at the last minute, it was pulled from the line-up.

Kelly Rowland came to the singer’s defense as she accepted the Favorite Male R&B Artist award. “I want 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,” she said. 

Read More: Ciara Was To Join Chris Brown’s AMA Performance 

For days, fans have stormed the internet with complaints. Even Brown’s peers supported him, including Tank, Jermaine Dupri, and Summer Walker. Moreover, speculative reports surfaced with explanations about why Brown was axed. They alleged production didn’t want someone with a history of abuse giving tribute to an artist accused of molesting children.

However, Entertainment Tonight received a statement from Dick Clark Productions. In it, DCP said it boiled down to a change in creative direction, and Brown wasn’t at fault.

Read More: Chris Brown’s Cancelled AMA Performance Explained

“Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown.”

Further, Brown took to his Instagram Story to once again poke the bear. He shared a screenshot of an article that showed the AMAs “averaged just 3.3 million total viewers,” a decline from last year’s numbers. In another slide, Brown revealed the video of his Michael Jackson tribute rehearsal fetched him 11.7. million viewers on Instagram alone.

Check that out above and look at Chris Brown and Ciara’s rehearsal footage.