The Billboard Music Awards returned to TV Sunday after a five-year hiatus to honor top-selling music artists. Leading the winners list were Eminem and Justin Bieber. While the Grammy Awards honor the best musical numbers, the Billboard Awards salute music with the best-selling numbers.
Eminem, who was not there to accept, won six of his 16 bids, including top artist, top Billboard 200 album (“Recovery”) and top rap artist. Bieber prevailed in six of his 11 races, including new artist and streaming artist. The newly-created Millennium Award was bestowed on Beyonce and cited her influence as a music artist and work as a role model for women.
Rihanna — who landed a jaw-dropping 18 nominations but won only three includng female artist — opened the kudocast performing a duet of her hit “S&M” with Britney Spears. Lady Gaga, who had racked up a dozen nominations, also took just three of her races — pop artist, dance artist and dance/electronic album (“The Fame”). And Tayor Swift claimed three of her seven bids — top Billboard 200 artist, country artist and country album (“Speak Now”).
These awards aired on Fox from 1989 to 2006. Relaunching this year on ABC, the Las Vegas ceremony hosted by Ken Jeong included performances by Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, Taio Cruz, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban. The alphabet net now has three marquee music awardscasts airing in the all-important sweep months. The Country Music Association Awards and American Music Awards are each held in November and have proven to be ratings powerhouses. This year’s edition of the Grammys on CBS garnered their best viewing figures in a decade.
Billboard is the preeminent publication covering the music business, charting sales across a variety of genres. Covering the year ending March 1, these kudos across 46 categories were awarded based on the overall impact of performers. Among the criteria for determining the winners were chart standings, radio airplay, streaming, social media, and tour grosses.
To date, Janet Jackson is the biggest BMA winner, with 33 awards across a variety of categories while her brother Michael Jackson reigns as the male champ with 29 wins. In addition, the kudos also bestowed a lifetime achievement prize — dubbed the Centennial Award – on a variety of musical acts, beginning with George Harrison in 1992 and ending with Tony Bennett in their final year on Fox.