Last night, Ludacris returned to host the 2016 Billboard Awards for the third year in a row, this time alongside first timer and longtime friend, Ciara. In a celebration honoring some of the hottest names in music, celebrities of various genres anxiously waited in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to discover whether or not their nominations would turn into the big wins of the night.
“Low Life” singer, The Weeknd brought home a total of eight awards, while Wiz Khalifa and Justin Bieber were among the many artists who were presented with winning trophies on the stage. Adele swept away five awards and even premiered her new video, “Send My Love.” Though only seven victories were announced during the course of the three hour program, a few of the award winners that did not air included Fetty Wap for Top New Artist, Taylor Swift for Top Touring Artist and Meek Mill for Top Rap Album, an honor girlfriend Nicki Minaj made sure to acknowledge via social media.
The bulk of the 2016 Billboard Awards, however, were the tributes and performances of songs that deservedly earned the love of fans around the world. Recipient of this year’s Billboard Millennium Award, Britney Spears set the tone when she kicked off the show with a medley of her hottest songs in a red bikini, a color reminiscent of her outfit in the “Oops I Did It Again” video. A couple of soulful performances followed, Rihanna being one of them. Her wonderful vocal performance in “Love on the Brain” has proved that she has indeed been working on that voice of hers since we first met her back in 2005. Celine Dion also delivered a heartfelt performance of her song “The Show Must Go On.” Resonating with her life after the loss of her husband, she used the title of the song as the final line of her speech for the reception of the Billboard Icon Award, which was presented to her by her very own son.
DNCE, Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony and The Gogo Girls also hit the stage last night.
In regards to the tributes to former icons, Kesha paid homage to the late Bob Dylan. Her performance of “It Ain’t Me, Babe” was initially cancelled in fear of her using the platform to discuss her current issues with her producer, Dr. Luke. They later gave her the green light to perform and she received a standing ovation for her voice.
Last but not least, Madonna ended the night with a tribute to her late friend Prince. With help from the legendary Stevie Wonder, the audience sang along to “Purple Rain” but the crowd participation did not prevent those unsatisfied with the performance to express their feelings via Twitter. Even BET, who is slated to pay homage during their annual award show, threw some shade Madonna’s way, hinting that their tribute will make up for her less than strong performance.
Overall, congratulations to all the stars that were in the building. You are all winners in our eyes!!!!
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil