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Brutally honest reviews of every Billboard Music Awards performance, including Maxwell, Becky G

Brutally honest reviews of every Billboard Music Awards performance, including Maxwell, Becky G


Tonight’s 2022 Billboard Music Awards promise a various lineup of performances, from soul throwbacks Silk Sonic to Latin pop star Becky G to onetime country pariah Morgan Wallen.

This yr’s version of the present, hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs and beamed in from the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment in Las Vegas, will convey stage turns from Florence + The Machine, Latto, Megan Thee Stallion, Ed Sheeran (becoming a member of from his live performance in Belfast, Northern Eire) and, making his first award show appearance for the reason that Astroworld tragedy final fall, Travis Scott.

In contrast to its celebratory friends, the Billboard Music Awards aren’t primarily based on subjective voting by music trade insiders and even followers, however are grounded in exhausting numbers – particularly, efficiency on the Billboard charts, together with album and digital music gross sales, streaming and radio airplay.

Now, about these performances:

Billboard Music Awards: Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner step out on red carpet with daughter Stormi

Maxwell, ‘Girl in My Life’

Of all of the songs to rejoice the fortieth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” go away it to soul king Maxwell to decide on certainly one of solely two on the nine-track album to NOT be launched as a single. However Maxwell introduced his velvety voice and suave strategy to the ballad written by frequent Jackson songwriter Rod Temperton. Dropping to his knees and pulling off his sun shades, Maxwell, sporting studded fingerless gloves in maybe one other type of homage, paid ample tribute to the king of pop. “We love you, Michael Jackson!” he declared at music’s finish, trying a bit overcome with emotion. 

Becky G, ‘Baile Con Mi Ex,’ ‘Mamiii’

Perched atop a boxy construction with a backdrop of the Earth rising behind her, the younger singer with Mexican roots finger-snapped her manner by means of the melodic “Baile Con Mi Ex” with notable assurance. As a platform lowered her again to the stage, Becky G (aka Rebecca Gomez) stripped off her jacket to disclose a shiny black leotard with matching thigh-high stockings for “Mamiii,” her worldwide smash that she shares on document with Karol G (no relation). 

Ed Sheeran, ‘2Step’

Beaming in reside from Belfast, Northern Eire, the one-man ginger band utilized his rotating stage and hallmark looping method for the most recent single from last year’s “=” album. Performing for an enormous out of doors crowd at Boucher Street Taking part in Fields, Sheeran demonstrated – particularly for many who have by no means seen him reside – how one unassuming man with a guitar and versatile vocal abilities can enchant a stadium-sized crowd.

Machine Gun Kelly, ‘Twin Flame,’ ‘Born With Horns’

Sporting painted nails, ripped denims and mussed hair with a lightweight magenta hue, MGK began by quietly saying he wrote the music for “his spouse.” Are he and girlfriend Megan Fox married? Solely their lockets of blood maintain the reply. MGK interrupted the romantic rock ballad to look into the gang and say, “Glad birthday, my love,” earlier than detouring into a couple of strains of “Born With Horns.” Whereas his voice wasn’t all the time on level, there was no denying the authenticity of MGK’s efficiency, particularly when he returned to “Twin Flame,” devoted it to “our unborn little one” and scooped up his electrical guitar to crank out some serrated riffs.

Travis Scott, ‘Mafia’ and ‘Misplaced Perpetually’

With blizzard results swirling across the construction the place Scott lay in fuzzy wintry pants with a pelt slung over his shoulder, the rapper unfurled a closely edited “Mafia.” He buried his head in opposition to the bikini-clad chest of muse/mannequin Jazzelle (as a result of bikinis and snow – why not?) because the efficiency blurred between the stage design and black and white video. The try and be artsy was disorienting and, actually, pointless. The efficiency was a uncommon sighting of Scott, in addition to his first awards show performance since last November’s tragedy at his Astroworld pageant in Houston.

Dan + Shay, ‘You’

The nation duo identified for his or her candy ballads and angelic harmonizing didn’t disappoint with a gently swaying rendition of the observe from final yr’s “Good Issues” album. Wearing matching purple fits – together with the remainder of their backing band – Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney didn’t ignite the stage, however provided a dependable efficiency of a soulful music. 

Megan Thee Stallion, ‘Plan B’ and ‘Sweetest Pie’

Wanting horny in a black leotard that showcased her glossy determine, Megan Thee Stallion self-censored herself as she unspooled her feminine empowerment anthem, “Plan B.” To assist her lyrical theme, she turned her almost naked booty towards the gang whereas grinning over her shoulder. Megan Thee Stallion propelled her rhymes into overdrive for “Sweetest Pie,” which included a pack of dancers, fireworks and the rapper flicking her lengthy black hair off her shoulder as she pitched unstated angle from the stage.

Morgan Wallen, ‘Don’t Suppose Jesus’ and ‘Wasted on You’

Arrange on a sq. stage in the midst of the sector, Wallen – seemingly forgiven for getting caught uttering a racial slur on video in 2021 – opted for a stripped-down strategy and a lyrically pointed first music. Surrounded by his four-piece band, Wallen strummed an acoustic guitar and turned up the twang as he belted the refrain of “Don’t Suppose Jesus,” which incorporates the lyrics, “World likes to rear again and throw a couple of stones / So boy needs to throw a couple of stones of his personal / However Lord is aware of I ain’t excellent.” Wallen leaned into the gritty qualities of his voice for his second providing, “Wasted on You,” a double-platinum hit from his “Harmful: The Double Album,” which has led Billboard’s high nation albums chart for a record-breaking 55 weeks.

Latto, ‘Massive Power’

A noteworthy export from the hip-hop mecca of Atlanta, Latto, joined by a sextet of dancers, rap-sung her Tom Tom club-sampling No. 1 R&B-hip-hop hit with snarling angle. However there was no denying how a lot enjoyable Latto was having as she twerked and twisted, headbanging her wavy mane of hair in rhythm with the pyro popping behind her. For these unfamiliar with the upstart born Alyssa Stephens, it was a star-making efficiency.

Miranda Lambert and Elle King, ‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Residence)’

The primal drumbeat that fuels this scorcher from a few vocal powerhouses set the tone, and Lambert and King rode its strutting pressure. Their efficiency survived a wobbly opening verse, however by the refrain, each ladies – coordinated in black pantsuits adorned in blue fringe, flames and stars – fell into the spirit of the music, singing full throttle prefer it was 2 a.m. in a dirty pool corridor. 

Florence + The Machine, ‘My Love’

The all the time enigmatic Florence Welch stepped onstage shrouded in dry ice, her waist-length auburn hair and flowing cream-colored gown as fascinating as her dramatic unveiling of “My Love.” Twirling throughout a stage dotted with items of paper that appeared like letters (love notes, maybe?), Welch was a putting imaginative and prescient beneath a halo of purple lighting as she carried out a barely rootsier model of the disco-inflected music from new album “Dance Fever.”

Rauw Alejandro, ‘Cúrame’ / ‘Museo’ / ‘Todo De Ti’

The Puerto Rican hitmaker referred to as the “king of recent reggaeton” eased into his trio of songs, sitting pensively throughout the ballad “Cúrame” in entrance of a tree with a lighted trunk. However inside moments, a phalanx of dancers joined him to nimbly step by means of “Museo” and “Todo De Ti” round a jungle health club of metal cubes. Alejandro, who carried out on the BBMAs for the primary time, just isn’t solely a easy singer, but additionally an impressively lithe dancer. 

Silk Sonic, ‘Love’s Prepare’

Of their now-trademark wide-lapel, rust-colored fits, Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and the remainder of Silk Sonic made their BBMAs debut with pelvic thrusts and Temptations-styled dancing with their backup singers. “Love’s Prepare” is one other snug submission from their throwback challenge, crammed with finger snaps, easy grooves and sufficient room for Mars to interact in fist-clenching reaches for the sky – and his splendid excessive notes. 

Diddy that includes Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow, ‘She Do not Need It’ / ‘First Class’ / ‘Mo Cash, Mo Issues’

The opening phase featured host Diddy dancing on the principle stage earlier than clearing the way in which for Bryson Tiller gliding by means of “She Don’t Need It.” The R&B star shared a couple of verses and ceded the stage to Jack Harlow, who took over the highlight with “First Class,” his newest single from new album “Come Residence the Youngsters Miss You.” However Diddy isn’t one to remain on the sidelines and shortly reappeared in the midst of the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment to bust a couple of strains of “Mo Cash, Mo Issues,” the 1997 smash popularized by the late Notorious B.I.G., who would have turned 50 on Might 21. 

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