Drake has surpassed Adele’s record at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, picking up 13 awards.
Adele set a record at the show in 2012 with 12 wins. The rapper, who walked into the show Sunday with 22 nominations, won top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album (“Views”), among others, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I got my whole family up here,” said Drake, who stood onstage with nearly two dozen people, including his father, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
Drake was presented the top artist award by Prince Jackson, the late Michael Jackson’s eldest son. Drake beat out Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Adele, Ariana Grande, the Weeknd, twenty one pilots, Shawn Mendes and the Chainsmokers for the top prize. Of those nominees, only Drake and the Chainsmokers attended the Billboard Awards.
But other big names showed up, though.
Cher, who received the Icon award, sang her dance anthem “Believe” in a glittery number that included pasties and blonde hair with pink tips. She later changed wigs - this time in a huge, curly black ‘do - and wore a black sheer bodysuit and leather jacket for “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Her performance earned the most audience participation of the night.
“I wanted to do what I do since I was 4 years old and I’ve been doing it for 53 years,” said Cher, who turned 71 on Saturday. “And I can do a five-minute plank. Just saying.”
“I think luck has so much to do with my success with a little bit of something thrown in,” she added.
Korean boy band BTS, who won top social artist, earned one of the night’s loudest ovations. Another highlight was Celine Dion.
In a beautiful, Met Gala-ready white gown, she belted out “My Heart Will Go On,” the Oscar-winning song from “Titanic.” The film is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. John Legend and Florida Georgia Line also had a shining moment when they sang a duet version of the country duo’s soft hit, “H.O.L.Y.”
Dan Reynolds of the rock band Imagine Dragons led a moment of silence for Chris Cornell, who died Thursday. He called the Soundgarden and Audioslave singer “a true innovator,” ‘‘a musical architect,” ‘‘a prolific songwriting” and “a legendary performer” - as a large photo of Cornell singing with his eyes closed was displayed behind him.
“We send our respects as well as our love to Chris’ family at this time,” Reynolds said.
Miley Cyrus sang her breezy new single, “Malibu,” delivering a sound and muted style that marked departure from the hits that made her a pop star years ago. She was teary eyed at the end of the performance.
“And for the first time in years with pants on,” Noah Cyrus, standing next to father Billy Ray Cyrus, introduced her older sister, who was wearing white shorts and a cowboy hat.
Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with an explosive nine-minute performance of her hit songs alongside her mentor Lil Wayne and frequent collaborator David Guetta. She recently broke Aretha Franklin’s record for most songs placed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a female artist.
The Chainsmokers - who tied Drake with 22 nominations - won the first televised award, top collaboration, for “Closer” with singer Halsey. The song, which spent 12 weeks at No. 1 last year, also won top Hot 100 song.
“This feels good but it feels so wrong because I love Drake so much,” said Halsey (Drake’s “One Dance” was also nominated).
The Chainsmokers performed “Young” with Andrew Taggart on vocals and Alex Pall behind the board (they were also backed by a drummer). Ed Sheeran sang “Castle on the Hill” from Santiago, Chile, while Bruno Mars performed his silky new single, “Versace on the Floor,” from Amsterdam. Other performers include Lorde, Sam Hunt, Halsey, Camila Cabello and Julia Michaels.
At the show, Diddy honored his former friend and artist Notorious B.I.G, who would have turned 45 on Sunday. Diddy also introduced CJ Wallace, B.I.G’s son, who spoke about his father’s legacy. Then Diddy showed the trailer of the documentary, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story,” which will be available on Apple Music on June 25.
Blake Shelton won top country artist and showed love for his beau and fellow singer Gwen Stefani.
“I felt like the luckiest guy in the room ‘cause Gwen was here with me anyway,” he said.
In an announcement early Sunday, Beyonce and twenty one pilots won multiple awards.
The list of winners in the top categories at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, held Sunday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, are:
- Top artist: Drake.
- Top Hot 100 song: The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer.”
- Top Billboard 200 album: Drake, “Views.”
- Top female artist: Beyonce.
- Top male artist: Drake.
- Top new artist: Zayn.
- Top duo/group: twenty one pilots.
- Top collaboration: The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer.”
- Top R&B artist: Beyonce.
- Top rap artist: Drake.
- Top country artist: Blake Shelton.
- Top rock artist: twenty one pilots.
- Top Latin artist: Juan Gabriel.
- Top dance/electronic artist: The Chainsmokers.
- Top Christian artist: Lauren Daigle.
- Top gospel artist: Kirk Franklin
- Top social artist: BTS.
- Top touring artist: Beyonce.
- Chart achievement award: twenty one pilots.
- Icon award: Cher.
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