Mary J. Blige Dominates Billboard Music Awards
Tue, 05 Dec 2006 09:58:37
2006 was the Year of Blige, at least according to the Billboard Music Awards, which are given out based on Billboard's industry-standard sales charts. At last night's ceremonies at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mary J. Blige took home a whopping nine awards, including (deep breath) R&B/Hip-Hop artist, female R&B/hip-hop artist, and R&B/hip-hop songs artist; R&B album and R&B/Hip-Hop album (for The Breakthrough); Hot 100 airplay song, R&B/hip-hop song, R&B/hip-hop song airplay, and videoclip (for "Be Without You").
Other big winners included Carrie Underwood, who took home five awards including album of the year for her debut Some Hearts, and T.I., whose five awards included a clean sweep of Billboard's four "rap" categories.
Backstage, a humble T.I. told reporters that he was already close to completing his next album, which he says will be called T.I. vs. T.I.P., a reference to both his nicknames. "There's not nobody out there doing what I do as well as I do it, so I see myself as worthy competition for myself," the Atlanta rapper explained.
At the other end of the ego spectrum were triple winners Chris Brown and Rihanna. As relative youngsters and awards-show newbies (Brown is 17; Rihanna is 18), both displayed their inexperience by actually appearing humble and appreciative of their honors. "I really can't feel my legs; this is phenomenal," Rihanna gushed as she accepted the award for female artist of the year. And Brown admitted it was "mind-boggling" that he won artist of the year, new artist of the year, and male artist of the year honors, all on the strength of his debut, self-titled album.
"My mom, she still keeps me humble," Brown explained. "She tells me to take out the trash, ya know, clean my room."
In a sure sign that the digital age will not improve anyone's taste in music, The Fray swept all three of Billboard's digital categories, including digital album of the year, digital album artist of the year, and digital songs artist of the year. The evening's only other multiple-award winner was Nickelback, who scored trophies for artist duo/group of the year, Hot 100 artist duo/group of the year, and rock album of the year.
The prestigious Billboard Century Award for lifetime achievement went to crooner Tony Bennett, who is still going strong at 80. "I've been singing for 60 years," Bennett said as he accepted the award. "The way you're treating me tonight, I wanna sing for another 60 years."
--The ARTISTdirect Staff