The Covid-19 has caused numerous award shows and gala events to be put on hold, but the Bilboard Music Awards is live and ready to pay tribute to the best in record sales, digital downloads, and radio airplay over the past year.
Kelly Clarkson returns to host the awards and opens the show with “Higher Love” with a little help from her friends including Sheila E on drums and Pentatonix. There is no live audience at the Dolby Theatre for the awards presentation.
Clarkson notes that music moves us and unites us in a celebration of all styles of music.
Nicole Richie presents the first award of the night for Top Billboard 200 Album to Billie Eilish for “When We All Fall Alseep, Where do We Go?”.
Sia makes one of her rare television appearances to perform “Courage to Change”.
Kane Brown joins up with Swae Lee and Khalid for a performance.
Julia Michaels presented the award for Hot 100 Song to Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus for “Old Town Road”.
Alicia Keys takes the stage for a performance of “Love Looks Better”.
The award for Top Female Artist goes to Billie Eilish. Eilish thanked all the women who have come before her.
Jane Lynch presents the award for Top Country Artist to Luke Combs who performs “Better Together” live on the stage before accepting the award.
Sixteen time Billboard Music Award nominee Post Malone performs from “a top secret location” somewhere in Los Angeles. He is joined by Tyla Yahweh.
Sheila E. presents the award for Top Song Sales Artist to Lizzo. She came out on stage wearing a dress saying “vote”. She told everyone to be true to who you are; adding that there is power in who you are. She said to refuse to be suppressed.
Brandy takes the stage with Ty Dolla $ign for a performance.
John Legend takes the stage for an emotional performance of “Never Break”. He dedicates the song to his wife Chrissie. The couple recently lost the baby that Chrissie was carrying.
In Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms presents the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award to rap artists Killer Mike; a solo artist and one half of Run the Jewels. The father and husband thanks his wife for standing by his side; saying that it is their award. He tells young artists matter and are needed more than ever. He said that he is a product of Atlanta.
Dancer Twitch presents the award for Top Latin Artist to Bad Bunny who performs live on the stage before accepting the award. Bad Bunny gave his acceptance speech in English and Spanish…mostly Spanish.
The award for Top Male Artist went to Post Malone. Back from his “secret location” Malone accepted the award on the Dolby Theatre stage. Noting how strange it was not to have fans in the audience, Malone said that he wanted to focus on spreading love.
Doja Cat makes her debut appearance on the Billboard Music Awards stage for a performance.
Music Icon Cher presents the Billboard Icon Award to Country music legend Garth Brooks. The Icon Award is presented to an artist who has had excellence on the stage and in the studio; a musical legend in their own time. Brooks is a nine time Diamond Award winner for selling at least 10 million copies in the U.S. of an album. Brooks gives a performance of a medley of some of his biggest hits. Brooks said that getting an award that Cher also earned made him feel “cool”.
The award for To R&B Artist went to Khalid. He also reminded his fans that their voices matters.
Saint Jhn wins this year’s award for Breakout Artist.
In a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, Billboard replayed the performance from five years ago where son Wolfgang joined Van Halen on the stage.
Tik Tok creator Addison Rae presented the fan voted Chart Achievement Award to Harry Styles. Due to travel restrictions, Styles was not able to be at the awards ceremony.
The fan voted Top Social Artist went to BTS who accepted the award from their home in South Korea.
Demi Lovato gives a world premiere performance.
In a live performance form South Korea, BTS gave a performance of the hit “Dynamite”.
The award for Top Christian Artist went to Lauren Daigle.
Taraji P. Henson presents the biggest award of the night for Top Artist to Post Malone. Malone said that he was blown away. Malone won a total of nine awards for the night.
In the throwback performance, the female trio En Vogue performs “Free Your Mind”.
feature photo credit: By Billboard – http://www.billboard.com, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91509835