Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar were the big winners at last night’s (Sunday’s) Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with each picking up six trophies.
Bruno Mars and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber won five apiece. Imagine Dragons took home four and The Chainsmokers and Chris Stapletonthree each.
Kelly Clarkson hosted the show and started it off with a tearful plea for us something to prevent more school shootings like the one that occurred in her home state of Texas on Friday. Saying she’d been asked to lead a moment of silence, she said she was “sick” of “moment of silence. It’s not working. So why don’t we not do a moment of silence, why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening, because it’s horrible…We need to do better. As a people, we’re failing our children, we’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families…Tonight, let’s have a moment of action, let’s have a moment of change.”
Returning after a break, Ariana Grande brought things back to music with the performance, “No Tears Left to Cry.” Returning to host, Kelly Clarkson promised she was “not going to cry anymore,” but added, “You have to talk about it or no change is going to happen.” She then spoke about being picked to host the show. “‘What am I doing here?’ you’re asking,” she said. “Me, too.” Then she asked for people to cut her some slack, saying, “I’m new to this, so be nice and if you’re gonna be mean, at least be funny.” After saying her plan was keep things simple, she performed a medley of last year’s hits that started out simple, but grew into a huge production number as it went on.
The evening’s highlights included:
- The Chainsmokers speaking twice about their recently departed friend Avicii and what he had meant to them and to the EDM community.
- Luis Fonsi‘s acceptance speech for “Despacito” winning Top Hot 100 Song, in which he thanked people for “embracing a mostly Spanish song” and for “wanting to dance…wanting to sing it…wanting to learn it.” He dedicated it to, “All the Latino brothers, all the immigrants, all the dreamers, all those that get made fun of when they speak with an accent, all those that can’t speak English” and to “Puerto Rico.”
- Taylor Swift, who gave a “girl power” speech after winning Top Female Artist. She mentioned her current “all-female stadium tour” and thanked her tour mates Charli XCXand Camila Cabello, the female artists “who paved the way for us to do what we do the way we do it” and “the new female artists who are killing it out there right now, we are so inspired by you,” and “the future female artists who just picked up a guitar or learned to play piano.”
- Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato‘s first TV performance of their new song “Falling in Line.”
- Ed Sheeran performing “Galway Girl” via satellite from Ireland accompanied by the Irish folk band Beoga, who helped co-write the song with him, and later accepting Top Artist via video from there.
- Shawn Mendes and Khalid performing the Mendes hit “Youth” with the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Show Choir.
- The live TV debut of Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey‘s “The Middle.”
- In her first TV performance in nine years, Janet Jackson sang “Nasty,” “If” and “Throb.” She then accepted the Billboard Icon Award. In her speech, she said that she believes that “for all our challenges we live at a glorious moment in history. A moment where women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind.” She explained that her prayer is that in this moment of loud and harsh public discourse, we turn back to the “source of all calmness — God…who has everything we lack in abundance.”
- In keeping with the night’s female empowerment there, host Kelly Clarkson performance of her song 2017 anthem “Whole Lotta Woman.”
- Salt-N-Pepa performing “Shoop,” “Let’s Talk Aabout Sex,” “Baby Baby” and — joined first by En Vogue and then by Clarkson — “Whatta Man” to close the show.
COMPLETE WINNERS LIST:
- Top Artist: Ed Sheeran
- Top New Artist: Khalid
- Billboard Chart Achievement Award: Camila Cabello
- Top Male Artist: Ed Sheeran
- Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift
- Top Duo/Group: Imagine Dragons
- Top Billboard 200 Artist: Drake
- Top Hot 100 Artist: Ed Sheeran
- Top Streaming Songs Artist: Kendrick Lamar
- Top Song Sales Artist: Ed Sheeran
- Top Radio Songs Artist: Ed Sheeran
- Top Social Artist: BTS
- Top Touring Artist: U2
- Top R&B Artist: Bruno Mars
- Top R&B Male Artist: Bruno Mars
- Top R&B Female Artist: SZA
- Top R&B Tour: Bruno Mars
- Top Rap Artist: Kendrick Lamar
- Top Rap Male Artist: Kendrick Lamar
- Top Rap Female Artist: Cardi B
- Top Rap Tour: JAY-Z
- Top Country Artist: Chris Stapleton
- Top Country Male Artist: Chris Stapleton
- Top Country Female Artist: Maren Morris
- Top Country Duo/Group Artist: Florida Georgia Line
- Top Country Tour: Luke Bryan
- Top Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons
- Top Rock Tour: U2
- Top Latin Artist: Ozuna
- Top Dance/Electronic Artist: The Chainsmokers
- Top Christian Artist: MercyMe
- Top Gospel Artist: Tasha Cobbs Leonard
- Top Billboard 200 Album: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
- Top Selling Album: Taylor Swift, reputation
- Top Soundtrack: Moana
- Top R&B Album: Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
- Top Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
- Top Country Album: Chris Stapleton, From A Room: Volume 1
- Top Rock Album: Imagine Dragons, Evolve
- Top Latin Album: Ozuna, Odisea
- Top Dance/Electronic Album: The Chainsmokers, Memories…Do Not Open
- Top Christian Album: Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Collection
- Top Gospel Album: Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Heart. Passion. Pursuit
- Top Hot 100 Song: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
- Top Streaming Song (Audio): Kendrick Lamar, “Humble.”
- Top Streaming Song (Video): Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
- Top Selling Song: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
- Top Radio Song: Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You”
- Top Collaboration: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
- Top R&B Song: Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”
- Top Rap Song: Post Malone ft. 21 Savage, “Rockstar”
- Top Country Song: Sam Hunt, “Body Like A Back Road”
- Top Rock Song: Imagine Dragons, “Believer”
- Top Latin Song: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber: “Despacito”
- Top Dance/Electronic Song: The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, “Something Just Like This”
- Top Christian Song: Hillsong Worship, “What A Beautiful Name”
- Top Gospel Song: J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, “You Deserve It”