May 17, 2018
The following are excerpts from press releases from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:
Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced today the full line-up of presenters for the “2018 Billboard Music Awards.” The film, television and music stars slated to take the stage throughout the night include Hailey Baldwin, Tyra Banks, Alison Brie, The Chainsmokers, Ciara, Andy Cohen, Simon Cowell, Darren Criss, Halsey, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Justin Hartley & Chrissy Metz, Nick Jonas & Mustard, Chloe Kim, Mila Kunis, Padma Lakshmi, Des Linden, Julia Michaels, French Montana, Ne-Yo, Derek Hough & Jenna Dewan, Evan Ross & Ashlee Simpson, Grace VanderWaal and Rebel Wilson.
They join host, performer and “The Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson, plus previously announced performances by BTS, Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Khalid, John Legend, Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez and Shawn Mendes, plus collaborations by Christina Aguilera featuring Demi Lovato, Macklemore and Kesha, Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue and Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey on a night filled with music’s biggest names. Global superstar Janet Jackson will receive this year’s Billboard Music Awards ICON Award and will also take the stage for a highly anticipated performance of her greatest hits, marking her first performance on television in nine years.
Macklemore and Kesha will perform their heartfelt single, “Good Old Days,” together in a special performance presented by T-Mobile, as part of the “2018 Billboard Music Awards.” The duo will perform their feel-good hit – which debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart – just down the Strip from the main show on Toshiba Plaza outside of T-Mobile Arena. T-Mobile will provide fans exclusive, behind-the-scenes content with Macklemore and Kesha in addition to an inside look at the BBMAs throughout the evening. Fans can keep up with and join the conversation by using #AreYouWithUs and following T-Mobile’s social channels.
Khalid and Mendes will take the stage for a special collaboration and the world television premiere of Mendes’ new single, “Youth,” immediately following Mendes’ performance of his hit single ”In My Blood.”
Female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa will shoop onto the stage to perform several of their monster hits at the “2018 Billboard Music Awards!” Joining them for this one-of-a-kind special performance will be the highly celebrated female vocal group En Vogue. Salt-N-Pepa’s “2018 Billboard Music Awards” performance marks the 30th anniversary of them becoming the first female rappers to crack the Top 20 on Billboard Hot 100. The renowned group burst onto the hip-hop scene in 1987 with their debut Billboard chart hit “My Mike Sounds Nice,” and then notched their first crossover pop smash with “Push It” the following year.
“Thirty years later, we’re still Pushing It all over the world and we’re still loved and celebrated by fans we grew up with as well as new fans,” said Salt-N-Pepa. “Looking back at all the barriers we’ve broken as women in this very male dominated genre of music, being the first two female rappers to break the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 is right up there as one of the best moments of our amazing career. We are blessed.”
[May 18, 2018 UPDATE: Khalid and Normani will be teaming up for the Pepsi® Generations summer performance of their Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Love Lies.”]
The “2018 Billboard Music Awards” will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC. The three-hour telecast will feature performances from this year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments that celebrate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100.
Nominations for the “2018 Billboard Music Awards” were announced last month on NBC’s “Today” and on a livestream from Billboard’s New York office. Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran tie for the most nominations this year with 15 each.
Voting for the Billboard Chart Achievement Award and Top Social Artist is open. Fans can vote online and/or on Twitter through May 20, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT (half an hour into the live broadcast).
“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on the chart period of April 8, 2017 through March 31, 2018. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.
About the Artists
Multi-platinum, multiple Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has established himself as one of the world’s biggest musical artists with over 26 million albums sold, universal acclaim, and performing to sold out audiences around the globe. His third studio album “÷” (pronounced divide) entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 upon its March 2017 release, and went on to be the year’s biggest album in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, with equivalent album units exceeding 2.764 million units. “Shape Of You” – the album’s 8x-Platinum lead single – debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2017, held the top spot for a remarkable 12 weeks, and remained in the top 10 for 33 consecutive weeks, the most ever in the chart’s 59-year history. Sheeran dominated Billboard’s Year In Review, standing at #1 on 16 of their year-end charts including Top Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Song of the Year for “Shape Of You,” taking the honor for the second consecutive year (Sheeran co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” 2016’s Hot 100 Song of the Year). With his 2x-Platinum certified single “Castle on the Hill” also debuting at #6 on the Hot 100 after being released in tandem with “Shape Of You,” Sheeran also became the only artist in chart history to have two singles simultaneously debut in the Top 10. One of the planet’s most popular live performers, Ed has sold out countless headline shows at some of the biggest and most iconic venues around the world, including his upcoming stand at London’s Wembley Stadium where he’s set to perform in front of 320,000 fans over 4 nights. Last year, all 60 dates of the North American leg of his world arena tour in support of “÷” sold out in a matter of minutes, and, this summer, he’ll return for a cross-country stadium tour, kicking off at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, on August 18.
Two-time Billboard Music Award winner Macklemore has collected seven hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including a pair of No. 1s: “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us.” The tracks — recorded alongside Ryan Lewis and featuring Wanz and Ray Dalton, respectively — ranked as 2013’s Nos. 1 and 5 biggest songs of the year on the Hot 100 chart. Most recently, Macklemore topped the Rap Albums chart with his 2017 solo effort “Gemini,” which spun off a pair of Top 20-charting hits on both the Hot Rap Songs and Pop Songs charts: “Glorious,” featuring Skylar Grey, and “Good Old Days,” featuring Kesha. In total, as a solo artist and with Lewis, Macklemore’s albums have earned 5.2 million equivalent album units in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, while his songs have sold 23 million downloads and have tallied over 2.5 billion on-demand streams.
Collectively, Macklemore’s music videos have been viewed over 2.7 billion times and he is one of only two rappers to have a diamond-certified single. His breakthrough album “The Heist,” with producing partner Ryan Lewis, earned the duo 4 Grammy Awards, 5 MTV Awards, 2 American Music Awards and 1 BET Award. In 2016, Macklemore was featured in an MTV special with President Obama about the opioid epidemic in America and was the first US citizen ever to participate in the Presidential Weekly Address. In 2017, Macklemore released “Gemini,” his first solo album in 12 years.
Singer/songwriter Kesha has achieved more than 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, including three No. 1s. Among those leaders is her breakout debut single “Tik Tok,” which spent nine weeks atop the list and was named 2010’s year-end top Hot 100 song. Her first album, “Animal,” opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, a feat matched by her most recent release, 2017’s “Rainbow.” The latter set launched the Top 10 Pop Songs hit “Praying” and the No. 1 Dance Club Songs single “Woman,” featuring The Dap-King Horns. Kesha’s catalog of albums have earned 6.7 million equivalent album units in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, and her songs have sold more than 33 million downloads and garnered 1.8 billion on-demand streams.
Shawn Mendes recently released new tracks “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan” from his highly anticipated third album. Both tracks have already experienced massive success, soaring to Nos. 22 and 64, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 and No. 2 on the overall iTunes chart in the U.S, Top 5 on iTunes in 50 countries, and holding the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist. The tracks have received critical acclaim from outlets including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Idolator, Variety and Paste, with “In My Blood” topping Time magazine’s “5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week” and The New York Times’ “The Playlist.” “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan” are the first new songs released by Mendes since his 3x platinum hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” in April 2017. The track scored Mendes his second No. 1 single on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, joining 6x platinum single “Stitches.” With “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” Mendes also became the first artist to ever have three No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart before the age of 20. Throughout his career, Mendes has achieved two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 with platinum albums “Handwritten” (2015) and “Illuminate” (2016), and seven consecutive platinum and multi-platinum singles. Worldwide, he has sold over 10 million albums, 100 million singles, and has amassed over 11 billion song streams and 4 billion YouTube views. Mendes has completed two sold-out world tours with over one million tickets sold, selling out legendary arenas, including NYC’s Madison Square Garden, Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and London’s O2 Arena in minutes. He topped Billboard’s “21 Under 21” in 2017 and has been featured on Forbes “30 Under 30,” Spotify’s “25 Under 25,” and Time’s “Most Influential Teens” for 4 consecutive years. In February 2018, ROI Influencer Media recognized Mendes as the #1 Most Influential Artist and #1 Most Influential Teen across all social media platforms. Shawn Mendes BBMA Giphy stickers are available and can be found within Instagram Stories by clicking the GIF button and searching for “BBMAs.”
Five-time Billboard Music Award nominee Khalid has seen great success since he released his first single “Location” right before his high school graduation. The song’s domination led to Khalid’s major label deal with Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records followed by the release of his debut album, “American Teen.” The album received mass critical acclaim with Rolling Stone calling Khalid a “pop prodigy” and Time magazine stating, ““His thoughtful, relatable reflections on modern youth culture and the limitations of love are just as pitch-perfect as his soulful, measured delivery.” “American Teen” shattered expectations as it stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for more than 60 weeks, peaked at No. 4 and stayed in the Top 30 of the chart for its first 60 weeks on that list. The singer-songwriter has over one billion streams worldwide across all partners, his first single “Location” is certified 4x platinum by the RIAA, and his previous single “Young Dumb & Broke” is certified 3X platinum. Since the album’s debut, Khalid has garnered five 2018 Grammy Award nominations, including Best New Artist and landed on the cover of Billboard’s 2018 Grammy Preview issue. He was also nominated for 2017 BET Award for Best New Artist, a Teen Choice Award for Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song for “Location” and a 2017 American Music Award for Favorite Song-Soul/R&B for “Location.” Khalid also won Best New Artist at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and an MTV’s Woodie to Watch Award. In addition to “American Teen,” Khalid has collaborated with some of music’s biggest stars. He has been featured on a number of songs, including megahits like Calvin Harris’s “Rollin” with Future, “1-800-273-8255” with Logic and Alessia Cara, “Silence” with Marshmello, “Lovely” with Billie Eilish, “Youth” with Shawn Mendes, and many more. Khalid’s current singles “Love Lies,” a duet with Normani, and “OTW” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack are burning up the airwaves. Khalid is currently on this third sold-out North American headlining tour.
With truck gold ropes around their necks and a fire in their hearts to entertain, inspire, and slay the competition— three feminine figures emerged from the shadows and kicked in the door of the male dominated Hip-Hop industry. The legend of Salt-N-Pepa was born. Long before the days of high profile social media platforms, Salt-N-Pepa commanded the attention of millions of followers with their airtight rhyme flow, mass pop appeal, fashion, fun, and unapologetic femininity. They are the first female rap group to attain platinum status. They have sold more than 12 million albums. Their brand of girl power and strong feminine artistry changed the Hip-Hop landscape and blazed a trail for numerous female artists and groups in pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop genres. Included in their catalog of hits from five studio albums are such classics as Push It, Shoop, Whatta Man, Let’s Talk About Sex, Expression, Independent, and the Grammy Award winning hit None of Your Business.
In recent years Salt-N-Pepa has reunited for several successful tours in the United States and abroad. In 2018, in the aftermath of a successful 30th Anniversary of the influential group, the ladies are still headlining the “I Love the 90’s Tour” and prepping for their Las Vegas residency. Salt-N-Pepa’s residency is not only a first for them it is also the first Hip-Hop residency in Las Vegas. With the success of N.W.A biopic, Straight Outta Compton, interest has resurfaced from Hollywood executives in telling the epic story of Salt-N-Pepa. There will be a Salt-N-Pepa movie, and a documentary with both deals in development. And what is sure to be sweet music to the ears of old and new fans alike, they are finally back in the studio working on new music.
Also, in 2018, C.E.O James” Jimmy” Maynes and Chief Operations officer, Tommaso Giuseppe have partnered with the legendary ladies of hip hop, Salt-N-Pepa on Eastwind Media Group (EMG!). Jimmy Maynes is a Grammy award winning music producer with a 30+ year history as an A/R executive hailing from the iconic record companies, Uptown Records, Def Jam, Jive Records and others. Tommaso Giuseppe is a former NY Nightlife promoter turned right hand to Jimmy Maynes. Powered by Salt-N-Pepa, EMG! not only manages the careers and brands of iconic pop/ hip hop & R&B artists such as Naughty By Nature, Kid N Play, ALL4ONE, Blackstreet & Case; EMG! also co-produces the hugely successful worldwide “I Love The 90s Tour” that is currently in its third year with no signs of slowing down.
En Vogue, currently consisting of Cindy Heron-Braggs, Terry Ellis and Rhona Bennett, has sold over 20 million albums and effortlessly transitioned into the digital age, amassing over 30 million streams and over 26 million YouTube views on their top six hit singles alone: the R&B and Pop smashes “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “Never Gonna Get It,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Don’t Let Go,” and “Whatta Man” feat. Salt N Pepa). The group has won seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and received seven Grammy nominations. After 14 years En Vogue is back with their first studio album “Electric Café” that spawn the Top 10 Adult R&B Songs hit single “Rocket.”
Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artist/DJ/producer Zedd made his debut with “Clarity” after signing with Interscope in 2012 and has been breaking down barriers surrounding music genres ever since. His latest single, “The Middle” with Maren Morris and Grey, was declared “catchy as hell” by MTV and Rolling Stone called it “an infectious earworm.” The track has already amassed over 500 million streams and spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs airplay chart. “The Middle” is his follow up to his 2017 hit singles “Get Low” with Liam Payne and “Stay” with Alessia Cara. “Stay” earned Zedd his first No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart and his second Grammy nomination. In 2015, Zedd released “True “Colors, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Throughout his career, Zedd has worked with a diverse range of artists to create hits, including Hayley Williams on platinum hit “Stay The Night,” which racked up more than 400 million streams, and Selena Gomez on platinum track “I Want You To Know,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Twenty-eight year old singer/songwriter Maren Morris has quickly established herself with vocal stylings that reflect her country, folk and pop influences. Armed with sheer talent, honest lyrics and a completely magnetic presence, Morris’ label-debut album, the gold-certified “Hero,” released via Columbia Nashville on June 3, 2016. One week after it was available, “Hero” entered the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at No. 1 and No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, which spans across all genres. With this, the Arlington, Texas native became the first artist in the history of Columbia Nashville to open at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart with a debut album in the Nielsen Music era. Morris’ debut single from “Hero,” “My Church,” set a record at country radio by having the most chart reporting stations to play a debut single by a country artist with 107 stations the week it hit the airwaves, in addition to being certified Platinum by the RIAA. Later in 2016 Morris tied for the most nominations with five at the 50th CMA Awards, including Album of the Year (“Hero”), Female Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year (“My Church”), Song of the Year (“My Church”) and New Artist of the Year, which she won, marking her first CMA Award. She was tapped by Billboard magazine to receive the Billboard Breakthrough Artist Award at the 11th annual Billboard Women in Music Gala, as well as being awarded the Breakthrough Artist Award by the Music Business Association at Music Biz 2017. Kicking off 2017 Morris took home the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for “My Church” at the 59th Grammy Awards, in addition to having the most nominations for a country music artist with four to her credit, including Best New Artist, Best Country Album (“Hero”) and Best Country Song as the songwriter and performer (“My Church”). She received six nominations at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year, New Female Vocalist of the Year, which she took home the trophy for, Album of the Year (as artist and producer) for “Hero,” and Single Record of the Year (as artist and producer) for “My Church.” Morris was also named Radio Disney’s Best New Country Artist at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. Morris wrapped 2017 with the conclusion of her first-ever headlining “Hero Tour 2017,” which also included dates in the U.K. Looking ahead at 2018 Maren received her fifth career Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance (“I Could Use a Love Song”) for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. In addition “I Could Use a Love Song” was Morris’ first No. 1 country radio single, as both the performer and songwriter, reaching the top of both Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase Country charts the week of Jan. 15, 2018. Morris’ current single for country radio is the fun fan favorite song “Rich.” Though rooted deeply in country music, Morris has acquired a global, non-genre specific, fan base. It’s that global fan base’s appetite that Morris will satisfy in 2018 by collaborating with electronic house DJ and producer Zedd, along with electronic duo, Grey, for the smash hit, “The Middle,” in addition to joining Niall Horan on the “Flicker World Tour 2018” with dates in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA.
Since launching in late 2014, Grey—the Los Angeles-based production duo composed of brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha—have quickly taken the music world by storm with their viral hit singles “Starving” and “I Miss You.” Grey stepped into the big leagues with their first original release, “Starving,” a collaboration with Hailee Steinfeld featuring their mentor, Zedd, released July 2016. The breakthrough track marks Grey’s crossover into the mainstream milieu as their first platinum-certified single. A bona fide hit, “Starving” reached No. 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, and also went Top 10 in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Online, the track’s video counts over 250 million views on YouTube, with an additional 563 million streams on Spotify. With the success of “Starving” on deck, Grey followed up with “I Miss You,” their first official solo single. Released at the beginning of 2017 via Interscope Records, “I Miss You” delivers an emotionally intense romp through heartbreak and heartache, led by a seductive vocal performance from Southern California trio Bahari. The Top 40 track already claims impressive figures, with more than 30 million streams to date, including over 28 million plays on Spotify alone. Grey is now at the helm of their next artistic evolution with Chameleon, their debut EP released this fall. On Chameleon, a modern, freeform approach to production, no sound is off limits, no genre is taboo. For proof, take a spin through the title track “Chameleon” featuring vocalist Asia Whitacre. Structured atop a moving crescendo, the track dives headfirst into a matrix of filtered guitars and synthed-out bleeps. “Crime” feat. Skott, the first single off Chameleon, was called a “dreamy floor filler with a surprisingly huge drop” by Idolator. Grey go for the jugular on “Wings Clipped,” featuring special guest Avril Lavigne and Anthony Green, lead singer of Circa Survive and Saosin, Continuing their artistic evolution, Grey followed up their debut EP with “Crown,” a collaboration with Camila Cabello featured on the soundtrack to Netflix’s original film “Bright.” The New York Times described the track as “Bollywood-goes-trap mode” while Billboard heralded, “Grey smashed it with Middle Eastern drums and Arabic strumming.” As Grey readies new music in 2018, they reunited with Zedd for his hit single “The Middle,” featuring Grammy Award winning artist, Maren Morris.
Best-known as one of the four members in the multi-platinum group Fifth Harmony, Normani explores a new musical direction on “Love Lies” with Khalid. Since its release, the “slow-burning R&B ballad” (The FADER) has been streamed over 300 million times while the song’s official video has over 44 million views on YouTube. With over 195 million streams on Spotify alone, the song broke the Top 5 on the streaming platform’s US (#2) and Global (#3) Viral Charts. Featured as Zane Lowe’s World Record, “Love Lies” also went #2 on iTunes’ R&B/Soul Top Songs chart and #9 on the Top Songs chart across all genres. Born in Atlanta, Normani grew up in New Orleans before moving to Houston at 9 years old with her family after Hurricane Katrina. Always excited about music, Normani began dancing at the age of 3 and grew up idolizing entertainers like Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Inspired by her love for pop and R&B, “Love Lies” offers a closer look to Normani’s personal style as an artist and demonstrates her “smooth vocals” (Billboard) and “velvety range” (Vulture). Outside of the recording studio, Normani is the Global Ambassador to the American Cancer Society and works with A Place Called Home, lending her name and time to various events. She is also a Diversity Ambassador for The CyberSmile Foundation, a multi-award winning anti cyberbullying non-profit organization.