Hilarious opening: Sean “Diddy” Combs played host at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Although the overall vibe was positive, he didn’t miss an opportunity to throw shade on the Will Smith-at-the-Oscars fiasco. “If you feeling a little froggy tonight, don’t feel froggy, but if you are feeling a little bit froggy and you decide to jump on this stage here tonight, I do suggest you have your affairs in order,” he said laughing. Later in the show he performed She Don’t Want It, First Class and Mo Money, Mo Problems with Bryson Tiller, Jack Harlow and Teyana Taylor.
From one queen to another: Janet Jackson appeared on stage to present Mary J Blige the Icon Award. Mary J Blige has been recognised as one of the most successful female hip-hop and R&B artistes of our times with 11 Billboards, nine Grammy awards and over 75 millions records sold. Accepting the award, she said: “Wow, I am in a dream right now.” She then turned to Janet and told she was an inspiration while growing up. She then spoke about what an icon means to her and the hard work that goes into making music.
A burst of energy: Trust Meghan Thee Stallion to put up a stellar performance. While singing Plan B she pranced around the dance floor and then went on to sing Sweetest Pie, which included dancers, some fireworks and a lot of attitude. She also won the Top Rap Female Artiste award.
Cat vibes: Among the first awardees of the night was Doja Cat for Top R&B Artiste for her album Planet Her. “We did it! We did it! I want to thank my fans again. I am grateful and I am excited to see more people win,” she said. Later in the ceremony she also won awards for R&B Album, R&B Female Artiste and Viral Song. To celebrate, she performed Alone in a pink dress which came with a hood. It was a dark and intimate set-up where Doja was backed up by a piano and a bassline.
Remembering Michael: To celebrate 40 years of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Maxwell took the stage to perform Lady In My Life, which was written by frequent Jackson songwriter Rod Temperton. He ended the performance saying, “We love you, Michael Jackson!”
He’s back: This was the first time we got to watch a televised performance by Travis Scott after the mishap at the Astroworld concert. The rapper performed Mafia and Lost Forever with model Jazelle in a snowy and wintry set-up.
New record: BTS (the boys didn’t attend the ceremony) created history after receiving three wins at the Billboard Music Awards this year. The Korean boy band took home awards for Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artiste and Top Selling Song for their song Butter. Winning these three awards, for the second time in a row, gives them a total 12 awards which surpasses Destiny Child’s tally of 11.
All about love: Machine Gun Kelly dedicated his performance to his “wife” Megan Fox. He performed Twin Flames and Born With Horns, which sounded like a romantic rock ballad. He even took a pause in the middle of his performance and said: “Happy birthday, my love.”
Some of the biggest names in the music industry were missing at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, even if they have won awards. On the “missing” list — Drake (he won Top Artiste, Male Artiste, Rap Artiste, Rap Male Artiste and Rap Album for Certified Lover Boy), Olivia Rodrigo (won Top New Artiste, Top Female Artiste, Top Hot 100 Artiste, Top Streaming Songs Artiste, Top Radio Songs Artiste, Top Billboard Global 200 Artiste and Top Billboard 200 Album for SOUR) and Kanye West (awarded Top Christian and Top Gospel Album for Donda, Top Christian, Gospel Artiste and Top Christian and Gospel Song for Hurricane). That’s not all. During the ceremony, the Top Female Artiste wasn’t announced.