Travis Scott and Morgan Wallen on stage at the Billboard Music Awards

Travis Scott and Morgan Wallen made controversial returns to the Billboard Music Awards stage on Sunday, while Mary J. Blige was honored for her musical excellence.

Wallen starred in his first major awards show after being filmed over a year ago using a racial slur. After receiving no verbal introduction, the country star sat down alongside her four-piece band and performed Don’t think about Jesus tracking his track record wasted on youan excerpt from his popular project Dangerous: the double album.

Shortly after his performance, rapper Pusha T presented Wallen with the award for Best Country Artist.

“I mean, ‘Thank God.’ And thank you to my fans. I have the best fans,” said Wallen, who thanked his mother for accompanying him on the show. He also thanked Billboard for inviting him. He did not mention the incident last year, which resulted in the disgraced singer being reprimanded by the music industry.

“Thank you to my baby boy,” he continued. “You inspire me every day.”

Morgan Wallen receives the award for top male country artist at the Billboard Music Awards. Wallen starred in his first major awards show after being filmed over a year ago using a racial slur. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Scott gave his first televised performance since a massive mob killed 10 people and injured thousands at his Astroworld festival in Houston in November last year. The rapper performed his single Mafia in a chilling polar-themed setting with heavily censored lyrics.

Mary J. Blige received the Icon Award for being an influential music maker. The singer, dubbed the ‘Queen of Soul Hip-Hop’, was presented with the Janet Jackson Award and escorted on stage by Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs – who hosted the show, which aired live on NBC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Blige said she was in a “dream right now” after receiving the honor.

“I’ve been on this journey for a long time, a journey that hasn’t always looked like what you see me now, one that’s filled with a lot of heartbreak and pain,” she said. “But God helped me channel those experiences and emotions into my music, that’s where I started in music.”

Blige was honored through a video montage with appearances from Queen Latifah, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson. Previous winners include Prince, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks, Pink, Celine Dion and Janet Jackson.

“I was fabulous ghetto and still am,” said Blige, who has had four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and whose Dr. Dre-produced single family affair topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001. “So ghetto and so fabulous and people were threatened by that. Now everybody wants to be ghetto fabulous.”

Mary J. Blige receives the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards saying, “I was fabulous in the ghetto and still am.” (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Maxwell paid tribute to Michael Jackson Polar in a performance that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the King of Pop’s 1982 album. The singer took to the stage in sparkling black gloves and a jacket before performing the heartfelt jam The lady of my life.

Combs honored activist Tamika Mallory with the Revolt Black Excellence Award. He applauded Mallory’s efforts as an organizer for the 2017 Women’s March, as an advocate for gun control and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“You fight for us on the front lines, and we just have to respect you, queen,” Combs said before calling her “fearless.”

Almost moved to tears, Mallory then opened up about the deadly mass shooting on Saturday that left 10 dead in Buffalo, NY

A white gunman has been arrested for murder after a supermarket attack that police say was a hate crime. Most of the victims were black.

“Although they arrested the person who committed the murder, they didn’t stop the hate,” Mallory said. “They haven’t stopped the hurt and the pain. And if you’re not doing anything right now, you’re actually doing something by keeping silent. I’m asking you tonight: get involved, fight for justice.”

Previously, Drake was named Top Artist, Male Artist, Rap Artist, Male Rap Artist, and Rap Album for Certified lover. The rapper extended his record as the most decorated winner in awards show history with 34 wins.

Olivia Rodrigo and Kanye West, alias Ye, picked up six awards in an untelevised ceremony. Rodrigo received the award for Best New Artist.

Ye again made his mark in the faith-based categories: the rapper won top Christian artist for the first time, but he won top gospel artist and gospel song for the third year in a row. It also received Best Gospel Album for the second time.

The Kid LAROI became a winner for the first time, winning awards for his song To stay with Justin Bieber, whose number of Billboard Music Awards wins rose to 26.

Doja Cat walked away with four prizes. She won Top R&B Artist and Top R&B Female Artist for the second year in a row, as well as Best R&B Album and Top Female Artist.

Host Sean “Diddy” Combs presents the Black Rebellion Achievement Award to activist Tamika Mallory at the Billboard Music Awards. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

Taylor Swift – who ranks second on most awards won with 29 – won four awards. Bad Bunny picked up two wins while R&B duo Silk Sonic of Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak took home their first-ever award for Best R&B Song for Leave the door open.

Amariyanna Copeny showed some nervousness after receiving the Changemaker Award for her community efforts in the Flint, Michigan water crisis that began in 2014. Copeny, now 14, known as Little Miss Flint, often burst out laughing while reading the teleprompter. on the scene.

“I don’t do the work for the accolades and influence,” Copeny said. “I do this for the kids at home in Flint who are still poisoned from the water,” she continued. She received the award from Teyana Taylor.

Becky G, who released the album Esquemas on friday, played Baile Con Mi Ex and his hit song MAMIII, which topped Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. Ed Sheeran delivered a performance remotely from Northern Ireland, where he is on tour.

Other performers who took the stage included Miranda Lambert, Meghan Thee Stallion and Silk Sonic.