Mary J. Blige’s Icon Award Speech & More Best Moments: 2022 BBMAs – Billboard

The 2022 Billboard Music Awards took over the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday night (May 15), and with Diddy as the night’s host and self-proclaimed “vibe curator,” there was no shortage of amazing moments.

From a celebration of love and inclusivity to a potential pregnancy announcement and some seriously impressive performances from today’s top artists, see below for the eight best moments from the BBMAs.


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Diddy’s jam-packed opening performance

The host teamed up with Bryson Tiller to kick off the night with a cover of “Gotta Move On,” originally by Toni Braxton, featuring H.E.R. Jack Harlow took over for his fellow Kentucky native Tiller to deliver his career-first solo Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “First Class.”

Diddy and Teyana Taylor wrapped up the hip-hop masterclass by paying tribute to the The Notorious B.I.G. with “Mo Money Mo Problems,” which the late rapper released in 1997 under Diddy’s Bad Boy Records and Arista Records. Taylor’s 6-year-old daughter Junie even joined for the performance, and her split at the end should honestly have its own “best moment.”

Rauw Alejandro’s hip-swaying moves

The Puerto Rican artist took center stage to perform three of his current hits: “Curame,” “Museo,” and “Todo de Ti,” and not only did he serve vocals, he also gave some killer dance moves in an all-white outfit that had the whole crowd, including his fellow Latin music star Becky G, on its feet.

Revolt Award for Black Excellence

“It’s important we celebrate women who stand up,” Diddy told the crowd before presenting the powerful Revolt Award for Black Excellence to activist Tamika Mallory, who was moved to tears by the honor. Among her many achievements, Mallory was one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March, for which she and her three other co-chairs were recognized in the TIME 100 that year. She is a strong advocate for gun control, feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“You are one of the most fearless people that I know,” Diddy told Mallory. “You fight for us on the frontlines and we just pay so much respect for you, queen. We love you.”

In a particularly poignant moment, Mallory mentioned the mass shooting that happened earlier in the day, targeting primarily African Americans at the Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. While law enforcement has arrested the shooter, the activist proclaimed that “they haven’t arrested the hate.”

“Get involved, fight for justice,” she told the crowd.

Megan Thee Stallion’s outfit, knees, rap, everything

An awards show in 2022 wouldn’t be complete without the Hot Girl coach. Megan Thee Stallion rocked a strappy bodysuit as she twerked on her famous knees and delivered a double helping of hits, “Plan B” and her Dua Lipa-collaborative record “Sweetest Pie.” It’s no surprise that she took home the award for top rap female artist.

Mary J. Blige’s Icon Award

Mary J. Blige, powerhouse and 10-time Billboard Music Award winner, was presented with the Icon Award by former recipient Janet Jackson, Blige brought the house down, earning ovations before, during and after an acceptance speech that touched upon her prolonged rise and emotional honesty.

“The message of my music has always been we are not alone in our struggles,” Blige said in a particularly heartwarming moment in her tear-inducing speech. “I finally found my real love, and that real love is me.”

Machine Gun Kelly dedicating his “Twin Flame” performance to his “wife” and “unborn child”

While singing his Megan Fox-inspired ballad, MGK seemed to drop some surprise information about the duo’s relationship. “I wrote this song for my wife,” he said at the start of the performance, seemingly hinting at the fact that he and his fiancée Fox have quietly tied the knot.

He also offhandedly dedicated part of the song to “my unborn child.” Kelly and Fox have yet to announce their marriage or any pregnancy.

The Changemaker Award

Mari Copeny, affectionately known as Little Miss Flint, is a now teenager who took on the Flint water crisis in 2015 at just nine years old. She has since continued to give back to her community, and was presented with the Changemaker Award by Teyana Taylor. She bursted into nervous and excited laughter upon taking the stage, showing just how important the honor was to her. “It’s an honor to be recognized as the first female and youngest person to receive this award,” she told the crowd, moving Blige and Doja Cat, among others, to tears. “I don’t do the work I do for accolades and clout. I do it for the kids back home in Flint that are still being poisoned by the water.”

“I know when its like when leadership at all levels fail you over and over again,” she said, adding that while there’s still very much a water crisis in the United States, “some people in charge would rather spend their time dictating what women can and cannot do with their bodies. It’s dangerous and also very weird.”

“I ask you to do way more than applaud my speech,” she concluded.

Diddy’s Outfit Changes

“I’m giving y’all a fashion show,” Diddy told the crowd on his fifth outfit change of the night, and he wasn’t wrong. The night’s host served everything from all-leather looks to bright red suits — all, of course, while enjoying a glass of his Ciroc vodka.

The Billboard Music Awards are produced by MRC Live & Alternative, a division of MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.

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