MGK, Travis Scott, Diddy, more reviews
Today’s 2022 Billboard Music Awards promise a diverse array of performances, from soul throwbacks Silk Sonic to Latin pop star Becky G and one-time country outcast Morgan Wallen.
Hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs and broadcast from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, this year’s edition of the show will feature stage shows from Florence + The Machine, Latto, Megan Thee Stallion and Ed Sheeran (linked in from his concert). in Belfast, Northern Ireland) and Travis Scott, making his first appearance at an awards ceremony since last autumn’s Astroworld tragedy.
Unlike its celebratory peers, the Billboard Music Awards aren’t based on subjective voices from insiders or even fans of the music industry, but rather on hard numbers — specifically, performance on the Billboard charts, including album and digital song sales, streaming, and radio -Airplay .
Now to these performances:
Billboard Music Awards:Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner and daughter Stormi walk the red carpet
Machine Gun Kelly, ‘Twin Flame’, ‘Born With Horns’
With painted nails, ripped jeans, and tousled hair that’s slightly magenta tinged, MGK began softly saying that he wrote the song for “his wife.” Are he and his girlfriend Megan Fox married? Only their medallions of blood hold the answer. MGK interrupted the romantic rock ballad to look at the crowd and say, “Happy Birthday, my love,” before digressing to a few lines from “Born With Horns.” Though his voice wasn’t always on point, the authenticity of MGK’s performance was undeniable, especially when he returned to “Twin Flame,” dedicating it to “our unborn child,” and picking up his electric guitar to some to bang jagged riffs .
Travis Scott, “Mafia” and “Lost Forever”
With Blizzard effects swirling around the structure, where Scott lay in fluffy winter pants with a fur slung over his shoulder, the rapper unrolled a heavily edited “Mafia.” He buried his head on muse/model Jazzelle’s bikini-clad chest (because bikinis and snow – why not?) as the performance blurred between the set design and the black-and-white video. Trying to be artistic was disorienting and actually unnecessary. The performance was a rare sighting from Scott, as was his first awards show since the tragedy last November at his Astroworld festival in Houston.
Dan + Shay, ‘You’
Known for their sweet ballads and angelic harmonies, the country duo didn’t disappoint with a gently swaying rendition of the track from last year’s Good Things album. Dressed in matching red suits – along with the rest of their backing band – Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney didn’t ignite the stage, but gave a reliable rendition of a soulful song.
Megan Thee Stallion, “Plan B” and “Sweetest Pie”
Looking sexy in a black leotard that showed off her slim figure, Megan Thee Stallion self-censored as she reeled off her female empowerment anthem “Plan B.” To bolster her lyrical theme, she turned her near-naked booty toward the crowd while grinning over her shoulder. Megan Thee Stallion cranked up her rhymes for “Sweetest Pie,” which included a pack of dancers, fireworks, and the rapper tossing her long black hair off her shoulder as she struck an unspoken pose on stage.
Morgan Wallen, “Don’t Think About Jesus” and “Wasted on You”
Set on a square stage in the center of the arena, Wallen — who seemingly was forgiven for being caught uttering racial slurs on video in 2021 — opted for a stripped-down approach and a lyrically poignant first song. Surrounded by his band of four, Wallen strummed an acoustic guitar and cranked up the twang as he belted out the chorus of “Don’t Think Jesus,” which includes the lyrics “World likes to back back and throw a some stones / So boy will.” throw myself a few rocks / But God knows I’m not perfect.” Wallen leaned in for his sophomore effort “Wasted on You,” a double-platinum hit from his “Dangerous: The Double Album,” which featured the Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart for a record-breaking 55 weeks, into the somber quality of his voice.
Latto, ‘Big Energy’
A notable export from hip-hop mecca Atlanta, Latto, along with a sextet of dancers, sang their #1 tom-tom club-sampling R&B hip-hop hit with snarling attitude. But there was no denying how much fun Latto was having as she twerked and twisted, banging her wavy mane of hair in rhythm with the Pyro banging behind her. For those unfamiliar with the newborn Alyssa Stephens, it was a star-making feat.
Miranda Lambert and Elle King, “Drunk (And I Don’t Want to Go Home)”
The original drumbeat driving this scorcher from a couple of vocal powerhouses set the tone, and Lambert and King rode its strutting power. Her performance survived a shaky opening verse, but by the chorus both women — coordinated in black pantsuits adorned with blue fringes, flames and stars — caught the spirit of the song and sang at full throttle like it was 2 a.m. in a dirty pool hall .
Florence + The Machine, ‘My Love’
The always enigmatic Florence Welch took the stage encased in dry ice, her waist-length auburn hair and flowing cream dress as captivating as her dramatic unveiling of “My Love”. Spinning across a stage littered with notes that looked like letters (love letters maybe?), Welch was a stunning vision under a halo of red lights as she performed a slightly more rooty version of the disco-tinged song from new album ” Dance” performed fever.”
Rauw Alejandro, ‘Cúrame’ / ‘Museo’ / ‘Todo De Ti’
Known as the “king of modern reggaeton,” the Puerto Rican hitmaker dropped into his trio of songs and sat thoughtfully in front of a tree with a lit trunk during the ballad “Cúrame.” But within moments he was joined by a phalanx of dancers to stride nimbly through “Museo” and “Todo De Ti” around a climbing frame made of steel cubes. Alejandro, who debuted at the BBMAs, is not only a lithe singer but also an impressively lithe dancer.
Silk Sonic, “Train of Love”
Dressed in their now rust-colored suits with wide lapels, Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and the rest of Silk Sonic made their BBMAs debut with cymbal kicks and Temptations-style dances with their backing vocalists. “Love’s Train” is another comfortable submission from their throwback project, filled with finger-snapping, smooth grooves and enough room for Mars to clench his fists for the sky – and his great high notes.
Diddy with Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow, ‘She Don’t Want It’ / ‘First Class’ / ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’
In the opening segment, host Diddy danced on the main stage before making way for Bryson Tiller to slide through “She Don’t Want It.” The R&B star shared a few verses and left the stage to Jack Harlow, who took the spotlight with ‘First Class,’ his latest single from new album Come Home the Kids Miss You. But Diddy isn’t one to stay on the sidelines, and soon reappeared in the middle of the MGM Grand Garden Arena singing a few lines from “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” the 1997 hit popularized by the late Notorious BIG was to blow up who would have done it was 50 years old on May 21st.
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