Travis Scott Gives First TV Performance at Billboard Music Awards Since Astroworld Tragedy

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Travis Scott officially made his return to an awards show stage on Sunday. The 31-year-old rapper stepped into the spotlight to perform two surreal numbers that wowed the audience at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.

Delivering his performance on a set made up to look like a frozen snow bunker in a desolate, icy tundra, Scott began with his track "Mafia" as smoke and fog swirled around his feet and engulfed the chilly faux-locale.

Scott then transitioned into a performance of “Lost Forever" that featured some dancers in fur-lined ensembles for a uniquely psychedelic number that stood out from the show's otherwise more traditional performances. 

It was Scott's first awards show performance since the Astroworld tragedy six months ago in Houston, Texas. 

The incident resulted in 10 people dying and hundreds injured during the festival in November 2021. Officials described it as a "chaotic event," and the medical examiner determined that all 10 victims from the festival died of "compression asphyxia." The manner was ruled to be an accident. 

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Scott and others involved in the festival. Recently, the rapper was among a long list of defendants named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she suffered "horrific injuries" at the Astroworld tragedy that resulted in a miscarriage. 

About a month after the tragedy, Scott spoke out for the first time and, in an hour-long interview, denied hearing any signs of distress from the crowd while he was performing.

"It’s so crazy because I’m that artist too. Anytime you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show. You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need," he said. "Anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped it a couple times to just make sure everybody was OK. And I really just go off the fans' energy as a collective, call and response. I just didn’t hear that."

Scott has since vowed to honor the victims with the launch of his Project Heal, which aims to address, among other things, event safety. Last weekend, the rapper performed in Miami to mark his first public performance since the tragedy. He performed at the famed nightclub E11even as the city welcomed Formula One for the 2022 Miami Grand Prix.

The full list of 2022 BBMAs finalists was announced on April 8, with The Weeknd landing nominations in 17 categories. It was later revealed that Mary J. Blige will receive this year's ICON Award.

Blige -- who has won 10 Billboard Music Awards throughout her career -- gushed over the honor in a statement last month.

"My career has been such an incredible and unexpected journey that has included many turns into avenues I never could have imagined like acting, producing, launching businesses and now even my own music festival," Blige told Billboard. "Through it all, I always one way or another gravitated back to my first love, music. To be recognized in this way at this moment, with the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards, is an incredible honor and one that I am truly humbled by.”

The Billboard Music Awards air Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.


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