Instead of offering up one of his massive 2023 hits — such as “Last Night,” which dominated radio over the past year — Wallen instead paid homage to the evening’s performance venue by singing a fan favorite. Wallen performed “’98 Braves” from Atlanta’s Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. The performance came during Wallen’s headlining One Night at a Time tour, which has been extended into 2024.
“’98 Braves” serves as a bittersweet tribute to Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, who won 106 regular-season games in 1998 – but failed to triumph in the World Series that year. “If we were a team and love was a game/ We’d been the ’98 Braves,” Wallen sings in the chorus. “’98 Braves” debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and No. 11 on the Hot Country Songs chart) upon the release of Wallen’s One Thing at a Time album earlier this year.
The crowd was filled with Wallen fans and baseball fans, with many wearing Braves hats and shirts. Also in the audience were ’98 Braves pitchers John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, who introduced Wallen when he accepted his 11 Billboard Music Awards trophies following the performance.
Wallen was named the Billboard Music Awards’ top male artist, top Hot 100 artist, top streaming songs artist, top country artist and top country male artist, and also earned top country tour. Wallen’s One Thing at a Time album was also named top Billboard 200 album and top country album, while “Last Night” was celebrated as the top Hot 100 song, top streaming song and top country song.
The 2023 Billboard Music Awards Presented by Marriott Bonvoy took place Sunday night on BBMAs.watch and across BBMA and Billboard social channels.