BLACKPINK Plays First-Ever U.S. Show, J Balvin Brings the Heat & More at Universal Music’s Grammy Artist Showcase


"Each 12 months we current these artists in probably the most genuine method doable," Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge advised visitors initially of the label's sixth annual Grammys showcase on Saturday (Feb. 9). "No filter, no MC, no lengthy speeches." He was true to his phrase: UMG A-listers from Ella Mai to J Balvin took the stage on the downtown Los Angeles luncheon, offering a nonstop cascade of performances that included many Grammy-nominated hits.

Mai kicked issues off with a steamy efficiency of her buzzing single "Shot Clock," earlier than launching into — what else? — "Boo'd Up," her breakthrough hit that's up for each tune of the 12 months and greatest R&B tune at this 12 months's ceremony. YG burst in to disrupt the romance with a efficiency of his 2016 protest observe "FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)," sans collaborator Nipsey Hussle. "Life is about making statements, so I felt like we had to try this immediately," the rapper defined, although 2 Chainz, becoming a member of the stage for a rendition of his 2012 hit "I'm Different," had a distinct model of the story: "He was actually stressing about doing that 'fuck Donald Trump' shit." 

Up subsequent, nation trio Midland carried out their tongue-in-cheek hit "Drinkin' Problem," nominated for greatest nation duo/group efficiency, whereas Lil Baby provided a speedy take on his Drake collaboration "Yes Indeed" — all this to a crowd that included the likes of newlyweds Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, Jessie Reyez and Maggie Rogers.

It was a historic day for Okay-pop four-piece BLACKPINK, who made their U.S. efficiency debut on the luncheon. Strutting onstage of their typical v-formation, members Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa and Rosé introduced Clueless-inspired appears to be like and mesmerizing choreography to their trap-infused pop banger "DDU-DU DDU-DU," which turned the highest-charting hit ever by a Okay-pop woman group on the Billboard Hot 100 when it debuted at No. 55 in June 2018. The group additionally carried out electro-pop vibe "Forever Young," swishing their hips with razor-sharp synchronicity earlier than floating offstage. 

The showcase wouldn't be full with out the label's Latin gem Balvin, who will open the Grammy ceremony alongside Camila Cabello and whose smash reggaeton collaboration "I Like It" with Bad Bunny and Cardi B is up for report of the 12 months. Jumping onstage in an all-white Gucci tracksuit, his ever-changing hair bleached blonde this time, the Colombian megastar someway supplied sufficient vitality to maintain visitors on their ft even by means of the absent Cardi and Bad Bunny's verses. He closed out his stage time together with his monster Willy William team-up "Mi Gente," to which the gang responded with a standing ovation. "Right now it's the right second for our tradition, that we're actually reaching in a worldwide method, irrespective of the language," Balvin advised Billboard backstage. "We've actually related with folks, and so they're actually catching the vibes and catching the feelings."

Last up, Michigan rockers Greta Van Fleet introduced their signature '70s vibe to the showcase, performing the howling "When the Curtain Falls" and mellow "You're the One." Take that again: Surprise performer Post Malone provided visitors one closing acoustic set, choosing renditions of his melancholy "Stay" and reversion Stoney observe "Feeling Whitney." The rapper is within the working for 4 honors come awards night time: report of the 12 months ("Rockstar"), album of the 12 months (beerbongs & bentleys), greatest pop solo efficiency ("Better Now") and greatest rap/sung efficiency ("Rockstar"). 

But apart from highlighting the label's greatest hits of 2018, the occasion additionally appeared towards the long run. Here, Grainge solely introduced that UMG's movie and tv division, Polygram Entertainment, is engaged on a minimum of 4 music documentaries, together with a movie on the Bee-Gees produced by Frank Marshall and others on the Go-Gos, hip-hop jewellery (tentatively titled Ice Cold) and the way mixtapes modified the music enterprise. No matter what goes down on awards night time, the approaching 12 months is wanting vibrant for the label.

"We imagine that an artist that we uncover can change tradition," Grainge added. "That is on the very core of what we wish to be and what we are going to all the time do."

BLACKPINK Plays First-Ever U.S. Show, J Balvin Brings the Heat & More at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase