The Billboard Music Awards began in 1990 and have been one of music's biggest nights. Unlike the Grammy Awards, the Billboard Music Awards is based on chartings through sales, streaming, radio airplay, tours and social interactions. In 2018, the Billboard Music Awards is moving to its new home on NBC on May 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Though the show went dormant from 2006 until 2011, there has been plenty of noteworthy moments throughout its history. AXS is taking a look at 10 of the greatest moments in the history of the Billboard Music Awards.
In 2016, P!nk brought her signature moves to the stage performing "Just Like Fire" taken from the "Alice Through the Looking Glass" movie. The "Alice" themed set with clock saw P!nk flying high as she has since the mid-2000s ala "Cirque du Soleil." P!nk always gives one of the best performances at any awards show she attends and at this one, the stage clock was set ablaze while she soared.
Though many find it disturbing, others find it intriguing that artists have been "revived" through hologram form. At the 2014 BBMAs, Michael Jackson appeared nearly five years after his June 25, 2009 death. The animation featured dancers and Jackson performed "Slave to the Rhythm" from the album Xscape.
Aside the inaugural winner of "American Idol," Kelly Clarkson, 2005 winner Carrie Underwood carved her own successful career - the only two to have made massive careers in music from the show. Underwood released her third album Blown Away in 2012 and was a much more mature sound for Underwood. In 2012, she graced the stage to perform the title track and hit single "Blown Away" showing off her majestic and powerful pipes. At a time when music was littered with pop hooks and autotuned singles, Underwood showed she needed no studio magic to shine. At the time of publication, Underwood has won 10 Billboard Music Awards.
7. Janet Jackson takes home most awards at the inaugural ceremony
In 1990, the Billboard Music Awards began and Janet Jackson was the top artist that year. She walked away with 8 awards following the success of Rhythm Nation 1814, one of Jackson's highlights of her career. The album took home the award for Top Pop Album and Top R&B Album while she herself took home the awards for Top R&B Singles Artist of the Year, Top R&B Artist of the Year, Top Selling R&B Albums Artist of the Year, Top Hot Dance Singles Artist of the Year, Top Dance Club Play Artist of the Year, Top Dance Artist and Top Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year.
6. Whitney Houston sets bar for most wins in one night
In 1993, Whitney Houston was a mega-star after the massively successful movie and soundtrack The Bodyguard which ultimately cemented Houston's place in music history. That night, Houston set the bar for most wins in one night with 11 including Top Billboard 200 Album for the soundtrack and Top Hot 100 Song for her cover of "I Will Always Love You," the theme song to the film. She also took home the #1 World Artist Award. In all, Houston received 16 Billboard Music Awards throughout her career. That number would go on to be matched by Usher in 2004 and Adele broke the record with 12 in 2012. Drake then came and broke the record again in 2017.
5. Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown accept Millennium Award for Whitney Houston
In 2012, a tragedy struck the music world. Whitney Houston had been found unresponsive one day prior to the Grammy Awards. It quickly shifted the mood not only for the night but for months to come. At the 2012 BBMA ceremony, John Legend and Jordin Sparks paid tribute to the fallen artist whose death shocked the entire world before daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and sister-in-law Pat Houston accepted the award for Millennium Artist. Bobbi Kristina thanked everyone for the support not only when "it was good but also when it was bad," talking of Houston's struggles with substance abuse.
4. Drake breaks record for most wins in one night
In 2017, Drake was sitting on top of the world after his majorly successful album Views (2016). In all, Drake has received 444 award nominations and has won 96. Of those 96, 13 came from the 2017 Billboard Music Awards ceremony effectively breaking the record previously set by Adele (12) following Houston's initial 11. These awards included Top Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Songs Sales Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Artist and Top Rap Album.
Québécois superstar Céline Dion has been a force since she first opened her mouth as a young lady. Once she hit the English speaking world, the rest is history. Her career has spanned heights other singers only dream about. From multi-platinum albums, the inaugural Las Vegas residency scene in which she sold out night after night during its first five years, a handful of Grammy Awards among countless others, Dion is one of the best-selling artists of all time. In 2016, her world came crashing down and the music world, along with fans worldwide, rallied behind her following the death of her only manager and husband, René Angélil. She lost both her husband and her brother to the same cancer just days apart. Billboard honored her with the ICON Award for her excellence in music. After performing "The Show Must Go On," her son René Charles helped to present the award to Dion bringing her to tears. Dion even left a note in French for family and fans, "Merci à tous les gens qui ont cru en moi. Je vous aime (Thank you to everyone who believed in me. I love you)" before dedicating the award to her late husband.
Following her emotional speech in 2016, the French-Canadian chanteuse returned to the Billboard Music Awards to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of her signature song, "My Heart Will Go On." The song is one of Dion's Billboard hits and she's performed the song routinely since its release. Though she's been known to occasionally lip-sync the song, she gave the audience a stunning live performance dressed the like superstar she is. As always, Dion pulled in the audience with her simple stage presence while clips from "Titanic" played in the background before the crowd rose to their feet for one of the most iconic songs in music history.
Popstar Kesha (formerly Ke$ha) blasted onto mainstream in 2010 and wrote party anthems. Her sound evolved and she then clashed with a record producer on her second album. She then became embroiled in a legal battle with said record producer and was rendered stagnant. In 2016, she appeared on the awards show to perform a cover Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe." Following the performance which gave Kesha the chance to show off who she is vocally, she received a standing ovation after her peers gave her support through her difficult times.