Everyone knows that Kesha is playing this weekend at the Billboard Music Awards in Vegas because there has been so much brouhaha about her performance, and you probably heard that Justin Bieber is playing since everyone follows his every move, but what about the rest of the gang? What else can you look forward to this Sunday?
Honestly, kind of everyone. Performances are slated from Rihanna; Britney Spears; Madonna, who will honor Prince; Ariana Grande (whose new album just happened to totally coincidentally drop today); Demi Lovato; Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton (because they’re a package deal now); Meghan Trainor; Nick Jonas and Tove Lo; the artist who for some reason styles her name as P¡nk; Celine Dion; Fifth Harmony with Ty Dolla $ign; DNCE; Shawn Mendes; Troye Sivan; Lukas Graham; and the Go-Gos. And that’s just the entertainment. There are also approx. a million celebrity presenters.
Madonna teased her Prince tribute on Instagram this week with a throwback photo of herself captioned, “Looking ahead…………i see Rain in the forecast,” along with a bunch of Prince-inspired emojis. Wait, OMG—is she going to sing “Purple Rain”?? That would be so unexpected.
Kesha, of course, has been posting BBMA-related stuff to IG ever since yesterday, when it was announced that she’d be doing her “statement performance” this weekend after all. That whole thing is a very long story that features Dr. Luke as an obvious villain, but in case you’ve been Rip Van Winkling it and missed the whole thing, she basically got unceremoniously disinvited from the awards show and then was reinstated yesterday after she performed at a Ben Folds concert. Like we said, loooong story.
If a musician isn’t performing, they’re probably up for an award, unless they’re double-dipping like the Biebs, who’s up for the Top Artist award and will also play a “medley” of his new single “Company” with his major hit “Sorry.” Bieber is up against Drake, Taylor Swift, Adele and The Weeknd for the blue ribbon. Top female artist nominees include Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Adele, Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez; top men candidates are Justin Bieber, Drake, Fetty Wap, The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran.
Celeb presenters include the mostly-female lineup of Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Zendaya, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Rebecca Romijn, Idina Menzel, Kate Beckinsale, Priyanka Chopra, Laverne Cox, Kelly Rowland, Kathryn Hahn, Serayah, Keke Palmer, Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher (hey, why not?), Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell (again, why not?) Lucy Hale, Halsey, Lindsey Vonn and a small handful of men, including DJ Khaled (who will introduce his “brother” Justin Bieber) Seal, Tyrese Wiz Khalifa Steven Tyler Ashton Kutcher Pete Wentz and Mark Cuban.
party live broadcast, hosted by Ciara and Ludacris, gets started at 8 p.m. EST on ABC, which makes us feel like this may or may not go into the wee hours of Monday morning, because that is an insane number of performers, and they also have to, like, give out awards, since that’s what the BBMAs were originally created for. All very exciting, though—can’t wait! 🎉