July 1, 2022

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Travis Scott’s ’embarrassing’ Billboard Music Awards comeback performance sparks anger, backlash

3 min read

Travis Scott took the Billboard Music Awards stage Sunday for his first televised performance since the Astroworld tragedy in November 2021 where a crowd surge killed 10 people and injured thousands. However, some viewers thought it was too soon for the rapper to return to the spotlight.

The Houston native performed his tracks “Mafia” and “Lost Forever” in a snow-filled, polar-themed stage alongside backup dancers and heavy black-and-white visual effects. At the end of the performance, Scott panned the camera to reveal none of the audience members were standing up or applauding.  

The “Sicko Mode” artist did not mention Astroworld during the song likely due to a gag order barring him from discussing the tragedy. In interviews prior to the event, Diddy claimed he pushed Billboard to invite Scott to perform at the show. 

“We’re un-canceling the cancelled,” Diddy said.”I looked at Travis’s situation and I said, ‘man, I got some power to do something about that because we can’t start that in the music industry or even in life, period.’ So I’m here to forgive, to unify, to celebrate, and to have everybody free.” 


Diddy briefly alluded to “un-canceling” at the start of the award show, stating, “We’re going to celebrate like we got a second chance at life up in here, and we’re going to celebrate a chance to be able to do it better and do it bigger and celebrate each other.”

Although mostly in agreement with Diddy’s mantras on love and forgiveness, some viewers were still not too happy about having to witness Scott’s return to music following the Astroworld tragedy. Many took to Twitter to complain, sending Scott’s name into trending topics in Texas. 

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“I’m all about Diddy’s message about peace and love and unifying… but I still refuse to watch Travis Scott,” wrote one Twitter user. 

Some viewers questioned why Scott was invited to the event, much less allowed to perform following Astroworld. “No [because] f— Travis Scott [and] shame on the @BBMAs for having him perform,” wrote another user on Twitter. “You would all be nothing without the fans that you are disrespecting by allowing him to ‘perform’ if that’s what you call that mess.”

“Since Travis Scott is being given airtime remember 10 people died at Astroworld,” another user tweeted

Another Twitter user questioned, “Is it just me or is Travis Scott being on the BBMA insensitive and too soon to the families of those killed at his concert?”

One viewer wrote, “Sitting in stunned silence that Billboard invited Travis Scott of all people to perform on national television.”

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For some, the performance was too much to bear, one user tweeting, “Just turned off Billboard…who decided Travis Scott was a good option? Wtf is going on in the universe?”

Others found Scott’s performance itself to be “underwhelming.” 

“This Travis Scott performance is actually horrendous. Time for him to go on indeed.com,” wrote one user. “How embarrassing for your comeback performance to be looking like a weird extra from the next Ice Age movie?” joked another

Scott is facing a number of civil lawsuits from victims’ families following his Astroworld November 2021 festival. A document filed in Harris County last week claimed over 700 attendees suffered injuries requiring “extensive” medical treatment as a result of the concert, while over 2,400 concertgoers claimed they suffered some form of injury. 



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