The Weeknd Wins Big, Kesha Covers Bob Dylan, Madonna and Stevie Wonder Pay Tribute To Prince, and Rihanna Performs "Love on the Brain" at Billboard Music Awards
Mon, 23 May 2016 13:36:09
This year's Billboard Music Awards took place Sunday at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena. The Awards show had more to offer than just a procession of acceptance speeches, boasting some stellar performances throughout the night. Britney Spears got the ball rolling with a medley of hits that included "Womanizer, "I'm A Slave 4 U," and "Toxic." Although he didn't perform, The Weeknd was the night's biggest winner, raking in eight awards, including Top 100 Artist and Top R&B Artist. Adele also had a good night, earning the Top Artist award, which she accepted in a pre-recorded video speech. Justin Bieber won Top Male Artist.
Rihanna took the stage to belt out the Anti deep cut "Love on the Brain," before she accepted the fan-voted Chart Achievement Award. Her gritty and passionate performance was one of the night's clear highlights.
Prince was honored multiple times during the show. The Weeknd dedicated his Top 100 Artist award to Prince early in the evening. Questlove gave a moving speech in which he said, "All of us live in the land of music, and his departure from it was an earthquake." He then added. "But his departure leaves behind so much work still to do. And we can follow the trails he blazed and we can follow his example. We can be fierce, uncompromising, experimental. We can also listen to all those songs that he left for us. He was very, very generous in that regard," Pitchfork reports.
Madonna then took the stage, beginning her Prince tribute seated on a rotating purple throne. Dressed in a shimmering suit with ruffled sleeves, she sang "Nothing Compares 2 U," before she was joined by Stevie Wonder for a duet--that quickly escalated into an arena-sized sing-a-long--of "Purple Rain."
Bob Dylan was honored by a tribute from Kesha during her first televised performance since her lawsuit with Dr. Luke. Luke's label, Kemosabe, nearly stopped the performance from happening, until at the last minute, granting permission, only after Kesha denied rumors that she would address her legal battles with Dr. Luke. Kesha was accompanied by Ben Folds on piano, for her slowed down and personal take on Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."
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—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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