Sean “Diddy” Combs is trying his hand at hosting and executive producing this year’s Billboard Music Awards, vowing to “un-cancel the canceled” in an era steeped in the latter.
“The mood of the show is about love and forgiveness,” he recently told Billboard. “As a musical family, none of us are saints; none of us are without things that happen to them in life. So one of the things I’m doing directly is un-canceling the canceled. That’s breaking news, because people haven’t been about un-canceling. But canceling is a trend that needs to stop.”
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At least two of the artists performing at this year’s Billboard Music Awards show, airing Sunday, have drawn scorn from the public. Country singer Morgan Wallen was caught on video using the N-word while he was visibly intoxicated and stumbling back into his residence. And rapper Travis Scott has been embroiled in controversy since his Astroworld festival in November of last year, where 10 people were killed when the crowd stampeded toward the stage.
One woman who was at the event — which some have said seemed “Satanic” — is suing Scott, claiming her unborn child died as a result of her being “trampled and crushed, resulting in horrific injuries, and ultimately the death of her and [her husband] Jarawd’s unborn child.”
Combs said neither Wallen nor Scott should be canceled over their errors, calling the horror linked to Scott’s festival performance last fall “a tragedy.”
“People make mistakes,” said Combs. “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.”
According to an Instagram post by Combs, he “demanded” NBC allow Scott to perform.
“For the Billboard Music Awards this Sunday, I made a request,” the rapper and producer said in a video. “I made a demand. I said, ‘My brother Travis Scott has to perform. I’m executive producing; he has to perform,’ and NBC said, ‘Yes.’ It’s going down Sunday, Travis Scott will be performing. … Now that’s love.”
Sunday will mark both Scott’s and Wallen’s first awards-show performances since they were embroiled in their respective controversies.
Legally, it should be noted, there is a long road ahead for Scott.
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