You can always count on the Billboard Awards to give us many of the most signature moments in music. With elevated performances, dope looks and legendary artists, it’s simply a good ol’ show to sit back and enjoy.
Here are a few of the most memorable moments that caught our eye throughout the evening:
Diddy’s opening performance and monologue
As dramatic as he is, the opening performance gave us all the Diddy-style flair we expected from the hip hop mogul. The crowd was obviously feeling the “vibe curator” as he kicked off the show with appearances from Bryson Tiller, Jack Harlow, his son Justin Combs, Teyana Taylor, while dropping a few bars of his own.
DJ Khalid gave Diddy his own separate introduction, following the performance where Diddy tooted his own horn about winning the award himself 25 years ago. No matter how we feel about “Mr. Love,” we have to give him credit for his level of finesse and having the audience tapping into their own “win-ergy.”
The City Girls presented the first award of the evening
JT and Young Miami looked fierce (even with an apparent outfit malfunction) and reminded all those in attendance that it was time to turn up in the way that a Las Vegas award show suggests.
Doja Cat won the first Billboard Award of the night and continued to win
The “Say So” lyricist walked up to the stage to receive her award for Top R&B Artist while taking time to thank her fans and say “we did it.” We love to see it. She went on to win Top R&B Album later in the evening.
Drake started off the night with 5 Wins
Although they weren’t aired, “Champagne Papi” took home five awards during the start of the evening: Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Male Rap Artist, Top Rap Artist and Top Rap Album.
Kanye “Ye” West won Top Christian Artist and Top Gospel Album
Yes, you read that right. For his album “Donda,” Ye took home two BillBoard Awards in the Christian Music and Gospel genres.
Megan Thee Stallion won Best Female Rap Artist
The “Hot Girl Coach” took a moment to thank her supporters for their validation and support during her speech. She also took a beat to say how good it felt to be recognized by her colleagues and peers at this time in her career.
Meg later hit the stage to perform her latest single “Plan B” which delivers all the hype of a late 90’s diss track while dropping gems for the ladies to live by and reminding them to love themselves. Following that song, she performed “Sweetest Pie,” with lit choreography and stunning back-up dancers.
Once again, Silk Sonic understood the assignment
Whenever this duo hits the stage, you can expect nothing less than peak 70’s goodness and nostalgia. Silk Sonic performed a cover of “Love Train”, one of their other hit songs, in matching fuchsia suits and on point synchronized choreography.
Tamika Mallory was given an award for her activism
Diddy presented Tamika Mallory, a prominent voice in the fight for equity and social justice for her activism. Mallory took to the stage to speak out against incidents of racism and discrimination across the country and gave a call to action, urging the audience to get involved in the fight for justice.
Latto gave “big energy” during her performance
The “Queen of Da Souf” rapper performed her hit song “Big Energy” which samples Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy.” Needless to say that she had the crowd rocking for the entire performance and received praise and reactions of approval from her contemporaries such as Chloe Bailey.
Mary J Blige received the Icon Award
If you weren’t dancing and screaming “go,Mary” at the screen while watching this segment, then you are really not a true Mary fan. A well deserved recipient of the award show’s monumental icon award, Blige shut it down with a speech that reminded us all of her longevity, her timelessness, and why she truly is Queen.
Can we also talk about Janet Jackson herself came out to present MJB the award? Truly iconic– real recognizes real.
Travis Scott’s first performance since the AstroWorld tragedy
In an icy tundra themed set, Scott delivered an interesting performance in his signature, imaginative fashion. Diddy was vocal about supporting Travis Scott’s performance on social media in an effort to “un-cancel” him prior to this performance. Many were uneasy about seeing him perform following the events that took place at his festival in November 2021.
Little Miss Flint was awarded the Billboard Changemaker Award
Mari Copeny, known as Little Miss Flint, was awarded an award by Teyana Taylor for her activism. The now teenager first gained attention for speaking out against the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Since that time, she has persisted in her activism and continues to use her voice, inspiring children and grown-ups alike. With her confidence, infectious spirit and energy, Copeny, no doubt, won the evening.
Maxwell commemorated the 40th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album
Everyone, no matter the generation, can recall the first time they heard songs from Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” album. Soulful powerhouse Maxwell reminded us of his own badass-ness as he paid tribute to the Jackson’s monumental album four decades later in a rhinestone studded blazer in homage. Who knew that Maxwell singing “Lady in My Life” was so necessary? Do we even go as far as to point out how serendipitous it was that his sister Janet was in attendance earlier in the show? Nevertheless, the King of Pop can never be forgotten.
Burna Boy brought the Motherland to the main stage as the final performance of the night
Burna Boy has had quite the year so far. After headlining (and selling out) Madison Square Garden not too long ago, he’s proven even further that he is a force not to be forgotten with this evening’s performance. Introduced by Giveon, Burna Boy started off his set by performing his latest track “Last Last” which samples Toni Braxton’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me.” He finished with his bop “Kilometre” which had the audience grooving the entire time.