The 2020 Billboard Music Awards are tonight and some of the newest acts in music are performing. Newcomers like Bad Bunny, Doja Cat, and SAINt JHN are expected to perform, as well as two of the hottest musicians of the moment in country music star Kane Brown and Swae Lee. Here’s everything you need to know about these artists just in time for the show.
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, but better known by his stage name of Bad Bunny, was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico in 1994. He was certain from a young age that he wanted to be a singer, having already proven his musical chops while singing in his church’s choir as a boy, and often entertained his classmates with his freestyles, which highlighted both his musical talents and his humor. Soon, Bad Bunny was uploading his music to SoundCloud while supporting himself with a job as a bagger at a local supermarket. DJ Luian heard one of Bad Bunny’s tracks and dug his sound, which has been described as both Latin trap music and reggaeton, though the singer has been known to sample from other genres as well. Bad Bunny soon signed to his first record deal in 2016. Over the last few years, the singer began blowing up across Latin America as well as the diaspora, and in 2018, Bad Bunny managed to break into the international market. He teamed up with Cardi B and J Balvin on her song, “I Like It,” which became a number one hit on the Billboard music charts. Since then, Bad Bunny has become known for his own songs, like “Vete” and “Yo Perreo Sola.” We wonder if he’ll perform either one of those bangers tonight.
Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown, better known as Swae Lee, is one half of the rap group Rae Sremmurd with his brother, Slim Jxmmi. Though he was born in Inglewood, California, he and his family soon moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, where he was raised. Since signing with their first record label in 2013, Rae Sremmurd have released three studio albums, SremmLife, SremmLife 2, and SR3MM. Recently, Swae Lee has been branching out on his own, recording with more established artists like Wiz Khalifa, Future, and The Weeknd. In the last three years, Swae Lee has been nominated five times for a Grammy Award, most recently for his collaboration with Post Malone on his song “Sunflowers” for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Swae Lee isn’t just a talented performer, he’s also a songwriter. He’s even worked with Beyoncé, among others, on the legendary songstress’ “Formation,” which was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
Kane Brown was born in 1993 and raised by a single mother in Georgia and Tennessee. He auditioned for both American Idol and The X Factor and actually made it through the cuts in 2013 for the latter. Brown decided not to stay with the reality singing competition, however, after he was informed that he’d be put into a boy band, something he wasn’t interested in. Instead, Brown turned to the internet for exposure, uploading covers of popular songs to his social media profiles. The covers soon became viral hits. When Brown released his own single, “Used To Love You Sober,” it took off immediately. In 2016, the country music star signed with Sony Music Nashville and has since gone on to release two albums, Kane Brown and Experiment. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Brown has continued to release music, including “Worldwide Beautiful,” which aimed to promote peace and benefited the Boys and Girls Club. The country musician also announced in September that he planned to perform a series of drive-in concerts. It seems he doesn’t have any plans to wind down anytime soon, even in a pandemic.
Rapper, singer, and songwriter Saint Jhn was born Carlos St. John Phillips in Brooklyn, New York. He split his youth between New York City and Guyana, which is where he wrote his first song as a teen. Saint Jhn continued writing songs into adulthood, and co-wrote Jideanna’s song “Helicopters / Beware.” Even as he wrote for other artists, Saint Jhn continued to perform his own music and was a regular on the festival circuit. Music isn’t this artist’s only creative outlet, however. Saint Jhn also featured in a Gucci fashion campaign alongside Adesuwa Aighewi. This multi-talented young man is now getting the giant platform that he deserves, and it’s exciting to see him achieve the acknowledgment his talent has earned.
She was born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini but goes by her stage name of Doja Cat. She first came into public awareness back in 2018, when she released an entirely self-produced, novelty song and music video to YouTube called “Mooo!” The song contained absurdist lyrics that described a desire to be a cow. The silly video and admittedly catchy tune quickly went viral and to date has over 79 million views. Some influential people in the music industry took notice of the young singer, including Chris Brown, Katy Perry, and Chance the Rapper, all of whom praised Doja Cat’s creativity. Since then, the artist’s star has only continued to rise. She’s collaborated with some of the hottest established artists around, as well as the up-and-coming artists of her generation, like Mulatto and Rico Nasty. Though she is not without her controversies, Doja Cat is definitely an entertainer we’ve got our eye on.
Something tells us these hot young musicians aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While it’s still not clear whether these performers will reach legendary status, but considering the talent they all display, it’s far from likely that they’ll disappear into anonymity after making such a splash with their debut. Gossip Cop can’t wait to see which songs these entertainers choose to perform.