At this point I’ve covered countless awards show red carpets for REVOLT TV, but this is the first time I’ve actually gone inside the show itself. (Usually, we fall back to a hotel room and produce a special from the footage, or go in the press room and hear the winners give even longer acceptance speeches than they did on stage.) And being inside the room is an interesting experience! There are performances and speeches, obviously, but it is very much a television production, and that creates some strange energy.
Like, when Nicki Minaj did a nine-minute montage to begin, all of the cuts to her videos took up the big screens, so when Minaj popped up on the massive and dancer-packed stage, it was hard to know where to look. Lose a focal point, lose the audience. Which again, is fine for the TV folks at home, but if you’re in the room, it can be confusing.
On the other hand, being in the room at a show like this means you find yourself involuntarily standing as Celine Dion sings “My Heart Will Go On” as the screens display iconic scenes from Titanic and literally everybody in the room has goosebumps. This was legend status, and there wasn’t a person in the house in their seat or silent. Celine may not be the “coolest” singer in our culture, but her radiance and place in the conversation is forever; add to this her importance to the Vegas entertainment complex (her residency here was a game-changer for the city) and her personal struggles with death and illness, and you get a monumental moment even Luda had to pause to acknowledge. You don’t forget moments like this.
There were a few other moments which lit up the room. One was our chairman Sean “Diddy” Combs taking the stage to honor BIG on his 45th birthday. It was an occasion to hail the legendary Bed-Stuy spitter, and also to unleash the trailer to his Tribeca-premiering documentary about the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary tour (and so much more), Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. People actually shut up to watch this thing. Real big. Real BIG.
Other highlights: Drake’s acceptance speech after winning for “Fake Love,” spreading real love around the room, singlehandedly upping the vibe quotient. Cher getting a standing O after her performance of “Believe” and looking exactly the same as she did all those years ago with a quippy and sassy acceptance speech for her lifetime achievement award. There was the moment K-Pop phenoms BTS won and got the loudest crowd response by far – we’re talking like Beatles at Shea vibe here. And then there was Drake taking this Vegas showmanship thing to the next level performing inside the iconic Bellagio fountains like whoa. Granted, that wasn’t in the room, but we felt him even inside, while he was outdoors on the strip.
Overall, it was Drake’s night: The man gave quotable speeches, had a performance which lit up the strip, and won the big Best Artist award while simultaneously setting the record for most wins in a single year – bringing Weezy, Nicki, and his father up on stage with him, a proper Young Money moment which cemented the rise and reunion of some of this era’s absolute finest. Salute.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!