Drake was the big winner at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, even dethroning Taylor Swift for most wins, but he only had the best words for his mother, in time for Mother’s Day with a heartfelt speech.
The singer turned up the love for his mom when he picked up top artist, besting Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Post Malone and Travis Scott. He won 12 awards Wednesday in Las Vegas, making his career total 27 (Swift has 23 wins).
He looked up to the ceiling as he held the trophy, then said: “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. 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 ride,” Drake said.
Family bonding was a theme at the three-hour show, which aired live on NBC and was hosted by Kelly Clarkson
Ciara’s young son and husband, NFL player Russell Wilson, danced along while she worked the stage, and Nick and Joe Jonas gave kisses to Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Turner of “Game of Thrones” fame when they sang in the audience before hitting the stage. Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco looked to his parents as he accepted top rock song, quoting the name of his current hit: “Hey look Ma, I made it!”
Mariah Carey’s twins cheered her on as she sang a medley of her hits and accepted the Icon award. She was in diva form before taking the award from Jennifer Hudson, throwing her napkin on the floor after dabbing her face with it.
“Without getting into all the drama, all the ups and downs of my career … I guess I always felt like an outsider, someone who doesn’t quite belong anywhere, and I still feel like that lost interracial child who had a lot of nerve to believe I could succeed at anything at all in this world. But, and this is the truth, I did believe because I had to,” she said. “The truth is I dedicated my life to my music — my saving grace — and to my fans.”
Cardi B, the night’s top nominee with 21, locked lips with husband Offset on the red carpet and the couple sat closely inside the venue. She won six awards, including top Hot 100 song for “Girls Like You” with Maroon 5.
“I remember when Maroon 5 hit me up to do this song. I was like, ‘Bro I’m five months pregnant. I can’t even breathe.’ But this record to me was so amazing. I was like, ‘Oh this is going to be a hit.’ And now I sing this song to my daughter because she’s the girl that I need,” she said.
Drake and Cardi B — who both won multiple awards during the live telecast — used their speeches to promote love and appreciation for their peers in the music industry.
Others, too, brought on the positive energy when onstage. Imagine Dragons’ band leader Dan Reynolds used his speech to highlight the dangers of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth. He earned rousing applause. Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard followed suit, telling the audience after winning top country song: “In the spirit of so much truth being spoken tonight by so many talented artists, I think we should speak some truth.”
“As artists we all get to experience so many unbelievable things, but in our opinion, at the end of the day, it’s all for nothing if you’re not using your platform for better … to spread love, to help those in needs, to be a light to your community,” he said.
Swift kicked off the show when she brought her new music video to life with a colorful, eye-popping performance of her song “ME!” Dancers wearing bright, pastel colors spun in the air holding umbrellas and a marching band kicked off Swift’s performance — like most of the world, maybe she was inspired by Beyonce’s new Coachella film?
Madonna, wearing an eye-patch, teamed up with Colombian singer Maluma for a performance, but it was Grammy-winning Christian artist Lauren Daigle who had the night’s best performance. She sang “You Say,” giving the audience a calm, yet strong and powerful performance. She was backed by three awesome background singers and a pianist.
BTS, who performed alongside Halsey, also had a major night. At the Billboard Awards and American Music Awards, the K-pop band had only previously won “social” awards based off their fanatic fan base, but on Wednesday BTS picked up top duo/group, besting Grammy-winning groups like Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and Dan + Shay.
“I still can’t believe we’re here on this stage with so many great artists,” RM said as fans screamed loudly. “We’re still the same boys from six years ago, we still have the same dreams … we still have the same thoughts. Let us keep dreaming.”
An unlikely winner at the Billboard Awards? “Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the HBO series and shined brightly on last week’s episode.
“Shout-out to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week,” Drake said onstage after winning his first award of the evening.
2019 Billboard Music Awards Main Winners
— Top Hot 100 song: “Girls Like You,” Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B
— Top Billboard 200 album: Drake, “Scorpion”
— Top artist: Drake
— Top new artist: Juice WRLD
— Top female artist: Ariana Grande
— Top male artist: Drake
— Top streaming songs artist: Drake
— Top song sales artist: Drake
— Top radio songs artist: Drake
— Top duo/group: BTS
— Top R&B artist: Ella Mai
— Top rap artist: Drake
— Top country artist: Luke Combs
— Top rock artist: Imagine Dragons
— Top Latin artist: Ozuna
— Top dance/electronic artist: The Chainsmokers
— Top Christian artist: Lauren Daigle
— Top gospel artist: Tasha Cobbs Leonard
— Top social artist: BTS
— Top touring artist: Ed Sheeran
— Chart achievement award: Ariana Grande
— Icon award: Mariah Carey
Moment By Moment At 2019 Billboard Music Awards
Dancer and singer Paula Abdul has brought out her tap shoes to close out the Billboard Music Awards with a performance of songs from her debut 1988 album “Forever Your Girl.”
Starting with her tap performance from “Straight Up,” she strolled through her hits “The Way that You Love Me,” ″Cold Hearted” and even brought out the dancing cartoon cat from her music video for “Opposites Attract.”
Abdul proved she still has the moves, leading host Kelly Clarkson to declare “that was insane.”
Drake is giving thanks to his mom for driving him to all his music lessons and acting jobs after winning the Billboard Top Artist award.
He says she was always there to take him to piano classes, hockey games and even to “Degrassi,” the Canadian teen drama that launched his career.
He said no matter how long it took for him to figure out what he wanted to do, she was always there to give him a ride.
Drake had a big night, winning three awards during Wednesday’s telecast and became the winningest artist in the awards show history.
Pop singer Halsey kept up with impressive choreography by K-pop boy band BTS for their performance of “Boy With Luv” at the Billboard Music Awards.
The passionate BTS army of fans treated the performance at the MGM Grand Arena like the biggest of the night as the global superstars shimmied and danced across the stage to ear-piercing screams.
The song, which is primarily sung in Korean, broke a record for most views in the first 24 hours on YouTube.
Pop star Mariah Carey has demonstrated her icon status at the Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her hits across the decades and showed off her five-octave range.
Covering hits like “Always Be My Baby,” ″Emotions,” ″We Belong Together,” and “Hero,” fans at the MGM Grand Arena waved their arms in the air and sang along with the global star, who accepted the ceremony’s Icon Award.
Dabbing her eyes with tissue, she shouted out to her children in the crowd. She acknowledged both her mistakes and the memes she inspired, but said the fans carried her through the highs and lows.
She accepted the award from presenter Jennifer Hudson.
Madonna has brought virtual versions of herself to the Billboard Music Awards as she performed with Colombian singer Maluma.
The two singers danced together in real life to the Latin-flavored collaboration, but also with holograms of Madonna in different outfits for a performance of their song “Medellin.”
The song is from Madonna’s 14th album “Madame X,” out June 14.
The Jonas Brothers have reunited at the Billboard Music Awards after a nearly six-year break by celebrating their solo work and their new single together.
Nick Jonas kicked off their performance with his solo song “Jealous” and was joined by his brother Joe for a version of DNCE’s “Cake By the Ocean.” Brother Kevin came out for a fiery performance of their new single “Sucker.”
The trio, who also just announced a new tour, had the crowd on their feet dancing and screaming along, including “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, who is engaged to Joe Jonas.
Drake has won Billboard’s Top 200 Album for his chart-topping album “Scorpion,” at the Billboard Music Awards and in the process gave a shout out to a heroic “Game of Thrones” character in his acceptance speech.
The rapper said he always dreamed of doing a double album, which featured hit singles “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What,” but said he will never do it again.
As a parting comment, he applauded “Thrones” character Arya Stark for “putting in that work,” but kept from spoiling the show for those who haven’t seen the latest episode.
Taylor Swift has kicked off the start of her next musical era with a pastel-colored performance of her new upbeat single “ME!” at the Billboard Music Awards.
The pop star was joined by Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, who dropped in from above, along with aerialists hanging from umbrellas, drummers and dancers during the song’s debut at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Swift, a 23-time Billboard Award winner, could continue her run as the most decorated winner in the show’s history.
Taylor Swift is set to kick off the Billboard Music Awards with the debut performance of her new song “ME!” and she could continue her run as the most decorated winner in the show’s history.
Swift, a 23-time Billboard Award winner, will open Wednesday’s show in Las Vegas alongside Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco. Swift is also nominated for top female artist and top touring artist.
Cardi B is the leading nominee with 21 and will attend. She will compete for top artist along with Drake — who will also attend — Post Malone, Ariana Grande and Travis Scott.
Kelly Clarkson will host and perform at the show, airing live on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern. Other performers include Madonna, Maluma, BTS, Paula Abdul, and Mariah Carey.