Fresh off her internet-breaking performance at Coachella, Megan Thee Stallion will take over another big stage this summer as she leads the first group of artists announced for the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she will be joined by Nigerian rap star Burna Boy, newcomer Latto, four-time finalist Rauw Alejandro and rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Meg ate up the stage at Coachella, with her badass performance even stifling censors in China. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Coachella is not legally available in China, so people livestream it on the Chinese social media app WeChat. Apparently, her performance of “WAP” proved to be too much, as the censors’ black bar could not keep up with Meg or the lyrics. In the comments, viewers were translating the lyrics and demanding not to be treated like children. When Megan Thee Stallion is on stage, rules and boundaries don’t apply—which should make the formulaic Billboard show very interesting.
Meg and Latto are Top Female Rap Artist finalists alongside Cardi B. This is where we need to discuss why all the other rap categories are so male-dominated. Yes, to a certain extent the Billboard Music Awards are about sales and streams, however, the lack of women feels like another slight in an already sexist genre.
The Weeknd leads all finalists with 17 nominations. He’s basically recognized once or twice in every category he’s eligible in. He’s followed by Ye f.k.a. Kanye West and Drake with 13 nods and Doja Cat with 11. The Weeknd, Drake and Doja Cat are all up for Top Artist against pop breakout star Olivia Rodrigo and perennial Billboard award winner Taylor Swift. Though not yet announced, we can expect performances from several of these major nominees. The Weeknd usually brings something special to the Billboard stage, though he is currently shooting his new HBO series The Idol, so this could be the year he can’t make it.
Luckily we’ll still have ICON Award recipient Mary J. Blige to bring the drama. While she hasn’t been officially announced, the ICON winner usually performs a cool medley of their hits before accepting the award. So start warming up your “No More Drama,” “Real Love” and “Family Affair” sing-a-long vocals now.
The Billboard Music Awards air live Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC and Peacock.