Disclaimer: I love music, but dislike music award shows. Though I’d absolutely love to attend a live show, watching award shows on television has never been my idea of a good time. I mean, I don’t even remember the last time I watched even a snippet of an award show. Okay, that’s a lie. I do remember. I wanted to see Britney Spears’ last award performance (not to laugh, I swear), so I looked it up the next day on Youtube. Outside of that slightly embarrassing and uncomfortable moment of time, I have avoided watching an award show like it was the black plague. However, I felt it was my duty in life to at least attempt to start keeping up with them. You know, for the sake of comedy.
Of course, I had planned to start watching awards so I could roast people and make a huge joke out of everything on there. That was precisely my plan when I found out that the Billboard Awards were going to be on tonight. It was so weird because I didn’t even know it was coming on until about twenty minutes beforehand. Did anyone even care about it? This was definitely not how I imagined spending my Sunday night, but hey—what’s life without a little spontaneity, ey? Why not start off doing award recaps by being completely scattered and disorganized? This could only end up being a complete disaster. No big deal.
I apologize in advance for this hot mess express that I’m going to loosely call an article. I’m hopped up on a lot of caffeine and still in shock that I managed to sit through the entire thing. This is going to be extremely casual…like we’re sitting on the couch in our pajamas casual. Casual like a first (and probably last) Tinder date. Yeah, this is going to be bad. I dunno. Get a drink and settle back somewhere cozy. If nothing else, I’ll get to rambling like a fool and you’ll have a better time laughing at me than you would have if you’d actually watched the show yourself. What were you up to while all of this was going on, anyway? Don’t have me do this anymore. Please. Watch it yourself if you want to know what went on. I kid. I kid. Kinda.
Okay, so they open the show with Nicki Minaj…I’m guessing. I had honestly scheduled my tv to automatically switch channels when it came on, but then I turned my tv off and completely forgot about it. It was definitely an, “Oh s@*%!” kind of moment. But since Nicki’s face was the first one I saw once I finally remembered and turned the tv back on, that’s what came first. I’m pretty sure. Just agree with me. Her first song was “No Frauds”, naturally. Any chance to stick it to Remy Ma…yet again. But whatever, no complaints here. I love the song. When it first came out I had it on repeat for a week or something, so I was like, “Okay, cool. I know this.” Great, lovely, wonderful. The only problem was that she had to stop singing/rapping every two seconds because it was full of profanity. If they weren’t bleeping her out for thirty-second strings of time, then she was just standing there saying jack-crap-all…like a mime. I was thinking, “Say something.” You know, they normally have a “clean” radio edit that they can sing for award shows, but this girl was clearly not about that life.
Nicki sang an entire montage of songs with guest appearances/accompaniments by Lil’ Wayne (who I haven’t seen in forever) and Jason Derulo. Overall, I was kind of bored. I don’t know, maybe I’m just crazy and blind, but I wasn’t really feeling her performance. I’m not sure what I wanted her to serve me, but whatever it was, they were fresh out. Some of the dancers were twerking (as though no one has ever done that before). I can already hear Nicki fans all over the world screaming in agony like I just blasphemed, but I’m not obsessed with her like some people are. It was just…alright.
I will give it to her though, her hair was laaaaaaiiid. It was nearly hitting the ground, bone straight and gorgeous. I loved it. Her outfits were okay. All black, form-fitting—very Nicki. As for the dancer’s outfits, some were clad in a radioactive themed, shiny black latex getup. There was some samurai and caveman realness at one point as well. I don’t know…I didn’t get it, but it’s Nicki, so the crowd went nuts for about nine whole minutes.
The Host & Co-Host
Once that was over, Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens popped on the screen. At first I was thinking, “No. No way. These two can’t be the hosts.” I was a bit worried because I thought those two were a really, really weird match. I’ve seen Ludacris host other things and he’s always fine. It was Vanessa that I was concerned about. Granted, my knowledge of her is extremely limited (High School Musical, anyone?). I simply wasn’t sure that they’d actually have the kind of chemistry to carry an entire show.
Right out the gate, Vanessa starts talking about Nicki being her “rap alterego”, to which I was thinking, “Oh God. I need to turn this off.” Well, she starts rapping and throwing her hands in the air like she just didn’t care. It was a little awkward. Then she started doing her best Celine Dion impression, gyrating around trying to be funny. I didn’t laugh. I think that’s actually when I started slowly reaching for my remote to turn it off. However, I really wanted to stick it out and write this ridiculous recap for you guys, so I kept my hands to myself.
At some point, Vanessa mentioned that they had already given out a ton of awards before they started televising the show. She mentioned that Drake had won ten awards so far and was well on track to beating Adele’s record of twelve Billboard awards in one year. When I heard that I knew I would (unfortunately) end up watching the entire show no matter how much it pained me because he’s my celeb husband in my head and I can’t not watch him. Besides his, there were a few other performances I actually wanted to see including Halsey, Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Cher and Celine Dion.
This is just about when I freaked out, scrambled for the remote and turned the television off. There was no way that I was going to be able to watch the entire show—Drake or no Drake. I was bored, uninterested and entirely too fidgety to foresee sitting through it for hours. I never, ever watch tv now, so asking me to sit still was like asking a two year old who had just consumed an entire bag of Skittles with a chaser of apple juice. It just wasn’t a thing.
I’m sorry. I have no clue what The Chainsmokers went up there and even said when they received their award. I mean, for all I know they could have sent a tap-dancing goat up there. I just don’t know. In my mind, all I could do was have someone let me know when the people I wanted to see came on to perform, but I could not and would not watch it in its entirety. I was pretty sure I was totally letting Drake down by not watching, but somehow I had the sneaking suspicion that he’d live.
Eventually, I decided that this was a good time for me to learn how to carry through and finish the things I start. I’m really good at saying, “Hey, let me start this amazing, wonderfully awesome project” before abandoning it about two seconds in. Call it having a short attention span or call it being “downright uncommitted”, but that’s just one annoying little aspect of my personality that I’m sure I’ve had from birth. Anyway, I turned the television back on and was surprised to see that I hadn’t missed anything critical due to the extra long commercial breaks. Next up was a performance of “Crying in the Club” by Camila Cabello. Of course, I had no idea in the world who she was (I don’t listen to Fifth Harmony), but I was slightly interested in watching her performance since it was announced as her first one as a solo artist.
Camila started off in a black, ruffly dress (?). Okay, maybe she was channeling her inner Batman and that thing was a cape. I have no idea what it was she had on, but it was interesting. I truthfully didn’t think it looked horrible. The song began and I was kind of into it. She’s got a cute little Cuban accent that I loved. It started off really slow and her voice was pretty. I was like okay, “Come through, girl I’ve never seen in my entire life.” All of a sudden, she rips her Batman cape off to reveal a shimmery gold dress that I was not quite in love with. The song speeds up and the male dancers prance out with drums and face/body paint. Very tribal.
Overall, I think it was good for being her first performance. I wasn’t in love with the song after the first little bit, but it was okay. There was a lot of dancing and drama from the pyrotechnics, but I wasn’t living, you know? She was trying her hardest to be “sexy” (I think), but I don’t know if anyone was really buying it. At one point, she sort of looked like she was trying to pull moves like Shakira, but it…didn’t look like anything Shakira would do. She did remind me a bit of Selena Gomez, which is a good thing—I adore Selena. I wish the choreography had been a bit better than it was, but this performance kept my attention better than the first ones.
Top Male Artist
After Camila’s debut performance, Kate Beckinsale came out to present the award for Top Male Artist. Of course, Drake won it. And of course, I screamed like a banshee. I was like, “Yasss. Look at him up there looking amazing in his little grey shirt. Snatch those awards, Drizzy.” I want to say that he went up there and thanked people, but I honestly don’t know because I was too busy fantasizing. At least I got the important details, right?
Still dazed by Drake and all his glory, I managed to notice Rita Ora come out to present the next performance. Nominated for a whopping 22 awards, The Chainsmokers were next up to perform, “Young”. In my opinion, the recorded version is ten times more amazing than the performance was (unfortunately). It was a little pitchy in places and rather boring visually. I’m sure winning a ton of awards is probably very tiring, but I wish they had picked a more exciting song to perform. Despite all the smoke and flashing lights, there was very little going on outside of walking around, sitting on the steps and standing on the DJ booth. It’s not the most amped song anyway, but I still think they could have done a little more to keep everyone’s interest.
The following performance was a breath of fresh, lively air after the last sleepy song. It was funny because when they announced Julia and her song, “Issues”, I didn’t know her by name. However, I had listened to a snippet of the song once before and loved it. So when it started playing, I was like, “OMG! That’s that one song!” I had wanted to download it, but had somehow forgotten to. I was glad to be reminded of it, but I was even happier to watch this girl’s performance. This was the point of the show when I started to actually have fun. Once upon a time, artists would perform songs and just kill it, you know? You could always tell that they loved doing what they did and it wasn’t just for show or money—they lived for it and the music meant something to them.
These days, it is so hard to find an artist who even writes their own music. There’s usually a huge emotional disconnect when you sing something you didn’t write and haven’t lived. This girl is a songwriter who has written for many popular artists, so I’m pretty sure she wrote “Issues” as well. It was amazing, you guys. She came out giving me a menswear vibe in a black blazer with a buttoned up, collared white shirt underneath. Her hair was lightly waved and she had neutral makeup on. She looked natural and effortless, yet it still looked polished. I really liked her outfit in conjunction with the band in the back—the whole thing reminded me of a mini symphony. Everything was very dramatic in a “I don’t really care” kind of way. She cared, but she wasn’t trying too hard, you know what I mean?
The performance was dark, angsty, heartfelt—I died. By the end of the song you could tell she had allowed herself to be completely consumed by the song. Her eyes were full of tears and her voice broke at the end, causing her to basically whisper the last line. The background vocals were perfect, she was perfect, the performance was perfect. Out of all of tonight’s performances I would actually rewatch hers because there was so much emotion in her voice. It just brought the song full circle. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
Next, Sara Foster and Mark Cuban came out to announce Ed Sheeran’s performance of “Castle on the Hill” from Santiago, Chile. The first thing that I noticed was that the people in the audience were going crazy for Ed. There were girls bawling their eyes out and screaming their heads off. I mean, I knew he was popular, but I guess I had underestimated the love he gets from his fans. He opened up with a guitar solo and played for a little while before actually singing. Of course, he was his normal, ridiculously talented self.
The moment he opened his mouth the audience went absolutely wild with screaming. I’m honestly surprised half of them didn’t pass out from the frenzy they were in. They were singing along with him the entire time and didn’t miss a word, which I thought was so cool. I’ve heard the song before and it’s probably not something I would listen to on a regular basis, but it’s a very cute and nostalgic song. The performance was good because it’s him and everything he does is amazing. Anytime you can stand on stage with nothing more than yourself, a guitar and a mic you are definitely winning at life—or at least your singing career.
Top Country Song
The next award presentation was done by Rachel Lindsay (from The Bachelorette) and Savvy Shields (Miss America 2017) for Top Country Song. I already knew I wouldn’t be able to even guess who would win because I stopped following country music a long time ago. I’m still over here listening to Shania Twain and Deana Carter circa 1990-something, so newer country is completely outside of my range of familiarity. I know various newer artists by name and listen to a few from time to time, but I’m not well versed overall. The award went to Florida Georgia Line for “H.O.L.Y.”, which they’d go on to perform later in the show.
Now, keep in mind that I don’t really know these people. I know their name and have heard some of their older songs, but I wouldn’t recognize them again if you showed them to me. Well, I got a kick out of their outfits when they came up to receive their award. I’m not sure how they normally dress, but these outfits were…interesting. One guy looked like an absolute wild west train robber with his bandana tied around his neck. I kept waiting for him to shout, “Stick ’em up!” He didn’t do it (of course), but he should have. I would have laughed. Meanwhile, the other guy had a white and black striped suit on (complete with ankle pants). It was kind of reminding me of a pimp or something. Maybe that was his inspiration for the night. No? Eh. Whatever. You’re no fun.
Next came the announcement of Miley Cyrus’ debut performance of her new song, “Malibu”. Who else better to present it than Billy Ray and Noah Cyrus? Is anyone else freaked out by how similar Noah sounds to Miley? I could have seriously closed my eyes and imagined it was Miley talking the entire time—they sound that similar. This was one of the performances I most wanted to see because I love Miley. I love Disney channel Miley, twerking Miley, arts and crafts Miley. She’s just so talented and unique that I can’t help but love everything she does simply because it’s her. I heard “Malibu” before tonight (loved it) and was so excited for her to be back to singing opposed to…whatever she was doing on the last album. It just suits her so much better. Plus she’s back with Liam, so I wanted to see how her rekindled relationship would impact her performance.
Answer: her performance was perfection. It was definitely right there at the top for me, as far as favorite performances of the night go. She came out tan to death with the most darling outfit I’ve seen her in (yes, she was actually clothed tonight). With white shorts, an off the shoulder white shirt, a beige hat and ankle boots, she was definitely giving me Malibu beach dweller vibes. Her voice was on point (as always) and I just love when she’s showcasing her classic Miley-twang. The song is really repetitive, but I like it still. It’s like a sunny southern California day…easy going, carefree and uber dreamy.
And of course, she started crying at the end. I mean, why not? That was actually the theme of tonight’s Billboard Awards, as you will read later on. I know she wrote the song about Liam and I’m sure being on stage to sing it was redeeming for her. I’m sure she was reflecting back on their very public breakup (Remember ‘Wrecking Ball’?), so the song was a bit of a victory cry, imo. I’m sure she once thought that things were over forever between them, and this song is proof that there was still hope when all hope seemed lost. And if you know anything at all about my romantic issues, then you know that I’m just living for their love story at this point. It was yet another emotional, beautiful performance from Miss Miley. Loved it. Love her.
Top Billboard 200 Album
So by this point, I’m totally having a good time. Miley was just too cute with her little song and outfit. Plus, I wasn’t completely bored by Ludacris and Vanessa. I actually started to like Vanessa as a co-host the further along the show went, so that was good. Josh Duhamel came out to present the Top Billboard 200 Album looking quite dashing, if I may say so myself. You go, Fergie! But by the time he announced that Drake had won yet another award, I had completely forgotten about that other guy, so you know…that’s that. Drake’s Views is probably one of my favorite albums of his, so I thought it was only fair that he won. No bias here whatsoever.
Drake got on stage and started talking about a friend of his who hadn’t supported his album that much. He mentioned Vanessa looking good in her dress (boy, bye). Meanwhile, there was Nicki Minaj in the audience saying, “What about me?!” Nothing about you, Nicki. He wasn’t bothered. Instead, he thanked Lil’ Wayne for everything he’d done for him and tried to make nice with Ludacris (I guess they haven’t always gotten along). He gave some love to Nicki as well, who was probably still feeling some type of way about being overshadowed by Vanessa (he still never mentioned her outfit though, lol). At this point, he was tied with Adele’s Billboard record of 12 awards. Only one more and he would hold the record. I was thrilled for him.
Hailee Steinfeld presented Lorde’s performance of “Green Light” next. This was another performance I had really wanted to see. I honestly haven’t followed Lorde’s career much at all. I loved “Royals” when it first came out, but outside of that, I haven’t heard many of her songs. Overall, I think Lorde’s performance was the most unique one of the night. She opened the song by standing in front of a tv monitor and singing her lyrics that scrolled up its screen. The set was decorated just like a booth at a karaoke bar, which was cool. She totally played along with the karaoke theme throughout the entire song, as though she were simply a late 1980s/early 1990s teenager singing karaoke as her friends sat around on the little sofas. She eventually took her denim jacket off to reveal a black mesh bodysuit (black mesh was everywhere at this show).
The song honestly wasn’t my favorite. It gave me an 80s vibe and I can’t say that’s my favorite style of music. It’s possible that I would prefer the studio recording (I still haven’t listened to it). However, I loved the premise of her performance. She was interesting to watch and kept my attention. I think she had fun performing and I got a laugh out of her dancing. It just reminded me of someone singing and dancing around all alone in their room, so it was entertaining to watch. At the end she finally turned around to face the audience. I thought the performance was cool…I liked it.
Billboard Top 100 Song of the Year
The Top 100 Song of the Year went to The Chainsmokers and Halsey for the song, “Closer”. I’m not at all sure what Halsey’s outfit was about (still love her though), but it looked like she had just thrown on a bra, jumped in front of a mirror and was like, “There! Now I’m ready for the Billboard Awards!” The entire show I was thinking, “Where is your shirt? Were you running late? Did the dog eat it? Did you forget to pack it? What’s the tea?” I kept wanting to give her a pass by saying it’s just a shirt fashioned to look like a bra, but no, girl. It was a straight out bra. Like a bra you’d find in your grandma’s drawer.
Anyway, they went up there to get the award and gave a little speech. The guy who did most of the talking said something about “being too high” to remember everyone they wanted to thank, but the network bleeped it out, so don’t quote me on that (even though I read his lips). Halsey was super cute and was saying how even though she was happy to have won, it felt wrong beating Drake. I know, right? How dare you. Just kidding, good for you. I wonder if she’s found her shirt yet.
Next, Vanessa presented Sam Hunt’s performance of “Body Like a Backroad”. I honestly don’t know this guy from a tin can blowing in the street. I’ve heard his name and had previously heard of the song he performed, but that’s it. I’d never heard his music before tonight, so I’m not even sure what his whole deal is. I’m guessing he’s country because it sounded country, but it was like, hood country. Is that even a thing, “hood country”? I feel like it was country mixed with rap beats, I don’t know. I wasn’t feeling it, but he was a cute little guy up there doing his thing—whatever that is. I found it to be kind of boring, but I’m sure people like his music or he wouldn’t have been up there (hopefully).
Happy Birthday, Biggie!
Next up was Sean “Diddy/Puffy/Puff Daddy/Whatever” Combs. What is this guy’s name nowadays? Does anyone even know? Anyway, he comes out with his typical swag and his black wide-brimmed hat tilted off to one side. He starts talking about the Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Records. Apparently, it would have been Biggie’s 45th birthday, so Sean encouraged everyone to stand up and just celebrate it for a moment. They showed some old photos of Biggie along with an old video clip of Sean presenting Biggie’s mother with an award. After that, he announced Biggie’s son, CJ Wallace, who came out and gave a short, but nice little speech.
Once that was over, Sean started talking about his upcoming film, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. I guess it’s supposed to tell the history of Bad Boy Records. It sounded kind of interesting to me because I actually remember way back (I’m so old now *sob*) when Bad Boy Records was at the height of everything. There was so much drama in the hip hop community back then, so it would be fascinating to hear their side of the story, you know? The movie will be out June 25th on Apple Music, for anyone who might wish to check it out. I may watch it myself and do a little review of it if I actually remember to watch it. No promises, but I would like to check it out if I can.
Top Social Artist
Lindsey Stirling and Logan Paul presented this next award. I didn’t really understand the category at first, but I guess it’s supposed to be the artist that fans interact the most with on social media. The K-pop boyband, BTS, snatched this award right up. They were really cute with their similar outfits and haircuts. One of the guys gave a gracious, appreciative speech and that was that. I was just glad that they didn’t all want to say something at the mic because they were six or seven deep. By this time, I was getting a tad bit antsy and was kind of ready for things to be wrapped up. Luckily, they seemed to know better than to allow everyone to speak. And along the show went.
Lea Michele had the honor of presenting Celine Dion’s performance (jealous). Apparently it’s the twentieth anniversary of Titanic. GTFO. To put that into perspective, I was ten years old when I fell in love with that movie. I watched it so many times that I’m genuinely surprised that the VHS tapes didn’t just fall apart (I’ve seen it well over 200 times). And yes, the movie was so long and so epic that it had to be distributed on not one, but two archaic VHS tapes. How’s that for a history lesson, kids? Consider yourself schooled.
Anyhow, Celine sang “My Heart Will Go On” (still one of my favorite songs of all time to butcher) and it was the most epic thing ever. My inner ten year old self was probably screaming and crying like the girls at Ed Sheeran’s performance—I love Celine so much. It was yet another tear jerker (the worst one, imo). Nearly everyone was crying by the end of it—Celine, the audience, me. Vanessa couldn’t even get herself together during the following commercial break. The emotions were real in that place, I’m telling you. But back to the performance.
It started off with Celine standing in the middle of a round platform underneath a gigantic crystal chandelier. She was completely encircled by a crystal curtain, which was later lifted out of the way. Out of everyone, I liked Celine’s outfit the absolute best. So, she wins my title for “Best Dressed” in a landslide. It was a serene white gown with long sleeves and these huge, puffy forms of “marshmallow-esqueness” (made up word alert) around her shoulders. It had a plunging neckline and a few black adornments sweeping across the front. This woman still gives all these newer, younger artists a run for their money. Celine looked flawless, she sounded flawless, she was flawless. She completely slayed the song. Even though her voice is noticeably more mature than her original recording, it sounded amazing. They switched up the vocal styling slightly too, which gave it a modern sound—I simply lived for it.
In fact, everyone did. She looked so beautiful, sang her heart out…those people would not stop applauding once she finished. Her eyes were completely full of tears by the time she was done and I kept thinking, “Ugh! She’s probably up there thinking about poor Rene. How heartbreaking this is!” It was totally worth watching the entire show to see her. She is just such an icon. Best performance of the night. Well, almost. Let’s see if you can guess who she tied with. And NO, it wasn’t Drake.
Thank goodness for that commercial break after Celine’s performance. I had consumed two iced coffees before the show (bad idea) and totally needed a bathroom break. You know, because peeing on yourself isn’t exactly the best idea ever. I think Vanessa truly needed the commercial break, anyway. She seemed to recover quickly though (thanks to her breaking out into another rap). I was sitting there thinking,” Again? Girl. Stop. Just stop.” Fortunately for me, she did.
Imagine Dragons were the followup act to Celine with the song, “Believer”. I actually felt bad for Imagine Dragons though. How the heck were they supposed to come after Celine’s perfect performance? I love Imagine Dragons though, so I was totally into the attempt they made. I loved the song and all of its dramatic pauses. It had this eery, but cool beat (something about it reminded me of some of Fiona Apple’s older stuff) and they kept the energy pretty high. I liked it. It was no “My Heart Will Go On”, BUT I liked it.
Just not as much.
At all. Celine was everything.
Top Country Artist
Nicole Scherzinger and Jussie Smollett presented the award for Top Country Artist. Blake Shelton won it. Of course, he kissed Gwen Stefani when they announced his name. I gagged. I’ve never been the guy’s biggest fan anyway, but I kind of disliked his breakup with Miranda Lambert (I just love her). Something about him getting with Gwen was kind of rushed and weird to me so…you know…whatever for him. But who cares what I think, right? He made a comment on stage about feeling like the luckiest man in the room with Gwen by his side. Eye roll. Gwen was all smiles in the audience though. If she likes it, I love it. Meanwhile, I was still (impatiently) waiting for Drake to perform.
FINALLY I got my wish. I should really be ashamed of myself because I don’t even remember what song it was now. However, Drake’s performance was amazing (as usual) and I loved it. He performed on a platform in the middle of the Bellagio water fountains. Out of all the performances of the night, I think his was the most visually exciting. He was super hyped (probably feeling himself after all of those wins) and was jumping around, having a blast. There were fountains, flames, smoke and fireworks blasting off everywhere—the works. If that wasn’t a celebration of his success, it sure looked like it. I don’t know who that guy was jumping around on stage with him…someone or another. It was quite hard to tell with all the explosions, but something tells me I wasn’t that focused on him anyway.
Halsey came on right after Drake to perform her song, “Now or Never”. I actually love this song and just talked about it in April’s Playlist. I don’t believe that I’ve seen Halsey perform before, but I really do like her music quite a bit. She kind of reminds me of how experimental Pink was at the beginning of her career. Halsey is just a different creature than a lot of other female artists who are out right now and I like that about her. So like I said, I’ve never watched her perform before. That being the case, I don’t know what her typical performances are like. This one was kind of weird for me. Her singing was alright, nothing wrong there. However, I didn’t understand what was going on outside of that.
First of all, I didn’t care for her outfit. BUT she did find a shirt—no more beige granny bra. She had a sheer white scarf tied around her head and some mini suspenders holding up her white mesh pants. To confuse me even more, she was wearing long rhinestoned gloves. Weird. She left the main stage to sing in the middle platform awhile, before returning to the main stage once more.
The whole scene set-up was downright bizarre. There were flowers everywhere and golden picture frames. And let’s not forget that freakish creature looming in the corner with no particular function in life outside of creeping me the heck out. What was that thing?? I dunno. It had a long beak and was dressed in some black robe. I loved the song, but was completely confused by the performance. Maybe I missed something…or a whole lot of somethings.
Billboard Chart Achievement Award
This was the quickest award of the show. Twenty-One Pilots was not able to attend, so they had a pre-recorded video of them accepting the award, which only lasted about two breaths. Done and done.
Olivia Munn presented the John Legend/Florida Georgia Line collab performance. It started off with John on the piano in the dark by himself. The amber-colored pillars of light behind him gave it a dramatic, but pretty mood. Everyone was waving their phones like lighters out in the darkness. I didn’t recognize the song he started off singing, but I’m thinking it was one his.
When he was done singing that song, Florida Georgia Line walked out on stage. The guy with the black and white striped suit had since changed his clothes, but the train robber looking guy was still sporting the same outfit I’d seen him in before. They sang their song, “H.O.L.Y.” with John playing and singing in the background. I actually liked their song better than the one John started with. It would have been nice to see them interact more, but I really enjoyed their performance. It sounded really, really good.
In Memoriam: Chris Cornell
This was the point of the show when Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds came out looking somber AF. I honestly thought he was about to break out into tears (would have fit the trend of the show), but he didn’t. He gave a short, but respectful memorial speech for Soundgardens’ Chris Cornell, who passed away last week. Dan asked for a moment of silence, which the audience observed and that was it. I’m surprised that they didn’t do a little more than they did, but I’m guessing that it was a rather last minute addition since it was such a recent death. RIP, Chris.
Billboard Icon Award/Performance #14
Gwen Stefani took her turn up on the stage to announce Cher as the winner of this year’s Icon Award. By now, Vanessa was dressed up in a Cher costume complete with the little silver headdress. Cher came out and performed two songs before receiving her award: “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time”. Ugh. I could not get over how amazing Cher looked tonight. When I heard that she just turned 71 years old I died. I absolutely died. She wore the skimpiest outfits during both of her performances tonight and had the nerve to be downright sickening in them. I could only hope to be half as thin at her age. Heck, at any age!
During “Believe”, Cher and the women dancers had blonde wigs with pink tips. Cher’s outfit was completely crazy anyway, but the highlight was the glittery pink heart-shaped pasty over her left boob. Epic. It was really hard to hear her singing because the music was turned up so loud, but I think she was lip syncing (at least through the verses). I want to say she sang the chorus (mostly), but I’m not sure. She didn’t really dance all that much, but everyone else (especially Vanessa) was rocking out for her.
My favorite Cher performance was actually “If I Could Turn Back Time”. She busted out her gigantic curly black wig and had the classic moto jacket and bodysuit—iconic. Cher danced a little more during this particular song and I think she sang more as well. I think. She gave an interesting speech at the end in which she thanked her mother, Sonny and some other nameless individuals for always telling her the truth about her potential. She attributed “luck” as being the main key to her success throughout the years, which I found fascinating.
Overall, I’m really glad I got to see her perform again; it’s been awhile. I totally feel as though Celine and Cher owned the show. They are both such legendary artists that I don’t believe anyone else who was present could light a flame to their careers—not yet, anyway. I hate to say it, but I truly am wondering if the days of the true superstars like Cher and Celine are gone.
Next, Bruno Mars performed his song, “Versace on the Floor” in Amsterdam. I personally don’t care for the song, but he was amazing like always. He sang his adorable little heart out. Bruno totally nailed those old school vibes that he is so good at channeling. He was dancing and clearly having a great time.
I honestly wish he’d done “24K Magic” instead (for obvious and biased reasons), but that’s cool. They had this huge Versace Medusa head flashing on the screen with a whole light show. He’s always been a great performer, so this was no exception. By this point, I was genuinely starting to get tired, so I wasn’t paying as much attention as I had been throughout the rest of the show. But I bravely pressed on.
For the final award presentation, Michael Jackson’s eldest son, Prince Michael, came out. I haven’t seen him at an event since all of those kids were young, so it was interesting to see how he’s changed. There were a lot of artists nominated in this category, but you see who won it, don’t you? Drake took the Billboard record of 13 wins in a single year, knocking Adele off her pedestal. And they say the number 13 is unlucky! Of course, I was screaming and fan-girling…just doing the most when he won.
Drake seemed to be taken aback at first, but his jubilation was very apparent once he made it on stage. He brought everyone and their dog up there: Lil Wayne, Nicki, his dad (decked out in a full purple suit) and a ton of other random people that I couldn’t identify if my life depended upon it. Everyone busted out containers of some kind of mysterious beverage. He took a drink, they took a drink, everyone took a drink. Then he said something about toilet paper that they had to completely bleep out. And that was the end of the show.
Whew! I did not think this through when I was sitting there taking all of these specific notes. Seven hours later, I have managed to serve you the most detailed recap of the 2017 Billboard Awards—ever. If you find a more in-depth recap on the Internet, let me know. I’d love to meet the maniac who wrote it. I hope this adequately answers any questions you may have had about what went on tonight. I honestly had fun writing this and in hindsight, I’m glad I watched it. It was a lot more fun (and far less agonizing) than I initially imagined.
There were some really awesome performances that I’m super glad I got to see, as well as some boring ones that I’m sure I’ve already forgotten. If I had to suggest any performances to absolutely go back and check out if you missed it, it’d be Cher, Celine, Miley and Julia. They were definitely the most passionate and emotional performances of the night. Well, that’s a wrap, golden girls. Over and out.