Hip-hop, R&B, and K-Pop music ruled the 2019 edition of Billboard Music Awards with rappers Drake and Cardi B and South Korean sensation BTS walking home with the night’s biggest honors.
Canadian rapper and record producer Drake was the most decorated artist of the awards night held at MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 1 (May 2 in Manila).
He won a dozen trophies, including the most coveted Artist Award, Billboard Top 100 and 200 Artist, and Top Male Artist, bringing his career total at the event to 27.
The superstar also broke Taylor Swift’s record of 24 victories for most wins in the annual ceremony that honors music artists based on album and digital songs sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring, and social engagement.
“I just want to thank my mom for her relentless effort in my life. I want to thank my mom for all the times you drove me to piano. All the times you drove me to basketball and hockey—that clearly didn’t work out,” the 32-year-old rapper said when he received the top artist award besting Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, and Travis Scott.
“All the times you drove me to ‘Degrassi.’ No matter how long it took me to figure out what I wanted to do, you were always there to give me a ride, and now we’re on one hell of a ride,” the rapper added.
Fellow rapper Cardi B, who made heads turn when she stepped on the red carpet wearing a bright yellow dress and locked lips with her husband Offset, was the night’s top nominee. She was nominated 21 times in 18 categories and won six awards, including top Hot 100 song for “Girls Like You” with Maroon 5.
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Meanwhile, Maroon 5 was in third place in term of numbers of awards won. The band fronted by Adam Levine walked home with four wins, all of which were for their collaboration with Cardi B.
A number of superstars showed up to deliver the first performances of their new singles. Taylor Swift opened the show with new single “Me!,” featuring Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco. Mariah Carey, who received the Icon Award, also performed a medley of her greatest hits including a new single.
Madonna and Maluma danced all across the stage to just-released collaboration “Medellin” and BTS and Halsey performed their top 10 hit “Boy With Luv,” which became a trending topic on social media immediately. The group won top social artist and top duo/group.
Other performers included Grande, who sang “7 Rings,” Paula Abdul, with a medley of her greatest hits, and the Jonas Brothers, who performed “Sucker.”
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