Sean “Diddy” Combs will emcee the show, which is being broadcast live from the MGM Grand Arena and will air live beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC and its Peacock streaming service.
Other acts taking the stage include Becky G, who will perform her hit song “MAMIII,” which topped the Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. Ed Sheeran will deliver a remote performance from Northern Ireland, where he is on tour. Miranda Lambert, Megan Thee Stallion, Morgan Wallen and Grammy Awards darlings Silk Sonic are also slated to perform.
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Scott, who’s nominated in the dance/electronic music category, was originally tapped for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s 2020 lineup, which was postponed to this April.
However, a petition started in November called for Scott to be removed from the festival after the fatalities that took place at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas. Eight people died on the day of the event, and two more individuals died as a result of their injuries in the days following the festival.
Scott has previously said he wasn’t aware of the crowd surge and deaths until “minutes before the press conference” that occurred hours after the concert.
“You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need,” said Scott in a sit-down interview with Charlamagne Tha God in December. “Anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped it like a couple of times to make sure everybody was OK.
“I just didn’t hear that. I got my music, I got my (in-ear monitors), I just didn’t hear that.”
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In March, Scott announced a $5 million initiative dubbed “Project HEAL” that he said will be a “catalyst for real change” to heal in the festival’s aftermath.
The four-pronged project includes solutions to address “challenges facing today’s youth, especially those from marginalized and at-risk communities”: $1 million in academic scholarships to historically black colleges and universities, free mental health resources, a creative design education program and a new tech-driven solution for event safety.
“Over the past few months I’ve been taking the time and space to grieve, reflect and do my part to heal my community,” Scott wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “Most importantly, I want to use my resources and platform moving forward towards actionable change. This will be a lifelong journey for me and my family.”
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Attorneys for some of those killed and injured during the Astroworld music festival alleged in court in late March that Scott’s initiative violated a gag order in their lawsuits in an effort to influence possible jurors and rebuild his reputation ahead of a potential trial. Bob Hilliard, one of the attorneys representing Blount’s family said Scott used the power of his social media presence to address concert safety, one of the issues being debated by the lawsuits.
Stephen Brody, one of Scott’s attorneys, said the rapper’s announcement about the initiative didn’t violate the gag order. Scott’s attorneys have argued any efforts to prevent him from speaking on this or any other issue would be a violation of his constitutional right of free expression.
Such charitable efforts have “been a constant in his life” and “to suggest somehow that speaking about those charitable initiatives … runs afoul of the publicity order … is certainly not something that would withstand scrutiny,” Brody said at the time.
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Contributing: Juan A. Lozano, The Associated Press; Hannah Yasharoff, Edward Segarra, Elise Brisco, USA TODAY