The Grammys pissed off one of music’s biggest names when they completely snubbed The Weeknd at this year’s awards ceremony, and you can bet the Billboard Music Awards aren’t making the same mistake. Not only did they hand the After Hours singer seven trophies before the televised event even began, they gave him the first broadcast award of the night for Top Hot 100 Artist. (And a handful more after that.) Later in the show, they also provide him with a whole dang parking lot for his performance of “Save Your Tears”.
The Weeknd’s performance made innovative use of vehicles instead of backup dancers. It began with him leading a gang of red and white cars through some carefully choreographed driving, snaking through the empty lot and weaving between each other. As he stepped out of the key car, the vehicular chorus line get some big-rig support when four trucks joined in. One can only imagine how much practice it took for The Weeknd to keep his cool as a bunch of 18-wheelers drove past him, but the final effect is pretty unique.
Watch The Weeknd’s performance below, and check out other other performances from tonight’s Billboard Music Awards, including BTS, Doja Cat with SZA, and Duran Duran, here.
Early in the broadcast while accepting his Top Hot 100 Song trophy, The Weeknd teased the next phase of his career. “The After Hours are done, and The Dawn is coming,” he said. Later, he took home the award for Top Artist.
There’s good reason why the BBMAs gave The Weeknd much more respect than the Grammys did. While it’s been speculated The Weeknd’s decision to play the 2021 Super Bowl caused the rift with the Recording Academy, his relationship with Billboard is far less vulnerable. He is, after all, the only artist to have a song sit in the Billboard Top 10 for an entire year, with “Blinding Lights” achieving the record back in March.