Review: ‘Impractical Jokers: The Movie,’ starring James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano

February 22, 2020

by Carla Hay

Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Sal Vulcano and Joe Gatto in “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” (Photo courtesy of truTV)

“Impractical Jokers: The Movie”

Directed by Chris Henchy

Culture Representation: The predominantly white cast of the comedy film “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” has the four prank-playing stars of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers” going on a road trip to Miami and encountering people from various walks of life.

Culture Clash: This entire movie is about how the stars of “Impractical Jokers” compete with each other over an invitation to a Paula Abdul party, and they play pranks on unsuspecting people and themselves as part of the competition.

Culture Audience: “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” will primarily appeal to “Impractical Jokers”/The Tenderloins fans and other fans of lowbrow pranks.

Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano, James “Murr” Murray and Brian “Q” Quinn in “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” (Photo courtesy of truTV)

Fans of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers,” which has been on the air since 2011 and follows the New York City-based comedy troupe The Tenderloins, should already know what to expect for “Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” the first theatrically released feature film from truTV. The question is if it’s worth paying extra money to see a movie that could basically be a TV special available at no extra charge for people who have truTV. You’d have to be a humorless grouch to not enjoy some of the genuinely laugh-out-loud moments in the movie. However, “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” falls on its face when it steers away from the pranks, and it has the stars of the show reading scripted lines as actors portraying themselves.

“Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” directed by Funny or Die co-founder Chris Henchy, is absolutely the type of lowbrow, frat-boy comedy that fans love about the “Impractical Jokers” TV series. It’s the same format, with the guys using hidden cameras, as well as hidden speaking/listening devices to feed lines to whichever guy is doing the prank, in order to make things more uncomfortable for him.

The movie is made for “Impractical Jokers” fans, not anyone looking for anything intellectual or groundbreaking. But for people who don’t know anything about “Impractical Jokers,” the movie is a pretty good introduction to the four “Impractical Jokers” stars: James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano, also known as the comedy troupe The Tenderloins. (All four of The Tenderloins, along with Henchy and Funny or Die’s Jim Ziegler and Buddy Enright, are producers of the movie.)

Murr is the group’s biggest physical daredevil and the “ladies’ man” in the movie: He gets completely naked during a boat prank, and near the end of the film, there’s a scene of him tied to the top of a small airplane as a stunt. (It’s not a stunt double.) Sal is the one who’s most likely to get the most humiliating pranks from the other guys. Q is the most sensible one of the group and is the one most likely to stop a prank if he thinks it’s headed in the wrong direction. Joe is the best improviser who’s the most likely to think quickly on his feet if a prank doesn’t go the way it was originally expected.

The movie begins with a scripted “origin story” of the “Impractical Jokers” stars’ first prank. At a Paula Abdul concert in the early 1990s, the four guys pull the fire-alarm switch, which abruptly ends the concert by sending frightened audience members heading for the exit. Abdul (who portrays herself in flashback scenes and present-day scenes) is so enraged that she gets in a physical fight with the four pranksters, including punching Sal in the throat, and she vows to get revenge on them.

Fast forward about 25 years later, and the guys are having dinner together at a restaurant, when Abdul sees them, but only recognizes them as the stars of “Impractical Jokers.” She comes over and gushes about how much of a fan she is, and the guys are relieved that she doesn’t remember them as the pranksters who ruined her concert years ago. Abdul invites them to a party she’s having in Miami, where she will also perform.

The guys are happy to accept the invitation because they think the party will be a “do-over” for them to make up for the fiasco of the previous time they were around Abdul. But there’s a problem: When they get the laminated badges that will give them access to the party, only three badges have been provided for them instead of four. Instead of asking for a fourth badge, they decide that on their road trip to Miami, they’ll do a series of pranks, and the guy who loses the most pranks will be the one who won’t get to go to the party.

So off they go on the road trip. One of their first stops is in Washington, D.C., which yields some of the best laughs in the movie. First, the guys do a prank challenge at the Lincoln Memorial, where they each have to convince strangers to approve a very inappropriate and distasteful eulogy. Each of the guys, while holding an urn said to contain someone’s ashes, separately approach visitors at a memorial monument. They ask the strangers to tell them what they think of a eulogy that they’ve written, and then read the eulogy. Each eulogy turns out to be insulting to the “dead person,” and most of the strangers approached say that the eulogy shouldn’t be read at the memorial. In the end, all but one of the guys fails this challenge.

In an even better scene, hidden cameras follow a tourist group being taken on a guide of caverns in the area. Joe then surprises the group by crawling out of a cave and pretending to be someone who had been trapped there since 1987. He’s wearing ghoulish light green makeup and alien-looking ears. And the startled and shocked expressions on the tourists’ faces are priceless.

Joe then makes up a story about being lost in the cave as a kid, when he got separated from his parents on a tour guide of the caverns. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says, “I’m the Beef” (in reference to the famous “Where’s the Beef?” Wendy’s ad campaign from the 1980s. He asks the tour group, “Who shot J.R.?” (in reference to the famous cliffhanger from the TV series “Dallas”), and he asks if Walter Mondale got a second term. (Mondale ran against Ronald Reagan in the 1984 U.S. presidential election and lost.) All of these jokes land best with people who know about or remember the ’80s. Based on some of the puzzled or blank expressions of the younger people in the tourist group, the jokes went right over their heads.

When the guys are in Atlanta, another highlight of the movie is a challenge where they each interview for a job with the Atlanta Hawks, and they have to act like the interviewee from hell by saying and doing bizarre things during the interview. Joe is the funniest one in the group for this challenge, because he excuses himself to use the restroom during the interview, and then goes down to the basketball court that can be seen from the interview room, and starts playing basketball while the interviewer looks on in shock. When he comes back to the interview room, he tells the interviewer that security in the building isn’t very good because he was able to shoot hoops on the court without anyone stopping him.

Other prank challenges are hit-and-miss. One of these mixed-results challenges takes place on a private tour boat and resulted in a “win” for any of the “Impractical Jokers” guy who could convince tourists not to let the boat captain rescue someone in distress in a nearby raft. (The person “in distress” and the boat captain are really actors who are in on the prank.) This challenge was inconsistent because it had someone playing a military man in distress for part of the challenge, but then in another part of the challenge, a completely naked Murr plays the person in distress.

Another challenge that probably sounded funnier on paper than how it ended up on screen is when Murr celebrates his birthday at a strip club. While he’s getting lap dances in a private room, the blinds on a window in the room are lifted to reveal that members of his family (including his mother and underage nieces and nephews) are in the next room and watching him getting grinded on by strippers.

And in the beginning of the movie, a challenge with Sal dressed up as a shopping-center Santa Clause starts out funny when he pretends to fall asleep while a child is sitting on his lap. But then it becomes a little too mean-spirited to kids when Sal is told by the other guys to keep interrupting a little girl on his lap, and Sal “wins” if he can prevent her from telling “Santa” what her wishes are. It’s one thing to play hidden-camera pranks on adults. It’s another thing to subject kids to these pranks when they’re too young to understand what’s going on. But some parents must’ve signed release forms for their kids to be in this movie, so there you have it.

Another prank that will get mixed reactions is a roadside assistance challenge, where each guy pretends to be a stranded motorist with a broken-down car on a busy expressway, and tries to get help by flagging down cars that are passing nearby. There’s a slightly homophobic undertone to this prank, because some of the guys (namely, Joe and Murr) each try to act like a gay man to test the reactions of the people (who are all men) who stop to help. The pranksters apparently picked an area of the South that has a lot of redneck types, just to see their reactions when these locals are around a man who gives hints that they’re stereotypically gay. Murr scares one guy off when he leans over and shows that he’s wearing a purple thong. There are also double entendre jokes about gay sex to test if the Good Samaritans will pick up on the jokes.

While that questionable humor might not work so well in the movie, one of the funniest scenes is when the Sal, who doesn’t like cats, gets a prank played on him by the other guys. They lock him inside a motel room with a white tiger, which is chained up but sill close enough for Sal to have a panic attack. They don’t let Sal out of the room until he agrees to say things like “I’m a bitch boy.”

When one of the “Impractical Jokers” stars is the target of a prank, it’s hard to know how much of his reaction is real or is acting. And the movie’s cameo scenes with celebrities (such as Joey Fatone and Jaden Smith, who each portray themselves) lose their impact because viewers are told that Fatone and Smith are already in on the jokes.

The enduring popularity of “Impractical Jokers” is mainly because of unscripted reactions from everyday people who are truly unsuspecting targets of harmless pranks. Those are the best parts of the TV series and the best parts of this movie. As for the movie’s filler scenes where the “Impractical Jokers” stars have to memorize lines and recite screenplay dialogue like professional actors, here’s some unsolicited advice for these pranksters: “Don’t quit your day jobs.”

truTV released “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” in select U.S. cinemas on February 21, 2020.

New Year’s Eve specials ringing in 2020 will feature Post Malone, Gwen Stefani, LL Cool J and more

December 27, 2019

by Carla Hay

Watching a New Year’s Eve special on TV is a tradition for millions of people around the world. Here’s what is planned for the four biggest New Year’s TV specials in the United States:

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020 

Ryan Seacrest (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC)

Celebrating its 48th year, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (which is produced by Dick Clark Productions and airs in the U.S. on ABC) is still the most high-profile televised New Year’s Eve event. Post Malone, who performed on the show last year, is headlining the show this year from New York City’s Times Square. Ryan Seacrest will once again host the show, which begins airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by 11:30 p.m. to 2:13 a.m. ET. Former “Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale, who previously hosted the show’s Central Time Zone segments from New Orleans, replaces Jenny McCarthy to provide on-site reporting in Times Square. McCarthy quit the show because she said she wants to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her family. Other performers in Times Square this year include BTS, Sam Hunt and Alanis Morrissette.

Additionally, country artist Jessie James Decker will reveal the first Powerball millionaire of the year during this year’s live broadcast. She will provide live updates from the First Powerball Millionaire of the Year party throughout ABC’s live telecast and the big reveal announcing the winner will air just after midnight on January 1, 2020.

Ciara will once again host the Los Angeles segments of the show that will feature performances that were mostly previously recorded. Artists in the show’s Los Angeles segments will include Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Dan + Shay, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Ava Max, Megan Thee Stallion, Anthony Ramos, Salt-N-Pepa and SHAED.

Meanwhile, Billy Porter will host the show’s third annual Central Time Zone celebration from New Orleans, where Sheryl Crow and Usher will perform. The show has added a segment from Miami, where Jonas Brothers will perform.

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020” is produced by Dick Clark Productions with Ryan Seacrest, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco serving as executive producers. Larry Klein is producer.

Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square

Steve Harvey (Photo courtesy of Fox)

After televising its New Year’s Eve show (hosted by Pitbull) in Miami from 2014 to 2016, Fox changed locations and hosts in 2017, with the show now taking place at New York City’s Times Square with comedian/talk-show host Steve Harvey and former E! News personality Maria Menounous. This year, three-time Super Bowl Champion and Fox Sports NFL analyst Rob Gronkowski joins Harvey and Menounous to co-host the show, which airs on Fox from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET live; CT/MT/PT tape-delayed. Performers will include headliner LL Cool J with DJ Z-Trip, The Chainsmokers, The Lumineers, Florida Georgia Line, the Backstreet Boys, Lauren Alaina, Tyga and The Killers. Select musical performances will be broadcast in collaboration with iHeartRadio. Additionally, the special will include celebrity cameo appearances by Gordon Ramsay, Will Arnett and Jenna Dewan, plus an exclusive WWE match featuring Roman Reigns. “Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square” is produced by Endeavor Content’s Film 45 and Done + Dusted. Guy Carrington, Katy Mullan, Michael Antinoro and David Chamberlin serve as executive producers.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve

(Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal)

Stars from NBC’s “The Voice” are all over “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” special, which begins airing at 10 p.m. ET from New York City’s Times Square. Not only is “The Voice” host Carson Daly hosting the New Year’s Eve show (with Julianne Hough and correspondent Stephen “tWitch” Boss), but “The Voice” coaches Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are also performing on the special. Other performers include Hough, X Ambassadors, Brett Eldredge, Ne-Yo, Leslie Odom Jr. and The Struts.  Keith Urban will once again perform at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville, taking place near the Tennessee State Capitol at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt will also appear on stage before the iconic ball drop. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” will be televised from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by the New Year’s countdown segment 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” is executive produced by Daly and John Irwin through NBCUniversal Television Studio and Irwin Entertainment. It is co-executive produced by Casey Spira and directed by Alan Carter.

Before “NBC’s New Year’s Eve,” the network will air the special “A Toast to 2019!” from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, the special will highlight the year’s biggest pop culture moments and trends. Celebrities interviewed for the show include Lauren Ash, Kristen Bell, Andrea Canning, Chris D’Elia, Dylan Dreyer, Ryan Eggold, Ben Feldman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Willie Geist, Brad Goreski, Tony Hale, NBC’s Holt, Matt Iseman, Sheinelle Jones, Carson Kressley, Loni Love, Howie Mandel, Josh Mankiewicz, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Brent Morin, Keith Morrison, Dennis Murphy, Patton Oswalt, Al Roker, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Ashley Tisdale, Johnny Weir and many more.

New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (Photo courtesy of CNN)

For the third year in a row, longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which begins at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s 12th annual New Year’s Eve Show, which is telecast live from New York City’s Times Square. Performers on New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will include Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, Patti LaBelle, Keith Urban, 50 Cent, The Chainsmokers, and comedian/actress Dulcé Sloan. The show will also feature CNN’s Stephanie Elam, Randi Kaye, Richard Quest, Bill Weir and Gary Tuchman with daughter Lindsay at locations across America, including the Brady Bunch House and Key West. Then at 12:30am ET, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon will do a New Year’s countdown from the Central Time Zone, live from Nashville for the Music City Midnight Celebration. In previous years, CNN’s Central Time Zone countdown took place in New Orleans.

In 2017, Cohen replaced Kathy Griffin, who was notoriously fired from the show in May of that year for publicly posting a photo of herself holding up a fake bloody head of President Donald Trump. Griffin and Cooper had co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show since 2007, but the Cooper/Cohen duo brought in the show’s highest ratings so far. Cooper and Cohen have an established rapport, since they have done numerous speaking engagements together. The CNN live stream will be available on CNN.com and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android. It can also be viewed on CNNgo. Leading up to “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen” will be the CNN one-hour special “All the Best, All the Worst 2019,” beginning at 7 p.m. ET and hosted by Tom Foreman, covering the highlights and lowlights of the past year.

2019 Billboard Music Awards: Drake is the top winner and sets record for most Billboard Music Award prizes

May 1, 2019

Drake at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards
Drake at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas (Photo by Todd Williamson/NBC)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Shattering the previous record of most all-time Billboard Music Awards wins, Drake took home 12 awards, including Top Artist – the most of the evening, bringing his total to 27, now the most of any artist ever! Airing this evening from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at 8 pm ET/PT on NBC, the 2019 Billboard Music Awards opened with a spectacular world premiere performance by global superstar Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie, followed by a show-stopping medley of today’s biggest hits from show host, Kelly Clarkson. The night was full of legendary, nostalgic, and never-before-seen performances, celebrating this year’s biggest and best in music!

Cardi B followed Drake for most wins of the night, including Top Rap Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration and Top Rap Song. Her “Girls Like You” collaborators, Maroon 5, took home four awards including Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, and Top Collaboration.

Other multi-category winners include: Ella Mai (Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Female Artist, Top R&B Song), Ozuna (Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song), Luke Combs (Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album), Bad Bunny (Top Rap Song, Top Latin Song), Panic! At the Disco (Top Rock Album, Top Rock Song), Beyoncé (Top R&B Tour, Top Rap Tour), Jay-Z (Top R&B Tour, Top Rap Tour), BTS (Top Duo/Group, Top Social Artist), and The Chainsmokers (Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album).

Lauren Daigle was the only artist to sweep every category she was nominated for, which included Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Album and Top Christian Song.

The two fan-voted award winners were BTS for Top Social Artist and Ariana Grande for Billboard Chart Achievement Award.

The show had jaw dropping moments from beginning to end, starting with Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie’s grand opening of the show, with their new smash hit, “Me!” in an explosion of color, which included a drum line, aerialists and flying umbrellas. Returning host, Kelly Clarkson, then gave a hilarious opening monologue, filled with special surprise guests and of course a song or two.

Perhaps the most memorable was Madonna’s breathtaking performance with Maluma of their new song “Medellin,” with augmented reality technology.

ICON Award recipient Mariah Carey, showed off her pipes in a medley of her greatest hits, including “A No No,” “Always Be My Baby,” “Emotions,” “We Belong Together,” and “Hero.”

Host Kelly Clarkson took the stage later in the night again, to sing her latest song “Broken and Beautiful” from the new family movie “Ugly Dolls.”

Additional performances throughout the night included dance-inducing performances from K-Pop sensation BTS with Halsey, Ariana Grande, Ciara, and The Jonas Brothers, and soulful songs from Khalid Dan + Shay with Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle.

Both Halsey and Panic! At the Disco took the stage twice in the night, performing solo and in collaborations with BTS and Taylor Swift, respectively.

Paula Abdul closed the show with a nostalgic performance, her first at an awards show in 29 years, of some of her biggest hits including “Straight Up,” “Way That You Love Me,” “Vibeology,” “Opposites Attract,” “Cold Hearted,” and “Forever Your Girl,” and proved she’s still got the moves 30 years after her debut album “Forever Your Girl”!

Presenters throughout the evening included Asher Angel, Becky G, Chrissy Metz & Justin Hartley, Cobie Smulders, Dave Bautista & Kumail Nanjiani, David Guetta, Erin & Sara Foster, Eva Longoria, Florida Georgia Line, Jennifer Hudson, Jesse Spencer, Julia Michaels, Julianne Hough, Kane Brown, Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever, Ralph Macchio, Rob Gronkowski, Ross Lynch & Kiernan Shipka, Sabrina Carpenter, Sophie Turner & Tye Sheridan, Terry Crews, and William Zabka.

See below for a full list of winners:

*Designates Winner

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist
Cardi B
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Post Malone
Travis Scott

Top New Artist
Bazzi
Juice WRLD*
Lil Baby
Dua Lipa
Ella Mai

Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Dan + Shay
Drake
Ariana Grande*
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
Dua Lipa

Top Male Artist
Drake*
Post Malone
Travis Scott
Ed Sheeran
XXXTENTACION

Top Female Artist
Cardi B
Ariana Grande*
Halsey
Ella Mai
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
BTS*
Dan + Shay
Imagine Dragons
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco

Top Billboard 200 Artist
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Post Malone
Travis Scott
XXXTENTACION

Top Hot 100 Artist
Cardi B
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Juice WRLD
Post Malone

Top Streaming Songs Artist
Cardi B
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Post Malone
XXXTENTACION

Top Song Sales Artist
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Imagine Dragons
Lady Gaga
Post Malone

Top Radio Songs Artist
Cardi B
Drake*
Ariana Grande
Maroon 5
Post Malone

Top Social Artist
BTS*
EXO
GOT7
Ariana Grande
Louis Tomlinson

Top Touring Artist
Beyoncé & JAY-Z
Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran*
Taylor Swift
Justin Timberlake

Top R&B Artist
H.E.R.
Khalid
Ella Mai*
The Weeknd
XXXTENTACION

Top R&B Male Artist
Khalid
The Weeknd*
XXXTENTACION

Top R&B Female Artist
H.E.R.
Ella Mai*
Queen Naija

Top R&B Tour
Beyoncé & JAY-Z*
Childish Gambino
Bruno Mars

Top Rap Artist
Cardi B
Drake*
Juice WRLD
Post Malone
Travis Scott

Top Rap Male Artist
Drake*
Post Malone
Travis Scott

Top Rap Female Artist
Cardi B*
City Girls
Nicki Minaj

Top Rap Tour
Beyoncé & JAY-Z*
Drake
Travis Scott

Top Country Artist
Jason Aldean
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line

Top Country Male Artist
Jason Aldean
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*

Top Country Female Artist
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood*

Top Country Duo/Group Artist
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney*
Shania Twain

Top Rock Artist
Imagine Dragons*
lovelytheband
Panic! At The Disco
Queen
twenty one pilots

Top Rock Tour
Elton John*
The Rolling Stones
U2

Top Latin Artist
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Ozuna*
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Calvin Harris
Kygo
Marshmello
ODESZA
The Chainsmokers*

Top Christian Artist
Cory Asbury
Lauren Daigle*
for KING & COUNTRY
Hillsong Worship
MercyMe

Top Gospel Artist
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tori Kelly
Tasha Cobbs Leonard*
Marvin Sapp

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album
Cardi B “Invasion of Privacy”
Drake “Scorpion”*
Post Malone “beerbongs & bentleys”
Travis Scott “ASTROWORLD”
XXXTENTACION “?”

Top Soundtrack
“13 Reasons Why: Season 2”
“A Star is Born” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
“The Greatest Showman”*

Top R&B Album
Ella Mai “Ella Mai”
H.E.R. “H.E.R.”
Khalid “American Teen”
The Weeknd “My Dear Melancholy,”
XXXTENTACION “17”*

Top Rap Album
Cardi B “Invasion of Privacy”
Drake “Scorpion”*
Post Malone “beerbongs & bentleys”
Travis Scott “ASTROWORLD”
XXXTENTACION “?”

Top Country Album
Jason Aldean “Rearview Town”
Kane Brown “Kane Brown”
Luke Combs “This One’s For You”*
Dan + Shay “Dan + Shay”
Carrie Underwood “Cry Pretty”

Top Rock Album
Dave Matthews Band “Come Tomorrow”
Imagine Dragons “Origins”
Mumford & Sons “Delta”
Panic! At The Disco “Pray for the Wicked”*
twenty one pilots “Trench”

Top Latin Album
Anuel AA “Real Hasta la Muerte”
Bad Bunny “X 100PRE”
J Balvin “Vibras”
Maluma “F.A.M.E.”
Ozuna “Aura”*

Top Dance/Electronic Album
Clean Bandit “What Is Love?”
David Guetta “7”
Kygo “Kids in Love”
Major Lazer “Major Lazer Essentials”
The Chainsmokers “Sick Boy”*

Top Christian Album
Cory Asbury “Reckless Love”
Lauren Daigle “Look Up Child”*
for KING & COUNTRY “Burn The Ships”
Hillsong Worship “There Is More”
Zach Williams “Chain Breaker”

Top Gospel Album
Snoop Dogg & Various Artists “Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love”
Aretha Franklin “Gospel Greats”
Koryn Hawthorne “Unstoppable”
Tori Kelly “Hiding Place”*
Jonathan McReynolds “Make Room”

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “I Like It”
Juice WRLD “Lucid Dreams”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You”*
Post Malone “Better Now”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”

Top Streaming Song (Audio):
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “I Like It”
Juice WRLD “Lucid Dreams”
Post Malone “Better Now”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”*
XXXTENTACION “SAD!”

Top Streaming Song (Video):
Drake “In My Feelings”*
Juice WRLD “Lucid Dreams”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”
XXXTENTACION “SAD!”

Top Selling Song
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “I Like It”
Drake “In My Feelings”
Halsey “Without Me”
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper “Shallow”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You”*

Top Radio Song
Khalid & Normani “Love Lies”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You”*
Post Malone “Better Now”
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line “Meant to Be”
Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey “The Middle”

Top Collaboration
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “I Like It”
Khalid & Normani “Love Lies”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You”*
Marshmello & Bastille “Happier”
Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign “Psycho”

Top R&B Song
DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper & Quavo “No Brainer”
Ella Mai “Boo’d Up”*
Ella Mai “Trip”
Khalid “Better”
Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown “Freaky Friday”

Top Rap Song
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin “I Like It”*
Drake “In My Feelings”
Juice WRLD “Lucid Dreams”
Post Malone “Better Now”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”

Top Country Song
Kane Brown “Heaven”
Luke Combs “She Got the Best of Me”
Dan + Shay “Speechless”
Dan + Shay “Tequila”
Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line “Meant to Be”*

Top Rock Song
Foster the People “Sit Next to Me”
Imagine Dragons “Natural”
Imagine Dragons “Whatever It Takes”
lovelytheband “broken”
Panic! At The Disco “High Hopes”*

Top Latin Song
Bad Bunny ft. Drake “Mia”
Daddy Yankee “Dura”
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B “Taki Taki”
Nicky Jam & J Balvin “X”
Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny & Ozuna “Te Bote”*

Top Dance/Electronic Song
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B “Taki Taki”
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa “One Kiss”
Marshmello & Bastille “Happier”
Tiësto & Dzeko ft. Preme & Post Malone “Jackie Chan”
Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey “The Middle”*

Top Christian Song
Cory Asbury “Reckless Love”
Lauren Daigle “You Say”*
for KING & COUNTRY “joy.”
Hillsong Worship “Who You Say I Am”
Tauren Wells “Known”

Top Gospel Song
Todd Dulaney “Your Great Name”
Koryn Hawthorne “Won’t He Do It”*
Tori Kelly ft. Kirk Franklin “Never Alone”
Jason Nelson “Forever”
Brian Courtney Wilson “A Great Work”

“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 March 23, 2018 through March 7, 2019. 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.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by Dick Clark Productions. Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Kelly Clarkson and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by T-Mobile.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit www.billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs. Twitter: @BBMAs  Facebook: FB.com/TheBBMAs  |  Instagram: bbmas  | Snapchat: thebbmas  | YouTubeyoutube.com/bbmas

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About Billboard Media Group
Billboard is the world’s largest voice in music, built on the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike. Billboard has a social media footprint of 25.5M+ million social followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and creates more than 160M+ cross-platform video views per month. Billboard magazine has published major news-generating covers recently including Travis Scott, Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne, Demi Lovato, Cardi B, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, BTS, and more. In December 2018, the Billboard Women in Music ceremony, which honored Ariana Grande as Woman of the Year, was live-streamed globally on Twitter. In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group acquired Spin Media’s storied music assets Spin, Vibe, and Stereogum, establishing the world’s largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach, and audience share. The combined entity of music and entertainment properties now reaches 41 Million + unique visitors and more than 20% of U.S. millennials.

2019 Billboard Music Awards: Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Paula Abdul added to lineup of performers

April 29, 2019

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced today that multi-platinum, record-breaking superstar Ariana Grande is partnering with T-Mobile for a special performance of her hit single “7 Rings” from her sold-out tour stop as part of the “2019 Billboard Music Awards.” The pop songstress, whose song spent six weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs Airplay chart, marks her fourth No. 1 hit since July – the fastest any artist has collected that many No. 1 singles in the chart’s history.

Global superstar Taylor Swift will open the “2019 Billboard Music Awards” with the worldwide premiere performance of her smash hit new song “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards,” with returning host Kelly Clarkson, will air from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and will feature this year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments.

Singer, dancer, choreographer and Billboard record-holder Paula Abdul will hit the ”2019 Billboard Music Awards” stage to perform a medley of her biggest record-breaking hits as the show’s “2019 Billboard Music Awards” Throwback moment.

They join previously announced performers BTS featuring Halsey, Ciara, Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Daigle, Dan + Shay, Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Tori Kelly, Khalid, Madonna and Maluma, Panic! At The Disco, plus a special performance by 2019 ICON Award recipient Mariah Carey.

Always a fan favorite, the Billboard Music Awards create a nostalgic moment each year with performances and musicians of our pop culture past for the Billboard Music Awards Throwback. Past Throwback’s include Salt-N-Pepa’s 2018 performance to commemorate the 30th anniversary of becoming the first female rappers to crack the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, Celine Dion’s moving 2017 performance of the Oscar-winning song, “My Heart Will Go On” to mark the 20th anniversary of the film Titanic, the Go-Go’s 2016 performance of their smash hit “We Got The Beat” to celebrate the song’s 35th anniversary, and in 2015 Molly Ringwald introducing the band Simple Minds who performed their hit single “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” on the 30th anniversary of the film The Breakfast Club.

Talent Billboard Chart Facts:

  • Ariana Grande wrapped 2018 in a big way, with her third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, Sweetener, and her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, “Thank U, Next.” But then, things got even bigger for the superstar, as she quickly claimed a second No. 1 on the Hot 100 with “7 Rings,” along with her fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200: Thank U, Next. When the latter debuted at No. 1, it logged the largest streaming week ever for a pop album, and, any album by a woman (with its songs earning 307.1 million on demand audio streams in its first week in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music). Also, when Thank U, Next opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, it happened just five months and 22 days after Sweetener started at No. 1 – the shortest gap between new No. 1s on the chart for a woman since 1975.
  • Taylor Swift holds the record for the most Billboard Music Award wins, with 23.  In 2018, her massive Reputation Stadium Tour made history as the highest-grossing U.S. tour ever, according to Billboard Boxscore. Swift has achieved five No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart — all with her previous five studio albums.  Her last album, 2017’s Billboard 200 #1 reputation, sold 1.22 million copies in its first week in the U.S., making Swift the only artist to have four consecutive million-selling release weeks in Nielsen Music history. Additionally, Swift has earned 22 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, with five of those reaching No. 1. In total, Swift’s catalog of albums and songs have sold more than 150 million copies in the U.S.
  • Having been a force in the music industry since her debut album Forever Your Girl hit the charts in 1988Paula Abdul is the first female to ever receive four No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles off a debut album. One of those singles, and arguably Abdul’s most recognized hit, “Straight Up,” is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. After first making her mark as a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader and choreographer, Abdul has long courted success on Billboard‘s charts. Her debut album, Forever Your Girl, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1989, completing a record 64-week climb to the top spot. The set also generated four No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles in 1989-90, a first for a debut. Her 1991 LP, Spellbound, also topped the Billboard 200 and spun off two more Hot 100 No. 1s. As she gained a new generation of fans as a judge on American Idol, she added a No. 2 hit, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” on the Dance Club Songs chart in 2008 with then-fellow judge Randy Jackson. In Abdul’s 30-plus year career, she has earned six No. 1 songs, eight Top 10, and 15 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

“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 March 23, 2018 through March 7, 2019. 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.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by Dick Clark Productions. Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Kelly Clarkson and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by T-Mobile.

T-Mobile will give fans more of the music they love from the BBMAs including exclusive, behind-the-scenes content and more! #BBMAsWithUs throughout the evening and follow T-Mobile on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit www.billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs. Twitter: @BBMAs  Facebook: FB.com/TheBBMAs  |  Instagram: bbmas  | Snapchat: thebbmas  | YouTubeyoutube.com/bbmas

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About Billboard Media Group
Billboard is the world’s largest voice in music, built on the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike. Billboard has a social media footprint of 25.5M+ million social followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and creates more than 160M+ cross-platform video views per month. Billboard magazine has published major news-generating covers recently including Travis Scott, Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne, Demi Lovato, Cardi B, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, BTS, and more. In December 2018, the Billboard Women in Music ceremony, which honored Ariana Grande as Woman of the Year, was live-streamed globally on Twitter. In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group acquired Spin Media’s storied music assets Spin, Vibe, and Stereogum, establishing the world’s largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach, and audience share. The combined entity of music and entertainment properties now reaches 41 Million + unique visitors and more than 20% of U.S. millennials.

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