The highs and lows of the 2016 Billboard Music Awards
Teary tribute to the Purple One and pop star's sexy comeback were highlights of the 2016 Billboard Music Awards
Tears flowed and emotions were high at the 2016 Billboard Music Awardsin Las Vegas on Sunday night (yesterday afternoon, Singapore time).
While the event was full of triumphant returns and tender tributes, it had its share of head-scratching moments too.
OOH, BRITNEY SPEARS DID IT AGAIN
The US pop superstar and recipient of the first accolade of the night, the Millennium Award, kicked off the three-hour show with a fantastic and energetic medley of her greatest hits spanning 15 years, including I'm A Slave 4 You, Toxic, I Love Rock 'N' Roll and Womanizer.
Decked out in a sexy red jewel-encrusted bra and undies, Spears gave us so many "woah!" moments, from riding on a giant guitar to gyrating around a stripper pole. Looks like her current Las Vegas residency show - which has garnered rave reviews from both fans and critics - has transformed her into a polished, confident performer.
We hope the younger artists were paying attention. THIS is how you slay an opening set.
STANDING UP FOR KESHA
The US singer, who is embroiled in a legal battle with her producer Dr Luke, received a standing ovation after her soulful, powerful cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe.
It was her first televised performance since October 2014, and what made this appearance especially anticipated is that it almost didn't happen.
Last Tuesday, Dr Luke's label, Kemosabe Records, rescinded its approval to allow her to perform, resulting in flak from Kesha's fans and fellow celebrities. The label restored its approval a couple of days later.
CELINE DION MADE US CRY
Veteran powerhouse Celine Dion delivered a tear-jerker of an acceptance speech when she received the night's highest honour - the Icon Award - from her eldest son Rene-Charles, 15.
Dion, who also has five-year-old twin boys Nelson and Eddy with her late husband Rene Angelil, broke down uncontrollably at the surprise sight of Rene-Charles on stage.
"I'm sorry for crying. I want to be so strong for my family and kids," she told the audience.
She turned to her son: "I don't want to cry in front of you."
Just minutes before, Dion brought the house down with an amazing rendition of Queen's The Show Must Go On, her husband's favourite song. It was her first public performance since Angelil's death.
She said she knows Angelil, who died in January after a lengthy battle with throat cancer, "will continue to watch over me from up above".
A TRIBUTE FIT FOR A PRINCE
There have been many celebrity music tributes to US singer Prince, who died last month at the age of 57.
But compatriots Madonna and Stevie Wonder offered one of the best.
Before Madonna launched into a moving, sombre version of Nothing Compares 2 U, guest presenter The Roots' Questlovespoke about how the legendary singer's death was "an earthquake".
Prince's sensual voice ("Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life"), sampled from the intro of his smash hit Let's Go Crazy, then reverberated throughout the arena, instantly sending the crowd into a tizzy.
The audience also joined Madonna and Wonder in a massive singalong of Purple Rain, as they waved glowing purple bracelets in the air.
WE'RE GETTING TIRED OF PINK'S HIGH-FLYING ANTICS
We know Pink is a gutsy gal who's not afraid of heights, as evidenced by the aerial acrobatics in her 2014 Grammys performance.
Indeed, since 2010, she has been showing off her skills in aerial acrobatics, doing daredevil stunts on stage during her concert tours.
And she did it again at Sunday's show.
Singing her new track Just Like Fire, the US singer swung high above the crowd on a gilded harness. She ended her number suspended in mid-air as flames formed a circle around a gigantic clock in the background.
While we appreciate her gung-ho attitude, this shtick is getting stale. Can we, for once, see her perform with two feet firmly on the ground?
GWEN STEFANI CAN'T DO COUNTRY
US couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani dueted on new country song Go Ahead And Break My Heart.
The country singer and the pop star, who announced they were dating last November, behaved like love-struck teenagers and locked eyes throughout the entire four-minute song.
Unfortunately, Stefani can't pull off country music. Her voice just isn't made for the genre, and worse, the song made her sound flat and nasal.
Shelton, we know you love her, but please don't make her sing with you any more.
Main list of winners at 2016 Billboard Music Awards
- Top Artist: Adele
- Billboard Chart Achievement Award: Rihanna
- Top Billboard 200 Album: 25 by Adele
- Top Male Artist: Justin Bieber
- Top Female Artist: Adele
- Top Hot 100 Song: See You Again by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
- Top Hot 100 Artist: The Weeknd
- Top R&B Song: The Hills by The Weeknd
- Top Duo/Group: One Direction
- Top Social Media Artist: Justin Bieber
- Top Touring Artist: Taylor Swift
- Top R&B Artist: The Weeknd
- Top Rap Artist: Drake
- Top Country Artist: Luke Bryan
- Top Rock Artist: Twenty One Pilots
- Top Dance/Electronic Artist: David Guetta
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