Drake, J. Cole, Megan Thee Stallion, Pop Smoke + More Win Big At iHeartRadio Music Awards 2022


Los Angeles, CA – The 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Tuesday (March 22), with the legendary LL COOL J as the night’s charismatic host.

Now in its ninth year, the awards ceremony celebrated the most-played artists and songs on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app throughout 2021. Hip Hop’s presence was felt, and not just because LL was host.

Lil Nas X took home Male Artist of the Year thanks to the mega success of his debut album MONTERO and its chart-topping hits “Industry Baby” and “Call Me By Your Name,” beating out Drake, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.

“A few days ago I was scrolling on TikTok and there was this girl telling everybody that they should be delusional, and that didn’t make sense to me,” Nas said while accepting the award on stage. “And then I thought about it, and I wouldn’t be where I am right now in my life and career if I wasn’t delusional.”

Drake didn’t leave empty handed, though, as he was crowned Hip Hop Artist of the Year. The 6 God faced stiff competition from Lil Baby, Pop Smoke, Megan Thee Stallion and Moneybagg Yo, but his record-breaking success with Certified Lover Boy proved simply too much to overcome.

J. Cole took home Best Hip Hop Album of the Year for The Off Season, while the late Pop Smoke posthumously added another award to his collection with Best Hip Hop Song for “What You Know Bout Love,” taken from 2020’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.

Elsewhere, BLEU (formerly Yung Bleu) took home Best New Hip Hop Artist over Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Lil Tjay and Bia, while Megan Thee Stallion was presented with the Trailblazer Award by Kelly Rowland for her impact in music and beyond.

“I will keep on continuing to be a voice for the voiceless, I will keep on fighting for all the injustices that me, my Black women, my Black men are facing, and I will keep showing up and showing out even in the face of adversity,” she said during her acceptance speech.

Megan was also one of the night’s performers, bringing “Megan’s Piano” and her new Dua Lipa collaboration “Sweetest Pie” to life in red-hot fashion.

In addition to his hosting duties, LL COOL J also lit up the Shrine Auditorium with a medley of “Mama Said Knock You Out,” EPMD’s “Slow Down Baby,” “The Boomin’ System,” Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)” and “Rock the Bells” with help from DJ Z-Trip.

Jennifer Lopez — who received this year’s Icon Award — John Legend, Charlie Puth, Jason Aldean and Måneskin hit the iHeartRadio Music Awards stage, too.