2018 Billboard Music Awards: Out with the Old in with the New

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2018 Billboard Music Awards: Out with the Old in with the New

Aesha Falcon, Editor

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The annual Billboard Music Awards are held to recognize the biggest names in music along with highly anticipated performances. This year’s Billboard Music Awards was held on Sunday, May 20, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The night was filled with amazing performances as well as honorary awards, but it was also a night to shine light among the modern day situation regarding America’s issues with gun violence and the need for change.

“A Billboard music Award is an honor given by Billboard, a publication and music popularity chart covering the music business.” Unlike other awards, like the Grammys or the Tonys, where the result of the highest recieved votes will be categorized as nominations, the Billboard Music Awards nominees are decided based on album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring, and social engagement.

The awards started off with an emotional yet powerful opening as host, Kelly Clarkson, focuses on the social issue of gun violence within America. As tears emerged from her eyes, the arena fell silent in respect for her words as Clarkson urged viewers for change and action within the country. “The singer opened the show with a tribute to the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at Sante Fe High School in Texas.” Yet as all fell in remembrance of all the lives lost, Clarkson brings the energy of the audience back and introduces the first performance of the night, Ariana Grande with her hit single, “No Tears Left to Cry.” As the night went on, Kelly Clarkson surprised the audience with her opening medley, that brought the crowd to their feet in excitement.

Other performances throughout the night included, Dua Lipa’s “New Rules,” Shawn Mendes with his chart topping single, “In My Blood,” and “Love Lies” collaboration with Khalid and Fifth Harmony’s Normani. John Legend also took part with his release of “A Good Night,” as Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato debut their new powerhouse duet, “Fall In Line.” Though Ed Sheeran was not in Las Vegas and was in the middle of his world tour, he still gave a taped performance in Dublin, Ireland of “Galway Girl.” His on screen performance was followed by performances by Jennifer Lopez with DJ Khaled. “Youth” by Shawn Mendes and Khalid was performed alongside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School choir, which gave a very sentimental and affecting response. Zeed with Maren Morris and Grey preformed their addictive and highly popular single, “The Middle.” Janet Jackson was awarded the famous Icon award that night as well, making her the first African American woman to receive the award, as she also performed her generational hits of “Nasty”, “If”, and “Throb.” Macklemore with Kesha followed as that night’s host, Kelly Clarkson, presented her song “Whole Lotta Woman.” Camila Cabello also revealed her song with Pharrell “Sangria Wine,” along with her own track, “Havana.” Yet throughout the whole night, the arena became its loudest during korean boyband, BTS, debuted their performance of “Fake Love,” also becoming the first-ever Korean act to perform at the ceremony. Allowing the viewers to witness the new change within the American industry of international music icons breaking through. On the other hand, the last performance brought the audience back with a closing performance by Salt-N-Pepa with en Vogue, with their “Shoop/Let’s Talk About Sex/Push it/Whatta Man” medley.

These music award shows are not only to recognize the artist and their natural talents but also demonstrate their overall popularity amongst music listeners everywhere. Some of the most spoken awards given throughout the night included, the Icon award which was recieved by Janet Jackson, who also gave her first TV performance in nine years. The Hot 100 song was recieved by the “Despacito (remix)” with Justin Bieber, Luis Fonsi, and Daddy Yankee while the Top Artist award was recieved by ed Sheeran. The Top Social Artist was given to Korean pop band, BTS, receiving the award a second year in a row. The group is well-known for their active ARMY fanbase, “so it came as a surprise to no one that the group snagged the Top Social Artist Award.” Overall, the night was filled with heartfelt moments to heartfelt shrieks over the audience’s favorite artists.

The only question left is “what does next year’s Billboard Music Awards have in store?”



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