It was one of many performances pre-recorded for Wednesday’s show. Other musicians attended and performed at the empty Dolby Theater in Los Angeles during the three-hour show, which airs on NBC.
After announcing that Malone had won the series’ highest honor, Best Artist, Clarkson presented the hitmaker with eight more trophies.
“I’m honestly blown away by the love everyone has shown me,” said Malone, who also won Best Rap Artist, Best Male Artist and Best Rap Album. “It is a big problem for me and for all those who [butts] of. »
He beat Eilish for the top prize, but she was still a winner, winning Best Billboard 200 Album, Best Female Artist, and Best New Artist.
The 18-year-old, wearing a face mask, told viewers, “Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands. ”
Others had similar messages. Khalid, who won five honors, told fans that “your voice matters more than ever.” Lizzo wore a black dress with “vote” printed on it.
She also gave an encouraging speech, asking viewers to find their voice and not change to meet society’s standards.
“I just want to say that I have given a lot of thought to repression and the voices that refused to be suppressed. And I wonder, ‘Would I be standing here right now if it wasn’t for the tall black women who refuse to have their voices suppressed? And I just want to say that now, if you’re at home watching this and planning to change to feel worthy, it’s your sign to stay true to who you are, ”Lizzo said on stage. after winning the song selling artist award. .
“Let me tell you something – when people try to remove something, it’s normally because that thing has the power. They are afraid of your power. There is power in who you are. There is power in your voice. Whether it is through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed. ”
Other winners included Lil Nas X, who took home four honors and was on hand to accept the Top Hot 100 song for Old town road, who set the record for most weeks at No.1. Kanye West, who released two gospel albums last year, also won four awards: best gospel artist, best gospel song, best gospel album and best Christian album.
Luke Combs followed with three wins, and after his performance offered positive words to his fans and the team working on the awards show.
“I know everyone has been through so much this year. I want to thank the team that is working on this show tonight because they’ve been through some crazy things to make this happen for you guys. Hope everyone stays safe at home. , ” he said.
Garth Brooks received the Icon Award from Cher, who called the country star a “true music legend and my friend Garth Brooks.” Brooks, who is the only artist to have sold nine of his albums at over 10 million each and achieve diamond status, performed a mix of his hits.
Other performers included BTS, Alicia Keys, Kane Brown, Khalid, Swae Lee, Sia, Brandy, Bad Bunny, Doja Cat, SAINt JHN, En Vogue and Demi Lovato, who sang her new song aimed at President Donald Trump called Commander in chief.
Clarkson kicked off the show by singing Steve Winwood’s Stronger love, which became a dance hit last year after Whitney Houston’s cover of the song was remixed by Norwegian DJ-producer Kygo and became an international hit. Clarkson was joined by drummer Sheila E. and the a cappella group Pentatonix for the performance of the song, which earned Houston a posthumous nomination for Best Dance / Electronic Song. Houston died in 2012.
Rock guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, who passed away last week, was honored as the show aired a clip of his performance at the 2015 Billboard Awards. And rapper-activist Killer Mike received the Change Maker Award.
This year’s Billboard Awards were originally scheduled to take place in April, but have been postponed due to the pandemic. This is the reason why some of the nominees in the 55 categories may feel old-fashioned.
For example, the five nominees for the lead song award were nominated for the Grammys earlier this year in January. And the nominees for Best Billboard 200 album included Ariana Grande. Thanks, next, released in October 2018, and Swift’s Lover, not his recent release Folklore. Some of the nominees were even big contenders for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards – held over a year ago – including Lil Nas X’s Old town road and Lizzo’s Truth hurts.