Back at the BBMAs

By Samarth Jani

On May 15, 2022, music and entertainment’s biggest stars came together in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Garden Arena to celebrate one of music’s biggest nights, the 29th Billboard Music Awards. Hosted this year by Sean “Diddy” Combs, the ceremony was jampacked with several celebrity appearances, award winners, performances and memorable moments.

The Weeknd led the nominations list with a whopping 17 award nominations. Ultimately, Olivia Rodrigo would come out as winner of all winners that night, winning the most awards with seven including: Top New Artist, Top Female Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist. Other favorites like Doja Cat and Drake went on to win over four awards each. Mary J. Blige also was crowned this year’s recipient of the Icon Award.

Artwork by Ashwathi Chemban

Many celebrities went home with trophies, celebrating their achievements.

However, some people were not satisfied with the winners. Doja Cat walked away with all the R&B awards of the night and many fans saw this as a discrepancy on Billboard’s part. Many felt Doja Cat shouldn’t have been put in the R&B categories as she is mainly a pop singer/rapper. Some fans even alluded the incident to racism for putting Doja Cat, as a black woman, into a genre box that she has nothing to do with.

“I don’t really see why she won R&B. I just find it a bit confusing since her latest album was a lot of pop and hip-hop,” junior Abigail Varghese said.

The night was also filled with many hard-hitting performances from artists such as Jack Harlow, Silk Sonic and Ed Sheeran. Up and coming rapper Latto performed her breakout single “Big Energy,” which climbed the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year all the way to number three. Machine Gun Kelly showed viewers a softer and vulnerable side of him with the song “Twin Flame,” shouting out to his fiancé Megan Fox. Megan Thee Stallion went on to perform her latest two singles, “Sweetest Pie” and “Plan B.” The performance was loved by fans and many said that her performance was the best of the night.

Travis Scott made his comeback to the stage since the tragic Astroworld Festival incident back in November, 2021. He performed his song “Mafia” and premiered a brand new track titled “Lost Forever.” While many applauded Scott’s performance, many felt that the performance was too soon and that he should have waited a bit longer to make his comeback to the stage.

Besides the award winners and performers, many memes and viral clips came out of the award ceremony broadcasting. Clips all over TikTok circulated of model and actress Cara Delevingne acting “obsessive” throughout the whole night. Moments of Delevingne playing with Stallion’s dress, lurking around on the red carpet and laying all over the floor getting pics of Doja Cat were just a few of the viral moments that came out of the night.

Although the BBMA’s had its highs, the 2022 broadcast had record low ratings of only 2.1 million viewers. It prompts the question of whether award shows today are relevant anymore, especially with other big award shows such as the Grammy’s and VMA’s also losing relevance.

“I didn’t even know they were happening,” junior Evelyn Joseph said.

Although the popularity of award shows is dying out, it is still a celebration of the media’s favorite celebrities and an event many look forward to.