The Weeknd wins big at the Billboard Music Awards
The Billboard Music Awards took place on May 22 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Weeknd took home the most awards with a total of eight out of the 19 he was nominated for. Adele was also a big winner with five awards.
To start the night off, Millennium Award receiver Britney Spears wowed the audience by singing a hit-filled medley that included “Womanizer,” “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Toxic.” At the beginning of the performance, Spears was wearing a coat that seemed to immobilize her when trying to dance. After taking that off to expose a very revealing outfit, she began to loosen up and perform like the Spears we all know and love.
The show then went onto the hosts, Ludacris and Ciara, who just went back and forth complimenting each other, which was painful to watch, and of course, an award show is not complete until the host makes fun of the Oscars. Ludacris made the joke, “We are like the Oscars of music, but here, we have black people nominated.” Overall, Ciara and Ludacris were an awkward duo to watch.
The first award of the night went to The Weeknd for Top Hot 100 Artist. The Weeknd gave a touching speech dedicated to the late Prince, saying that he meant a lot to him and he will always look up to him.
Shawn Mendes performed a very touching rendition of his song, “Stitches.” Fifth Harmony also performed with their new single “Work from Home” and then surprised the audience by adding a break dance sequence at the end. Meghan Trainor loosened up the crowd by walking out and interacting with members such as Zendaya while performing her new hit, “No.” Another notable performance was Lukas Graham, who sang his standout hit, “7 Years.” Rihanna also had a great set with her song “Love On The Brain” off of her new album, “Anti.” Rihanna gave a riveting performance that really showed off her pipes.
Justin Bieber gave an excellent performance that started off in a box with projecting lights all over it, which captivated the audience while he performed “Company.” Bieber then went on to perform his hit “Sorry” while the entire crowd was up dancing. Bieber went on to win Top Male Artist later in the night.
P!nk was next to perform, and in typical P!nk fashion, she brought her trapeze skills out and flew over the audience. Performing her song “Just Like Fire” for the new movie “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” P!nk wowed the crowd while swinging in the air.
Nick Jonas and Tove Lo took the stage to perform their single “Close” that then melted into Demi Lovato performing “Cool For the Summer” while wearing a shirt that shows her support for transgender rights. All artists had an excellent set, but Lovato was outstanding while showing off her vocal range. Later in the evening, real-life couple Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton joined on stage to perform their new single, “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.” As odd of a pair as they might be, there is no denying this couple’s chemistry when they’re singing on stage.
Joe Jonas and his band DNCE also took the stage to sing their hit “Cake By the Ocean” while confetti and red beach balls fell from the ceiling. Like Trainor, Joe decided to take the show to the audience but not just the celebrity portion. He walked all the way to the back of the arena and serenaded all the fans he came in contact with.
During the award show, Adele released her music video for her new single, “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” The video featured something very rare from Adele, dancing. Adele danced around in a floor length floral gown. The video also has a dizzying effect added to it. Images of Adele dancing were layered on top of each other in what looked like multiple takes and angles as she sang. The effect was both hypnotizing and innovative.
The moment everyone was waiting for was to see Kesha take the stage. Kesha decided to dedicate her performance to one of her idols, Bob Dylan, by performing his song, “It Ain’t Me, Babe.” The performance was very touching because you could see all the pain Kesha has been going through these past few months. At the end of the song, Kesha received a standing ovation from the audience.
Another touching performance came from the Icon Award recipient Celine Dion. Dion sang her song “The Show Must Go On,” featuring the violinist Lindsey Sterling. After her amazing piece, Dion received her award from her son, Rene-Charles, and immediately broke down in tears. While holding her son’s hand, Dion accepted her award and gave an emotional speech, and at the end, she thanked her late husband, Rene Angelil, for everything and expressed that she knows he is up in heaven watching over her.
Newcomer, Troye Sivan sang his single “Youth.” Before his performance, Sivan had an introductory video saying that this is the largest stage he has ever performed on, and by the looks of his set, you would have never thought that.
Later in the evening, The Go Go’s reunited to perform their hit “We’ve Got The Beat.” The Go-Go’s made history by becoming the first all-female rock group to make it to the Billboard 200 chart by reaching No. 1.
Ariana Grande briefly sang her hit “Dangerous Women” with a weird auto-tuned effect to it that then led into her new single, “Into You.” Her performance for her new single was great; I just can’t get over how weird the auto-tuned portion was in the beginning — definitely wasn’t necessary.
Ending the show was Madonna, who performed an amazing tribute to Prince, who passed away on April 21. Madonna mimicked the late singer by wearing a typical Prince outfit with the frills and the sparkle. She started off her tribute with a cover of Sinead O’Connor’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” What really made the event special was when Stevie Wonder walked out on stage and joined Madonna for a performance of “Purple Rain,” which had the whole arena standing on their feet with the lights out singing along. It was a very touching segment in this year’s Billboard Music Awards.
List of winners below:
Millennium Award: Britney Spears
Icon Award: Celine Dion
Top Artist: Adele
Top New Artist: Fetty Wap
Top Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Top Female Artist: Adele
Top Duo/Group: One Direction
Top Billboard 200 Artist: Adele
Top Hot 100 Artist: The Weeknd
Top Song Sales Artist: The Weeknd
Top Radio Songs Artist: The Weeknd
Top Streaming Songs Artist: The Weeknd
Top Social Media Artist: Justin Bieber
Top Touring Artist: Taylor Swift
Top R&B Artist: The Weeknd
Top Rap Artist: Drake
Top Country Artist: Luke Bryan
Top Rock Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Top Latin Artist: Romeo Santos
Top Dance/Electronic Artist: David Guetta
Top Christian Artist: Hillsong United
Top Gospel Artist: Kirk Franklin
Top Billboard 200 Album: Adele, “25”
Top Soundtrack: “Pitch Perfect 2”
Top R&B Album: The Weeknd, “Beauty Behind the Madness”
Top Rap Album: Meek Mill, “Dreams Worth More Than Money”
Top Country Album: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”
Top Rock Album: Twenty One Pilots, “Blurryface”
Top Latin Album: Juan Gabriel, “Los Duo”
Top Dance/Electronic Album: Zedd, “True Colors”
Top Christian Album: Lauren Daigle, “How Can It Be”
Top Gospel Album: Kirk Franklin, “Losing My Religion”
Top Hot 100 Song: Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again”
Top Selling Song: Adele, “Hello”
Top Radio Song: Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance”
Top Streaming Song (Audio): The Weeknd, “The Hills”
Top Streaming Song (Video): Silento, “Watch Me”
Top R&B Song: The Weeknd, “The Hills”
Top Rap Song: Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again”
Top Country Song: Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man”
Top Rock Song: Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance”
Top Latin Song: Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias, “El Perdon”
Top Dance/Electronic Song: Major Lazer & DJ Snake feature MØ, “Lean On”
Top Christian Song: Hillsong United, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
Top Gospel Song: Kirk Franklin, “Wanna Be Happy?”
Billboard Chart Achievement Award: Rihanna