Award shows have been anything but normal during the pandemic, but that’s not going to stop us from watching — or stop Kelly Clarkson from hosting the 2020 Billboard Music Awards tonight. Back for the third time in as many years, Clarkson is a seasoned pro and a natural fit to cheer us all up and help us forget 2020 — at least for a few hours.
The hosting gig may also be a welcome distraction for Clarkson, who has been pretty public recently about weathering her unexpected divorce from Brandon Blackstock. And since this a three-peat for for Clarkson as BBMAs host (her first year was in 2018, with a return appearance last year), we’re betting the singer will slide right back into the role with ease.
That first year, Clarkson wowed us with an opening medley performance that was one for the ages: The showstopper featured Billboard Hot 100 hits like Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE,” Imagine Dragon’s “Thunder,” Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse (Remix)” and Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” With dancers, costume changes, and Cirque du Soleil performers, it was a performance that was hard to top — until 2019 rolled around.
The next year brought in new and old hits from “Material Girl” by Madonna to “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. Not only did she start the performance in audience, she ended up there after the six-minute opening. There’s pretty much nothing she can’t do.
This year, the show is happening at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, but without an audience. Clarkson will have a full-circle moment as she hosts from the same stage where she won Season 1 of American Idol in 2002. To celebrate, she will be singing — and probably social distancing — alongside Pentatonix and Sheila E singing Whtiney Houston’s “Higher Love.”
Other highlights to watch for: Garth Brooks will be receiving this year’s icon award — or as Clarkson exclaimed in the promo, “Garth Brooks, I love him!” — and will perform his greatest hits. The night will also be jam-packed with other artists like BTS, John Legend, Sia, and Demi Lovato, who are all performing. Addison Rae, Cher, Garcelle Beauvais, Taraji P. Henson, and Stephen “tWitch” Boss are all slated to present.
The 2020 Billboard Music Awards, tonight, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC.
Missing the red carpet? Before you go, revisit the most shocking Grammy awards red carpet looks of all time.