The 2019 Billboard Music Awards hit Las Vegas last night, and it certainly was a great night for music fans.
Drakewas the big winner taking home 12 awards, including Top Artist, Top Male and Top Billboard 200 Album for “Scorpion.” In fact, with all his wins Drake is now officially the artist with the most Billboard Awards ever, with 27, surpassingTaylorSwiftwho previously held the record with 23. The singer was definitely thankful, thanking his mom for all she did for him. He also gave props to “Game of Thrones” during one of his speeches, noting, “Shout out to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week.”
Cardi B, who was nominated for 21 awards this year, took home several trophies including four for her Maroon 5 collaboration “Girls Like You,” which won Top 100 Song, Top Collaboration, Top Radio Song and Top Selling Song. She also won Top Female Rap Artist, and Top Rap Song for "I Like It," featuring Bad Bunny and J. Balvin.
Other big winners includedAriana Grande, who won Top Female and Top Chart Achievement,BTS, who won Top Duo/Group and Top Social Artist andJuice WRLD,who won Best New Artist.Click here to check out this year's winner's list.
- Just like last year, host Kelly Clarkson opened the show with a medley of some of this year’s hottest songs, including Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha’s“Meant to Be,”Ella Mae’s“Boo’d Up,”Maroon 5’s“Girls Like You,”Zedd and Maren Morris’“The Middle,”Dua Lipa’s“One Kiss,”Cardi B’s“I Like It,”Khalid and Normani’s“Love Lies,”Dan + Shay’s“Tequila” and Panic! At The Disco’s“High Hopes.” She also threw in a little bit ofMadonna’s“Material Girl,” and Mariah Carey’s“Touch My Body.”
- Mariah Carey was honored with the Billboard Icon Award, and performed a medley including her latest single “A No No,” and hits “Always Be My Baby” (with TaylorSwift singing along), “Emotions,” “We Belong Together,” and “Hero.” In accepting her award Mariah noted, “I don’t think of myself that way. I started making music out of necessity to survive.” She also acknowledged the ups and downs of her career, and thanked her fans for lifting her “out of the depths of hell.”
Of course what everyone tunes in for his the performances, and there certainly were some great ones last night, including:
- Taylor Swiftopened the show with the global TV premiere of her new single “ME!,” featuringPanic! At the Disco’sBrendon Urie. The performance basically mirrored the song’s video, and was filled with pastels, a huge drumline, dancers dressed in pastel pants suits, and even had Taylor, Brendon and some dancers flying through the air. Interestingly,Beyoncéfans took particular offense to Taylor’s performance, specifically the use of the drumline, withmany suggestingit ripped off the opening of Bey's epic Coachella set. As one person noted, “Someone kindly tell Taylor Swift, she will never be Beyoncé. Please stop biting... it’s embarrassing.”
- Halsey performed her number one single “Without Me” and was joined by a female dancer for a pretty steamy interpretive dance.
- Ciara performed her latest single “Thinkin’ About You,” showing off some very impressive dance moves, including sharing a few steps with Taylor in the audience.
- Dan + Shay, the only country performers of the night, were joined byTori Kellyfor “Speechless.”
- Jonas Brothers continued their reunion with a performance that started withNickandJoesinging Nick’s solo hit “Jealous,” before they broke into Joe’s DNCE hit “Cake By The Ocean.” They then met up with brother Kevin for their reunion hit “Sucker,” complete with lots of fire (get it they’re hot).
- Khalid brought the smoothness to the night with a performance of his hit “Talk,” followed by “Better.”
- Ariana Grande performed “7 Rings” live from her tour stop in Vancouver, British Columbia, and got a lot of assistance from her audience, who sang along to every word.
- Madonna and Maluma performed their new single “Medellin” live for the first time in a performance that was rumored to have cost Madge $5 million. The almost seven-minute performance featured Madonna dancing with holograms of herself from her music video, along with a huge cast of dancers.
- Lauren Daigle, Billboard’s Breakout Artist for 2019, performed a stripped down version of her hit “You Say.”
- Panic! At The Disco performed their newest single “Hey Look Ma I Made It,” backed by a dancing horn section.
- Host Kelly Clarkson returned to perform her empowerment anthem “Broken & Beautiful,” from the “UglyDolls” soundtrack, and was joined by a bunch of young backup singers.
- BTS wowed their loyal fans with a performance of “Boy with Luv,” featuring Halsey, showing off their signature slick dance moves, which Halsey joined in on. It certainly wasn’t hard to notice that BTS was the big draw of the night, with the audience going ballistic every time they were mentioned or even appeared on the screen. And when they actually won an award (for Best Duo/Group) there were little girls visibly crying in the audience.
- Paula Abdul closed the night with this year’s Throwback Performance, treating the audience to such hits as “Straight Up,” “The Way You Love Me” “Vibeology,” “Opposites Attract,” complete with MC Skat Cat, “Cold Hearted Snake,” and “Forever Your Girl,” And while she may have lip-synched her whole performance, she certainly still got the moves at 56, performing an elaborate dance routine that could put younger artists to shame.