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Just six months after a deadly tragedy at his Astroworld music festival, Travis Scott appeared chill (or rather cold) during his first awards show performance since the incident, at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
The rapper delivered a snow-filled performance of “Mafia” and “Lost Forever” with the camera panning in on a house in a snowstorm. Scott and a group of dancers wearing white and fur performed inside the enclosure, climbing over large rocks and snowdrifts.
Occasionally the screen switched to black with Scott and his dancers appearing in black-and-white against a black backdrop.
The performance ended with the dancers attacking the camera and the camera switching around to face the audience.
Last week in Miami, Scott made his first public performance since the Astroworld tragedy, though he did perform at a handful of private events and afterparties.
He’s also set to perform during the Primavera Festival in South America this coming fall, marking his return to the festival stage.
While Scott was performing Nov. 5, during his annual multiday Astroworld festival at Houston’s NRG Park, a crowd crush occurred, in which 10 people died from compression asphyxia and hundreds of people were injured.
Following the tragedy, Scott’s appearances at Coachella and the Day N Vegas festival were scrapped and a collaboration with Dior was canceled.
Litigation over the incident was combined into a single large lawsuit, with more than 4,900 people allegedly injured at the festival, according to attorneys representing the victims.
Billboard Music Awards host Sean “Diddy” Combs has said that he personally requested to network NBC that Scott perform during the awards show.
Speaking to Billboard ahead of Sunday night’s show, Diddy said that having Scott and country artist Morgan Wallen, who faced backlash and career consequences since a video surfaced of him using the N-word, perform at the BBMAs was him “un-canceling the canceled.”
“The mood of the show is about love and forgiveness. As a musical family, none of us are saints; none of us are without things that happen to them in life,” Diddy said. “So one of the things I’m doing directly is un-canceling the canceled. That’s breaking news because people haven’t been about uncanceling. But canceling is a trend that needs to stop. Travis went through a tragedy; Morgan [used the N-word] while talking to his boy. People make mistakes. Now we’re moving on with love and respect for everybody that was hurt or affected. It’s time to forgive. To have Morgan and Travis be able to come back and touch the stage again with the mindset of getting a second chance at life. Everybody in the room is getting a second chance at life, you know, because we’re back inside with no masks on. We need love and I’m excited about celebrating that.”
Scott was nominated for top dance/electronic song at the 2022 BBMAs for “Goosebumps” but lost to Elton John and Dua Lipa’s “Cold Heart.”
The 2022 Billboard Music Awards aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on NBC starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The show also streamed live on Peacock.
The Billboard Music Awards ceremony is produced by MRC Live & Alternative, a division of MRC, which is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.
Watch Scott’s performance below.
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