Taylor Swift Rules Billboard Music Awards

If I were a graffiti artist, I’d tag the biggest wall in the city and write, ‘Taylor Swift rules Billboard Music Awards!’ Because, friends and neighbours, that is just what she did on the night.

The Über popular and always attractive singer walked off with not one; not two; but eight awards on the live ceremony last night. The awards spectacular was aired live on ABC and showed 10 of the 45 categories being handed out.

At the live ceremony that was held in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last night Taylor nabbed the most honours and won received the night’s top award, Artist of the Year; she also won Top Billboard 20 Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Country Artist and Top Digital Songs Artist. ‘Red’ was named Tops in the Billboard 200 and country albums categories; her ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ was named Top Country Song.

After winning Artist of the Year Taylor said,”Thank you for making my music the soundtrack to your crazy emotions.” She then added, “You are the longest and best relationship I’ve had.”

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” swept four major song categories and Rihanna ruled R&B on the night.

Besides, Gotye, Rihanna was the only other artist to walk away with four awards, winning in the R&B artist, album and song categories, plus Radio Songs Artist. Madonna, Nicki Minaj and One Direction won three each while Justin Bieber, the late Jenni Rivera, Baauer and tobyMac secured two honors apiece.

‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ – the single from Gotye and Kimbra that has sold 7.3 million downloads, won in the categories of Hot 100 Song, Rock Song, Radio Song and Streaming Song (Audio). The Billboard Music Awards are based on data tracked between March 12, 2012 and March 10, 2013.

The Milestone Award, which is voted on by fans and sponsored by Chevrolet, went to Justin Bieber, who paused briefly before addressing the amount of criticism that has been directed towards him.

Bieber said,”I’m 19 years old, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. It should be about the music, about the craft. This is not a gimmick. I should be taken seriously.” Justin then went on to thank his family, fans and Jesus.

The three-hour show, which was aired on ABC, featured 16 live performances and included the TV premieres of Swift’s ’22’ and the new single from Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, ‘Live It Up.’ Bruno Mars and his band, decked out in matching crimson suits and black shirts, opened the show with his new single “Treasure.”

A lot of collaborative music was performed on the night with some of current Hot 100 singles being performed by will.i.am and Justin Bieber who did ‘#Thatpower,’ as well as Pitbull and Christina Aguillera’s ‘Feel This Moment,’ Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” and, set in kung fu movie motif, Chris Brown’s “Fine China.”

Morten Harket of A-ha appeared in an unannounced “surprise” cameo during Pitbull and Christina Aguilera’s performance as a “surprise Guest” and then went on to do a solo.

Harket then took a moment to reflect on the Norwegian trio’s 1985 hit ‘Take On Me’ that is sampled in ‘Feel This Moment.’

He said, “It’s been treated to a lot of different versions over the last 25 years – a punk version, heavy metal, death metal. Now Pitbull. It’s a resilient bugger. The surprise is how it caught on again.” The group A-ha split up in 2010 after a farewell tour which allowed Harket the chance to record solo. “As long as A-ha was together, we couldn’t commit to anything else,” he added, noting he is “deep” into his second solo album, which he is working on with producer-songwriter Peter Kvint.

Nicki Minaj gave Lil Wayne a lap dance during ‘High School’ and Miguel employed black & white and 3D imagery for his performance of ‘Adorn,’ just one of the many elaborately staged performances. His performance, however ended on a “down note” when he landed on a couple of fans during a leap from the stage.

Miguel told Billboard backstage after his performance, “The crazy thing is, when you’re performing and you’re just kind of into it, you never know where it’s gonna go and where you’re gonna go with it,” Miguel told Billboard backstage. “And how that might turn out. So this is one of the less favorable moments.”

There was also Icona Pop’s “I Love It” performance and the announcement of “Red” as included an app-driven lighting effect on the phones of show sponsor Samsung. Kacey Musgraves and Ed Sheeran provided the evening’s quieter acoustic moments.

Of course, no recounting of the show would be complete without mentioning Prince, who performed a medley of his classic ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ Edgar Winter’s instrumental ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Fix Ur Life Up.’ Prince was given the Icon Award for a career that includes 10 platinum albums and 30 Top 40 singles.

By Michael Smith

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