Photograph credit: ABC News, US Weekly and Radio Now 92.1

Diversity and tributes take over: Highlights of 2018 Billboard Music Awards

Biggest names in the music industry from around the world were recognized at the annual Billboard Music Awards(BBMAs) and there was more to performances and awards last night.

Janet Jackson won the ‘Icon’ award

Perhaps the most prestigious award from last night, it was won by Janet Jackson, who’s been in the pop music scene since the ’80s and had lots to talk about in her acceptance speech. Jackson talked about women empowerment, saying “Women have made it clear that we no longer will be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind.” The singer also performed tracks like ‘Nasty’ and ‘Throb’ which got the crowd dancing.

Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell had an ‘American Idol’ reunion

Pop star Kelly Clarkson hosted the awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and she was joined with former American Idol judge Simon Cowell for an ‘American Idol’ reunion after performing ‘Whole Lotta Women.’ The duo has known each other for 16 years since Clarkson won the first edition of reality show ‘American Idol’ and Simon Cowell was the judge.

Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar won big at the awards

Winning six awards each, pop artist Ed Sheeran won awards for the best ‘Male Artist, ‘Radio Songs Artist’, ‘Artist’, ‘Hot 100 Artist’, ‘Radio Song’ and ‘Song Sales Artist, whilst rapper Kendrick Lamar won awards for the best ‘Rap Album’, ‘Billboard 200 Album’, ‘Streaming Songs Artist’, ‘Rap Artist’, ‘Streaming Song (Audio)’ and the ‘Rap Male Artist’. Besides, Imagine Dragons won four awards, followed The Chainsmokers with three awards and Taylor Swift with two awards.

K-Pop and Latin music won big too

For the first time, K-Pop band ‘BTS’ performed at the BBMAs after what Kelly Clarkson described them as the “biggest boyband in the world.” The band won the ‘Top Social Artist’ ahead of nominees like Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande and went on to perform their new single ‘Fake Love.’ Besides, Latin artist Ozuna came out as a surprise, winning the ‘Top Latin Album’ and ‘Latin Artist of the Year’ ahead of giants like Romeo Santos, J Balvin, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee while he only has one album to his name. Luis Fonsi didn’t lose at all as his track ‘Despacito’ won the ‘Top Hot 100’ song

Shawn Mendes and Khalid paid tributes to victims of school shooting

Music fans and attendees witnessed an emotional performance by 19 year old artist Shawn Mendes and rapper Khalid as they performed a tribute to victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting last week. The duo performed Mendes’ song ‘Youth’ with a school choir whose T-shirts wrote ‘Youth’ while Khalid’s T-shirt wrote ‘Protect our Children’ with the word ‘Guns’ crossed out.

Photograph credit: Stereogrum

EDM icon Avicii was remembered

Before announcing the ‘Top 100 Hot Song’, The Chainsmokers and Hasley took a moment to talk about Avicii and his legacy. The Chainsmokers described the late DJ as “an artist who inspired so many in so many ways and meant so much to us and the EDM community” while Hasley talked about the importance of mental health, saying “It’s a reminder to all of us to be there and support and love our friends and family members who may be struggling with mental illness.” Three days before his death, Avicii was nominated for the ‘Best Dance’Electronic Album’.