JAY-Z is baffled by "silly" reports alleging he banned Chris Brown from appearing at last month's (Jun09) BET Awards, insisting he had nothing to do with the singer's absence.
Many fans expected Brown to take to the stage at the Los Angeles event to join tributes to late pop superstar Michael Jackson, who died days earlier (25Jun09), but he was a notable absentee from the line-up.
Rumours quickly spread online suggesting Jay-Z, mentor to R&B star Rihanna, had threatened to cancel his and his wife Beyonce's performances at the 28 June (09) prizegiving if BET bosses allowed Brown to attend following his conviction for assaulting the Umbrella hitmaker.
Brown's representative immediately dismissed the claims and now the rap mogul himself has spoken out to address the allegations.
Jay-Z tells BBC Radio DJ Tim Westwood, "That's the silliest rumour I ever heard. You know me, right? I was sitting back and watching all them suckers (comment). You don't comment on rumours. I was sitting back watching them, (like), 'Look at them. That's so silly.'
"First, let me categorically deny that. I didn't do it (demand a ban), I wouldn't do it. That's not how I deal with my problems, through using BET or record companies. If I have a problem with Chris Brown, I got a problem with Chris Brown. I don't agree with what he did (hitting Rihanna), and that's that."
Brown was handed a community service order and five years probation after pleading guilty to the February (09) assault. He was also ordered to keep his distance from ex-girlfriend Rihanna and this week (begs20Jul09) released a video apology begging for fans' forgiveness.
And Jay-Z has accepted his apology: "We're all flawed human beings. All a person can do is apologise. That's it, what can we say? You know everyone should be allowed to make mistakes. It happens."