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Billboard Music Awards 2016 recap

Rihanna stuns, Kesha makes a statement, The Weeknd reigns supreme

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Well, the 2016 Billboard Music Awards has come and gone in the blink of an eye. For those of you having withdrawals, or for those who’ve been living under a rock, do not fear! We’ve compiled a list of highlights to aid your mourning. You’re welcome.

Britney opened the show, of course, with a throwback medley of her hits ‘Work Bitch’, ‘Womanizer’, ‘Breathe on Me’, ‘Touch Of My Hand’, ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ and ‘Toxic’. Yes, she straddled a giant guitar during ‘I Love Rock N Roll’ and showed us her skills on the poll during ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’. Take a peak at the performance below.

Rihanna arguably produced one of the best performances of the night, with a stellar rendition of ‘Love On the Brain’, her rousing ballad from Anti. We have to say, her aesthetic is goals.


A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Amidst ongoing legal battles against producer Dr Luke, Kesha’s appearance at the awards ceremony was left in limbo. So when she hit the stage, to perform Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’, the applause was deafening. Her circumstances only made the performance that much more tender and powerful. Kesha’s performance was a statement in itself.

Madonna and Stevie Wonder paid their honours to Prince, to some polarising audience opinions. Nonetheless, Questlove’s introductory speech will remain powerful.

The most poignant moment of the night, though, came from Celine Dion, who accepted the Music Icon award. She’s had a rough 2016, having lost her husband and brother only days apart earlier this year. She performed ‘The Show Must Go On’ in memory of them. Understandably, things got pretty emotional during the acceptance speech when her son René-Charles surprised her on stage.”I want to thank the fans for traveling through music with me in good and bad times,” she said. “All the people who believed in me. My family. My mom who wrote my first song, my children, Rene Charles. And most importantly, my beloved husband whom I know will continue to watch over me from up above.”

The big winners:
Artist of the year – Adele
Top Female Artist – Adele
Top Male Artist – Justin Bieber
Top New Artist – Fetty Wap
Top Billboard 200 Album – Adele (25)
Top Billboard 200 Artist – Adele
Top Rap Artist – Drake
Top Duo/Group – One Direction
Top R&B Artist – The Weeknd
Top R&B Song – The Weeknd (The Hills)
Music Award for Icon – Celine Dion
Special Millennium Award – Britney Spears

Check out the gallery above for some of the stand-out pink carpet looks (for better or worse).

  • Words: Louis Hanson

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