Like many other awards shows, the three-hour Billboard Awards served more as a promotional vehicle for today’s top pop stars than a trophy presentation. The show was packed with performances — a piano-levitating Cee Lo Green, a scantily clad Rihanna on S&M joined by Britney Spears, a much-bleeped Lil Wayne with Mary J Blige, and Neil Diamond leading the audience in a sing-a-long to Sweet Caroline and America.

Among Rihanna’s wins were for radio artiste of the year and top female artiste.

Swift won the evening’s first award, as top album artiste, behind the multimillion sales for Speak Now. She also won top country artiste.

“The impact of an album is all determined by the fans,” she told the audience when she picked up her first. “You’ve just given me another reason to be completely in love with you.”Other award winners included Justin Bieber, Lady Antbellum and the Black Eyed Peas.

Beyoncé received a special Millennium Award for her career achievements: The 29-year-old phenomenon was lauded in a video by an array of legends and luminaries, including Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Bono, Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama.

“This is a moment I have to soak in because it’s gonna be — and it is — one of the best moments of my life,” said Beyoncé after getting the award from her mother, Tina Knowles. Beyoncé also performed her new song, Run The World (Girls).

U2 was also honoured for their blockbuster 360 Tour as the top touring act of 2010, while Diamond received Billboard’s Icon Award.

“I would have settled for a top 10 record,” he quipped. “I don’t know what it means exactly to be an icon. I’ve always wanted to be one and I guess now I am.”

This year marks the Billboard Awards’ rebirth. The Billboard Awards had been a staple since 1989, but gave out what appeared to be its last award in 2006.

It was held in Las Vegas, broadcast live on ABC and hosted by The Hangover 2 star Ken Jeong.

The Billboard Music Awards are given out to music’s most popular artistes. The finalists and winners are determined by their rank on the Billboard charts and their “social and streaming activity”.

SOURCE: jamaica observer

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