Morgan Wallen, Taylor Swift Win Big at Billboard Music Awards
The duo of Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen claimed the spotlight, with Swift leading the pack as a finalist in a staggering 20 categories and walking away with an impressive tally of 10 awards. Among her victories were the highly coveted top artist, top female artist, and top Billboard 200 artist.
In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Swift expressed gratitude to her fans, emphasizing that their unwavering support was the driving force behind her success. She remarked, “None of this happens without you. I feel like the luckiest girl to have you in my corner, caring about the music I make.”
SZA and Wallen stood shoulder to shoulder as the second most-recognized finalists, each accumulating 17 entries across 16 categories. Wallen, in a breakout performance, emerged as the night’s most awarded artist, securing 11 trophies, including top male artist, top Hot 100 artist, top country artist, and top Billboard 200 album. Meanwhile, SZA claimed 4 awards, notably top R&B artist and top R&B album.
Wallen, previously marred by controversy, marked a triumphant return with a powerful rendition of “98 Braves,” his first major awards show performance since a publicized incident involving a racial slur.
This year’s event deviated from its traditional airing on NBC, instead choosing to broadcast on the awards show’s official social channels and site. The November time slot, a departure from the usual May schedule, filled the void left by the American Music Awards.
The evening’s opening act featured Karol G, honored as top Latin artist and top Latin touring artist, delivering a mesmerizing performance amidst cascading water and dynamic dancers. David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s rendition of “I’m Good,” including a sample from Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee),” earned them the award for top dance/electronic song.
K-Pop sensations NewJeans captivated the audience with their performances of “Super Shy” and “OMG,” donning tundra-ready costumes in a snowy wonderland. Their acceptance speech for top global K-Pop artist underscored their camaraderie and unbreakable friendship.
Additional performances featured Peso Pluma (accompanied by Mike Tyson), Stray Kids, and Tate McRae. A standout moment was Mariah Carey’s live performance of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” ushering in the holiday season with ice-skating dancers.
In the winners’ circle, Drake led with 5 awards, followed by Zach Bryan with 4, and Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, and Miley Cyrus each securing 3 accolades.
The Billboard Music Awards, presented by Dick Clark Productions, are a production of Penske Media Eldridge, a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge, also owners of The Hollywood Reporter.
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