Chris Brown has withdrawn from the upcoming Kids' Choice Awards. His representatives issued the following statement earlier today: "Chris very much appreciates the support of his fans and the honor they have paid him in the way of nominations for Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the incident last month has shifted the focus from the music to whether he should be allowed to be among those nominated. While Chris would like to speak to his fans directly about this and other issues, pending legal proceedings preclude his doing so at this time. Once the matter before him has been resolved, he intends to do so."
This surprise decision comes just a day after awards organizer Nickelodeon said it would not remove his name from the ballot despite growing pressure to do so following an alleged incident with Rihanna last month. As per Tuesday's Associated Press report, Nickelodeon spokesman Dan Martinsen said, "Like all our KCA nominees, Chris Brown was nominated by kids several months ago based on his body of work as a performer, and the kids who vote will ultimately decide who wins in the category."
Voting for these awards began at the official website on March 2. Chris Brown was in the running for the third year in a row as favorite male singer. He won the award last year after losing to Justin Timberlake in 2007. This year he was competing with 2006 winner Jesse McCartney, Kid Rock and T-Pain.
He was also a nominee for favorite song, as his No. 1 single "Kiss Kiss" went up against tracks by Beyonce ("Single Ladies"), Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl") and Rihanna, who contends with "Don't Stop the Music."
Rihanna is also competing for the first time as favorite female singer at the Kids' Choice Awards against last year's champ, Miley Cyrus, 2007 winner Beyonce and three-time nominee Alicia Keys.
There is no word as to whether Rihanna will be attending the March 28 ceremony, which will be telecast live on Nickelodeon and hosted by Dwayne Johnson. Both she and Brown skipped the NAACP Image Awards, which came only five days after the Grammy-eve incident that catapulted them into the headlines. At the Image Awards, Brown lost the male vocalist prize to Jamie Foxx and Rihanna was bested by Beyonce for female vocalist.