Machine Gun Kelly made a big splash at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, and the rapper-turned-rocker dyed his tongue black for the event. Over on his Instagram Stories thread, Kelly shared a selfie of him getting his tongue painted black ahead of the awards show. Then, photographers snapped images of him showing it off on the red carpet, including one photo of him and girlfriend Megan Fox licking one another.
Kelly — whose real name is Colson Baker — went on to have a big night at the Billboard Music Awards. In addition to making headlines for all the PDA he and Fox were packing on at the show, the Cleveland-native took home the trophies for Top Rock Album and Top Rock Artist. Much of Kelly's newfound success stems from his pop-punk album, Tickets to my Downfall, which was released in September. The album features hit singles such as "Bloody Valentine" and "me Ex's Best Friend," and it debuted at number 1on the US Billboard 200 all-format albums chart.
During a conversation with actor Dave Franco for Interview Magazine in November, Kelly commented on the success of Tickets to my Downfall by explaining that artists rarely achieve something of this nature so far into their career. "My fifth album is my most well-received, my highest-selling, my biggest debut. That doesn’t make any sense in the history of how musicians usually come out," he explained. "Your first or second album, for the most part, is your best work, or your highest-selling work."
Kelly continued, "That is the peak of the fans' interest in you, because that’s you spilling your whole life. I was more motivated by the fact that no one understood me every single time an album dropped. I would just sit there like, 'What am I missing?' The chemicals in my formula weren’t right, because I wasn’t fully open yet."
The rocker later added that Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has been a source of inspiration and support for him in the process of making Tickets to my Downfall. "It’s much different than a priest or something, where I’m like, 'How can you relate to me? It’s easy for you to tell me I can get through it when you’ve never faced these obstacles.' Whereas with Travis it’s like, 'I know for a fact that you went through what I’m going through.'" Kelly will be taking his Tickets to my Downfall tour on the road later this year.