Brutally honest rankings of every Billboard Music Awards performance, including MGK, Travis Scott
It wasn’t probably the most scintillating parade of performances, however the 2022 Billboard Music Awards ought to be recommended for casting a really numerous lineup.
From soul throwbacks Silk Sonic to Latin pop star Becky G to onetime country pariah Morgan Wallen, the present hopscotched genres for 3 hours, providing a breakout flip from Atlanta rapper Latto, a tribute to Michael Jackson delivered by the eternally poised Maxwell and a shock efficiency from host Sean “Diddy” Combs.
This 12 months’s version of the present, which aired stay from the MGM Grand Backyard Area in Las Vegas, additionally highlighted stage turns by Florence + The Machine, Megan Thee Stallion, Ed Sheeran (becoming a member of from his live performance in Belfast, Northern Eire) and, making his first award show appearance because the 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 onerous numbers – particularly, their showings on the Billboard charts, together with album and digital track gross sales, streaming and radio airplay.
As for the performances, this is how they ranked from least inspiring to most memorable.
Billboard Music Awards: Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner step out on red carpet with daughter Stormi
15. Diddy that includes Bryson Tiller, Jack Harlow and Teyana Taylor, ‘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 best way for Bryson Tiller gliding by way 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 course of the MGM Grand Backyard Area to bust a couple of traces – together with Teyana Taylor – of “Mo Cash, Mo Issues,” the 1997 smash popularized by the late Notorious B.I.G., who would have turned 50 on Might 21.
14. Dan + Shay, ‘You’
The nation duo recognized for his or her candy ballads and angelic harmonizing didn’t disappoint with a gently swaying rendition of the observe from final 12 months’s “Good Issues” album. Wearing matching pink fits – together with the remainder of their backing band – Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney didn’t ignite the stage, however supplied a dependable efficiency of a soulful track.
13. Travis Scott, ‘Mafia’ and ‘Misplaced Perpetually’
With blizzard results swirling across the construction the place Scott lay in fuzzy wintry pants, the rapper unfurled a closely edited “Mafia.” He buried his head towards 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.
12. Burna Boy, ‘Final Final’ and ‘Kilometre’
The Nigerian Afrobeat star closed the present with a pair of tracks that a minimum of ended the tasteless ceremony on an uptempo groove. Strutting down the catwalk in shorts and shades, Burna Boy (aka Damini Ogulu) incited the group to sing alongside to “Final Final.” However it turned obvious why he was chosen as the ultimate efficiency when a drum line appeared, including much more percussion to “Kilometre” with a fusion of world beat sounds.
11. 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 way 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 glittery black leotard with matching thigh-high stockings for “Mamiii,” her worldwide smash that she shares on file with Karol G (no relation).
10. Morgan Wallen, ‘Don’t Suppose Jesus’ and ‘Wasted on You’
Arrange on a sq. stage in the course of the world, 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 track. 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 good.” 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.
9. Maxwell, ‘Girl in My Life’
Of all of the songs to have a good time the fortieth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” depart it to soul king Maxwell to decide on one in every 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, carrying 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 track’s finish, trying a bit overcome with emotion.
8. Machine Gun Kelly, ‘Twin Flame,’ ‘Born With Horns’
Sporting painted nails, ripped denims and mussed hair with a light-weight magenta hue, MGK began by quietly saying he wrote the track 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 group and say, “Glad birthday, my love,” earlier than detouring into a couple of traces of “Born With Horns.” Whereas his voice wasn’t at all times on level, there was no denying the authenticity of MGK’s efficiency, particularly when he returned to “Twin Flame,” devoted it to “our unborn youngster” and scooped up his electrical guitar to crank out some serrated riffs.
7. 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 embellished in blue fringe, flames and stars – fell into the spirit of the track, singing full throttle prefer it was 2 a.m. in a dirty pool corridor.
6. Rauw Alejandro, ‘Cúrame’ / ‘Museo’ / ‘Todo De Ti’
The Puerto Rican hitmaker often known as the “king of contemporary reggaeton” eased into his trio of songs, sitting pensively in the course of 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 way of “Museo” and “Todo De Ti” round a jungle fitness center of metal cubes. Alejandro, who carried out on the BBMAs for the primary time, will not be solely a easy singer, but additionally an impressively lithe dancer.
5. 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 venture, stuffed with finger snaps, easy grooves and sufficient room for Mars to have interaction in fist-clenching reaches for the sky – and his splendid excessive notes.
4. Ed Sheeran, ‘2Step’
Beaming in stay from Belfast, Northern Eire, the one-man ginger band utilized his rotating stage and hallmark looping method for the newest single from last year’s “=” album. Performing for an enormous outside crowd at Boucher Street Taking part in Fields, Sheeran demonstrated – particularly for individuals who have by no means seen him stay – how one unassuming man with a guitar and versatile vocal abilities can enchant a stadium-sized crowd.
3. Florence + The Machine, ‘My Love’
The at all times enigmatic Florence Welch stepped onstage shrouded in dry ice, her waist-length auburn hair and flowing cream-colored gown as charming as her dramatic unveiling of “My Love.” Twirling throughout a stage dotted with items of paper that regarded like letters (love notes, maybe?), Welch was a hanging imaginative and prescient below a halo of pink lighting as she carried out a barely rootsier model of the disco-inflected track from new album “Dance Fever.”
2. Megan Thee Stallion, ‘Plan B’ and ‘Sweetest Pie’
Trying horny in a black leotard that showcased her smooth determine, Megan Thee Stallion self-censored herself as she unspooled her feminine empowerment anthem, “Plan B.” To help her lyrical theme, she turned her almost naked booty towards the group 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.
1. Latto, ‘Large Vitality’
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 assertivene. 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.