Review: ‘Sing 2,’ starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Bono and Halsey

November 28, 2021

by Carla Hay

Pictured in front row, from left to right: Klaus Kickenlober (voiced by Adam Buxton), Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), Porsha Crystal (voiced by Halsey), Clay Calloway (voiced by Bono), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), Darius (voiced by Eric André), Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll) in “Sing 2” (Image courtesy of Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures)

“Sing 2”

Directed by Garth Jennings

Culture Representation: Taking place in the fictional U.S. city of Redstone City and briefly in the fictional U.S. city of Calatonia, the animated film “Sing 2” features a predominantly white cast of actors (with a few black people) voicing the characters of talking animals that are connected in some ways to showbiz.

Culture Clash: The owner and star performers of Calatonia’s New Moon Theater take their act to Redstone City, the nation’s entertainment capital, in the hopes of becoming bigger stars, but the ruthless mogul who can give them their big break expects the group’s act to include a reclusive rock star who hasn’t performed live in 15 years. 

Culture Audience: Besides appealing to the obvious target audience of “Sing” fans and fans of the movie’s voice cast members, “Sing 2” will appeal primarily to people who don’t mind watching a “jukebox musical” with a poorly constructed, flimsy plot.

Pictured from left to right, beginning second from left: Jimmy Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale), Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) and Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) in “Sing 2” (Image courtesy of Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures)

Plagued by “sequel-itis,” the animated musical “Sing 2” sacrifices character development for a plot that sloppily rushes storylines and then turns into a commercial for Bono and U2’s music at the very end. The movie loses much of the charm of 2016’s “Sing” by having the main characters go off on different tangents and by introducing several new characters that are presented in a very superficial way. The “Sing” movie series (which is about talking animals, many of which can sing) also loses a lot of comedic appeal with “Sing 2,” by introducing a murderous villain that drags down the story with soulless acts of evil.

This decline in quality can’t be blamed on a change in filmmaker leadership. “Sing” and “Sing 2” were both written and directed by Garth Jennings and have the same producers (Janet Healy and Christopher Meledandri), as well as the same chiefs of certain departments, such as film editing, visual effects and music. The voice actors of most of the lead characters in “Sing” reprised the same roles for “Sing 2.”

Considering all of the talented people involved, it’s a disappointment that so much of “Sing 2” seems like a lazily conceived cash grab that does nothing innovative. The entire movie lacks suspense (there are absolutely no surprises) and over-relies on stringing together what are essentially separate animated music videos and trying to make it look like it’s all part of a cohesive plot. The visuals of “Sing 2” are perfectly fine, but there should be more to a movie than it just looking good.

Sequels are supposed to tell you more about the main characters, but “Sing 2” fails in this regard because you won’t learn almost anything new about the main characters from watching this sequel. “Sing 2” continues to have an overload of pop hits (original recordings and cover versions), but it’s less effective in this sequel, compared to the first “Sing” movie. That’s because “Sing 2” is essentially a mediocre “jukebox musical,” where song placement is more important than having a well-written storyline and memorable dialogue. Most of the new characters in “Sing 2” have hollow and stereotypical personalities.

“Sing 2” also follows a predictable plot formula for the second movie in an animated series: The main characters travel out of their home environment and get involved in new adventures somewhere else. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that formula if it’s done with an engaging story. (It’s a formula that Pixar Animation has mastered with many of its sequels.) Unfortunately, “Sing 2” does not have a story that’s very interesting.

“Sing 2” is also one of those sequels that doesn’t do a very good job of introducing the main characters to viewers who didn’t see the first “Sing” movie. “Sing 2” assumes that people seeing this sequel are already familiar with the main characters. But that’s an assumption that just makes the screenwriting look even lazier than it needed to be.

Some of the characters in the first “Sing” movie struggled with different personal issues. For example, one character has a criminal parent who discouraged him from being a singer, and that parent ended up being incarcerated for a robbery. Another character suffered from stage fright. If any those issues are mentioned in “Sing 2,” they’re vague references when they should be a little more detailed, to give the characters more depth. In addition, “Sing 2” doesn’t really mention that all of the main characters that are singers met each other through a talent contest that was the focus of the first “Sing” movie.

If you must waste your time on the inferior “Sing 2,” it’s best to see the first “Sing” movie so you can understand the backstories of the main characters and see their real personalities. In “Sing 2,” almost all of the main characters’ personalities are reduced to soundbite-like dialogue in between singing songs. The good news is that all of the cast members who sing do a very fine job with their performances.

In “Sing” (which takes place in the fictional U.S. city of Calatonia), an ambitious koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) owns an inherited theater that’s in danger of shutting down due to his financal problems. In order to get publicity for the theater and increase attendance, Buster holds a talent contest that attracts several Calatonia residents, and some of these characters end up being the stars of the contest. In “Sing 2,” Buster wants to take his productions out of regional theater and into the big leagues of a Vegas-styled musical show.

These singing stars from the “Sing” talent contest make their return in the “Sing 2” movie:

  • Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a pig who’s a harried housewife and a mother of 25 piglets.
  • Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), a porcupine who’s a rock singer/guitarist and a feminist.
  • Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), a gorilla who can play sing and piano a lot like Elton John.
  • Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), an elephant who’s shy and insecure except when she’s singing.
  • Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), a pig who’s flamboyant and an occasional duet partner with Rosita.

Also returning for “Sing 2” is Buster’s eccentric administrative assistant Miss Crawly (voiced by writer/director Jennings), an iguana with a glass eye that often falls out and causes mishaps. Making cameos in “Sing 2” are two other characters from the first “Sing” movie: Johnny’s gorilla gangster father Big Daddy (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz) and elderly sheep Nana Noodleman (voiced by Jennifer Saunders), who is a wealthy benefactor and former theater diva.

In the beginning of “Sing 2,” New Moon Theater (the venue owned by Buster) is presenting a musical production of “Alice in Wonderland,” with Meena in the starring role of Alice. The show is a local hit that plays to sold-out audiences. During a performance, Buster is excited to see that an important talent scout named Suki Lane (voiced by Chelsea Peretti) is in the audience and taking notes.

Suki (who is a brown dog that can walk upright and has human-like arms and legs ) works for the mega-company Crystal Entertainment in Redshore City, the entertainment capital of the nation. Redshore City is designed to look a lot like Las Vegas. Miss Crawly tells Buster that Suki has been paying attention to the show and seems to be entertained.

After the performance, Buster rushes after Suki to talk to her before she can leave. He asks her what she thought of the show. Suki haughtily replies, “It’s a cute little show, but it’s not what we’re looking for. You’re not good enough. You’ve got a nice little local theater here, and it’s great for what it is, but trust me: You’d never make it in the big leagues.”

Buster is stung by this criticism, but he’s not ready to give up so easily. Even if his productions are considered regional theater, he knows that these shows have value because they frequently sell out. Suki gets in a chauffeured car to leave. Buster chases after the moving car on his bike, and he holds on to the car door to continue to talk to Suki.

Suki thinks that Buster is crazy and tells the driver to speed up, in order to get rid of Buster. Buster is essentially run off of the road, and he lands in a nearby canal. This debacle is witnessed by several residents who are near the canal. It’s a humiliating moment for Buster, but it’s played for laughs in the movie.

A discouraged Buster tells Nana about Suki’s rejection. He moans, “I’m a failure!” Nana scolds Buster for letting this setback make him think that he should give up. She tells him that if he doesn’t believe in himself and what he has to offer, then no one else will. Buster takes this advice and decides to round up Meena, Rosita, Ash, Johnny, Gunter and Miss Crawly to go on a road trip with him to Redstone City. The goal is to convince Crystal Entertainment to let them do a musical at the much-larger and more famous Crystal Tower Theater.

Ash already has a paying gig at a local rock club in Calatonia, but she’s being underpaid. When Buster meets up with Ash to ask her to go on the trip, he sees her backstage after a performance, right before she’s supposed to do an encore. The club owner/manager hands Ash a paycheck, and she’s annoyed because the amount is far less than what other artists at the club are getting paid.

Ash says to the club owner/manager: “I have a rule about not letting guys like you tell me what I’m worth. Unless I get paid like everyone else, I’m outta here!” And with that, she walks out of the building with Buster, without doing the encore.

The owner of Crystal Entertainment is Jimmy Crystal (played by Bobby Cannavale), who is literally and figuratively a wolf. He’s a hard-nosed, ruthless business mogul who insists that people call him Mr. Crystal. He is first seen judging auditioners at Crystal Tower Theater and giving red-buzzer rejections to every act, no matter how talented the act is.

Meanwhile, Buster and his group have arrived at Crystal Entertainment headquarters, but they don’t make it past the reception area because they don’t have an appointment. However, they go in a side employee entrance, find some sanitation worker uniforms, and disguise themselves as sanitation workers, in order to sneak into the auditions.

After a quick change back into their regular clothes, this enterprising group sneaks onto the audition stage. Buster makes an earnest pitch to offer his theater group for a musical show at Crystal Tower Theater. Mr. Crystal rejects them, of course. Buster tries to get Mr. Crystal to change his mind, but Mr. Crystal doesn’t want to hear it and is infuriated that these rejected auditioners don’t want to leave the stage.

Just as Mr. Crystal is about to have them thrown out, he overhears Gunter say that Gunter is a fan of Clay Calloway, a rock superstar lion who has been in seclusion for the past 15 years. Mr. Crystal asks if they know Clay. Buster lies and says yes. Mr. Crystal then changes his mind and says that he’ll agree to let Buster’s group do a show at the Crystal Tower Theater, on one condition: Clay Calloway has to be part of the act too.

Buster continues to lie and says it won’t be a problem because he and Clay are friends. When Mr. Crystal asks what the name of the show is, Gunter comes up with a title on the spot: “Out of This World.” It’s described as an outer-space musical. Mr. Crystal doesn’t care about the details because he just wants Clay Calloway to perform at the Crystal Tower Theater.

Mr. Crystal gives Buster and his group just three weeks to produce the show. He puts them up in the Crystal Tower Hotel and pays for all of their expenses. Buster is elated and decides he’ll figure out a way to convince Clay Calloway to be a part of the show. Ash is a big fan of Clay’s and she wants to go with Buster for this persuasive visit. Ash explains that Clay has become a grieving recluse ever since the death of his wife Ruby, who was his muse.

In the meantime, Buster works with Gunter on the concept for the “Out of This World” musical. They come up with the idea to have Rosita star as an astronaut looking for an outer-space explorer, with Gunter as a robot sidekick/aide. During this mission, she will have to visit four planets that have four different themes: war, love, despair and joy. This idea is as poorly conceived as it sounds.

Meanwhile, there’s more to Mr. Crystal than meets the eye. When an uninteresting movie like this is filled with hackneyed stereotypes, here’s one more: Mr. Crystal is really a gangster. A Vegas-styled hotel/casino owner who’s involved with illegal activities? Where did the filmmakers get this idea?

“Sing 2” starts to go off the rails in how it presents the preparations for this horrendous “Out of This World” musical production, by having the stars of the show go off in different directions with silly subplots. Rosita decides to invite her husband Norman (voiced by Nick Offerman) and their 25 kids to Redstone City. (After all, Mr. Crystal is paying for everything.) And so, there’s a scene of the kids being brats as they invade a food buffet area in the hotel and cause all types of chaos.

Rosita is playing an astronaut who has to do some high-flying stunts on stage. And therefore, it’s not a good time for Rosita to find out that she’s afraid of heights. Around the same time, Mr. Crystal insists that his daughter Porsha Crystal (voiced by Halsey) will be the star of the show. Buster is put in the awkward position of telling Rosita that she’s being replaced in the starring role. Porsha is a spoiled airhead who sounds like she’s spent too much time watching “Jersey Shore.”

Johnny is supposed to play a dancing gladiator-type of warrior in “Out of This World,” but Johnny doesn’t know how to dance. And so, the show’s uptight and mean-spirited monkey choreographer Klaus Kickenklober (voiced by Adam Buxton) makes Johnny’s life a living hell. But what do you know: One day, Johnny sees a sassy lynx street dancer named Nooshy (voiced by Letitia Wright), who attracts an enthusiastic crowd. Johnny is impressed with Nooshy’s talent, so he hires her to give him private dance lessons.

Meena, who is very inexperienced when it comes to dating, is paired with a conceited yak actor named Darius (voiced by Eric André), so she’s dreading the love scenes that they have to do in the musical. “Sing 2” has such slipshod screenwriting, Meena’s and Darius’ character roles in “Out of This World” are never clearly defined, except to show that they’re supposed to play each other’s love interest in “Out of This World.” Darius could have been breakout “Sing 2” character as a hilarious buffoon, but he’s mainly brought out for some underwhelming scenes where the jokes fall flat.

Meanwhile, Meena catches the eye of a mild-mannered elephant named Alfonso (voiced by Pharrell), an ice cream truck vendor. It’s obvious that Alfonso wants to date Meena, but she’s bashful about how to handle it. Alfonso compliments Meena on her singing talent, but she’s afraid to have conversations with him. None of these new supporting characters in “Sing 2” has a backstory or fully developed personality.

Meanwhile, there’s a time-wasting scene where Miss Crawly drives to reclusive rock star Clay’s estate (while System of a Down’s “Chop Suey!” is playing), to find out if she can get access to him. Some more problems ensue involving her glass eye, because the filmmakers seem to want to make Miss Crawly’s glass eye the main gimmick for the slapstick comedy about her. Needless to say, Miss Crawly is unsuccessful in getting to Clay. Buster and Ash decide to give it a try.

The second trailer for “Sing 2” already revealed that Clay (voiced by Bono, lead singer of U2) does come out of seclusion to perform on stage. But even if this major plot development hadn’t already been disclosed, it would be very easy to predict. The movie blandly and vaguely handles how Clay is convinced to come out of seclusion.

“Sing 2” is Bono’s animated feature-film debut as an actor. Bono’s speaking voice in this role is lowered one or two octaves from his real speaking voice. It seems like he’s trying to sound like a husky-voiced American rock star (somewhat like a combination of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits), but Bono’s natural Irish accent can still occasionally be heard in the dialogue.

As for the music of “Sing 2,” just like the first “Sing” movie, a lot of it comes in snippets of one minute or less per song. Songs that drop in for a longer than a minute (but still quickly) include Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Mercury Rev’s “Holes,” Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” Eve’s “Who’s That Girl” and Camila Cabello and Mendes’ “Señorita.”

The longer musical numbers are serviceable, although there are a few standout moments. Halsey shines in her biggest number, when she sings a rousing rendition of the Struts’ “Could Have Been Me.” Halsey’s version of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” is also impressive. Johansson does nicely with her cover version of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

However, the Tori Kelly/Pharrell Williams duet of Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” has no heat. It’s also a very tame song selection for the characters of Meena and Alfonso, who are supposed to be in the early stages of a romance. Their first duet should’ve been more of a passionate love song or a more emotion-filled song about longing for love.

It seems like the “Sing 2” filmmakers bent over backwards to make Bono and his Clay character overshadow the movie’s last 15 minutes to steal the show. In the first “Sing” movie, main characters Rosita, Meena, Ash and Johnny all had their big individual singing moments in the spotlight. In “Sing 2,” everyone seems to have to clear a path for Bono/Clay.

In “Sing 2,” the Johnny character is woefully under-used as a singer. The movie seems more concerned about showing him awkwardly learning dance moves. It’s a shame, really, because Egerton is such a talented singer. His rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in the first “Sing” movie was one of the catalysts to Egerton being cast in John’s 2019 musical biopic “Rocketman.”

“Sing 2” is essentially a vehicle to promote U2’s music in the latter half of the movie. There are four U2 songs in “Sing 2”: the aforementioned “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” and “Your Song Saved My Life,” which was written for the “Sing 2” soundtrack. Obviously, “Your Song Saved My Life” is supposed to be Clay’s big moment. “Your Song Saved My Life” isn’t bad, but it’s not outstanding, and it won’t be considered a U2 classic.

If you want to know another reason “Sing 2” is such a disappointing mess, the filmmakers made Bono—one of the most charismatic rock stars on the planet—a dull and dreary character in this movie. The Clay character could’ve been played by almost anyone, but it seems like in order to get U2’s music for this movie, the filmmakers had to cast Bono in this role. It’s too bad that Bono and the rest of the talented voice actors are stuck in this hack karaoke project that has a major studio budget.

Universal Pictures will release “Sing 2” in U.S. cinemas on December 22, 2021.

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: Madonna, Ciara, Dan +Shay, Tori Kelly added to lineup of performers

April 23, 2019

 

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

Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced that revolutionary global icon Madonna will take the stage with Latin superstar Maluma for the worldwide television premiere performance of their brand-new track “Medellín” at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. In addition, more top artists will join the list of star-studded performances at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Chart-topping singer/songwriter Halsey will take the stage for a solo performance of her #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Without Me” in addition to her previously announced collaboration with BTS; multi-platinum selling artist Ciara will debut her new single “Thinkin Bout You” for the first time on television; and country superstars and seven-time 2019 Billboard Music Awards nominees Dan + Shay will perform with singer/songwriter Tori Kelly.

These artists join previously announced performers BTS featuring Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Daigle, Jonas Brothers, Khalid, and Panic! At The Disco, plus a special performance by 2019 ICON Award recipient, Mariah Carey. The 2019 Billboard Music Awards will air live 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.

Talent Billboard Chart Facts:

Ciara

Ciara has earned more than 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, six hit albums on the Billboard 200, and sold over 15 million albums and songs in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. She’s scored No. 1s across an array of Billboard’s charts with singles like “Goodies,” featuring Petey Pablo; “1, 2 Step,” featuring Missy Elliott; “Oh,” featuring Ludacris, “Promise,” “Body Party” and her 2018 hit “Level Up,” along with garnering other Billboard charting hits like “Get Up,” featuring Chamillionaire; “Love Sex Magic,” featuring Justin Timberlake and “I Bet.” In total, her catalog of songs has tallied more than 2 billion on-demand streams in the U.S.

Dan + Shay

Dan + Shay — Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney — scored their first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 2018 with “Speechless,” which kept the position for nine weeks. The pair then completed a record 54-week trip to the top of Hot Country Songs with the four-week second leader “Tequila,” becoming the first act to replace itself at the chart’s summit since 2014. The two tracks are among the pair’s five No. 1 singles on the Country Airplay chart and six top 10 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, stretching back to 2014’s “19 You + Me.” The duo has also logged a pair of No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, including their most recent self-titled project, which also became their third consecutive top 10 album on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

Halsey

In 2015, Halsey launched at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with her debut studio album Badlands. A year later, she scored her first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single, as featured on The Chainsmokers’ “Closer.” She tallied her first Billboard 200 leader, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, in 2017, while 2019 brought her first Hot 100 No. 1 as a lead artist, “Without Me.” She has earned four No. 1s on the Pop Songs chart, with her latest, “Eastside,” with Benny Blanco and Khalid, replacing “Without Me” directly at the summit.

Tori Kelly

Showcasing multi-format versatility, Grammy Award winner Tori Kelly’s first gospel album, Hiding Place, co-produced by Kirk Franklin, bowed at the Top Gospel Albums summit in September 2018, and spent 10 weeks at No. 1. The LP generated two top 10s on Hot Gospel Songs, including the No. 1 “Never Alone,” featuring Franklin. Before Kelly transitioned to the top of Billboard’s gospel charts, she notched a pair of top 20-charting albums on the Billboard 200 chart, including the No. 2 set Unbreakable Smile. Kelly has also earned hit singles on a variety of Billboard charts: including Dance Club Songs, Pop Songs, Hot Country Songs, Rhythmic Songs, Adult Contemporary Songs and Hot Christian Songs.

“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 and Xfinity.

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 | YouTube: youtube.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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