The Billboard Music Awards took place Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Kelly Clarkson played host, with Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar leading the way with 15 nominations each. Sheeran took home the top artist prize.
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in Texas and Florida, while the night also featured show-stopping performances by iconic singer Janet Jackson and K-pop group BTS.
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A tearful and emotional Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the awards, opened the show in honor of the 10 people who died Friday at Santa Fe High School, barely able to speak as she urged the audience and the world to do more to prevent deadly shootings from happening. She said she was asked to hold a moment of silence, but chose instead to call for “a moment of action.”
“Once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died ... I’m so sick of moment of silences ... it’s not working,” she said Sunday, almost in tears. “Mommies and daddies should be able to send their kids to school.”
Our hearts go out to all the victims in the Santa Fe community and their families. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7ejLAd8nKk— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 21, 2018
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards featured performances from Janet Jackson, who accepted the 2018 Billboard Music Awards ICON Award and performed for the first time on television in nine years, as well as BTS, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran with collaborations from Christina Aguilera featuring Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Pharrell Williams, Khalid & Normani, Jennifer Lopez featuring DJ Khaled, Macklemore and Kesha, Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue, Shawn Mendes & Khalid and Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.
After rocking the stage with her incredible performance, @JanetJackson accepts the 2018 #BBMAs Icon Award! #ICON_JANET pic.twitter.com/S7nDbrGJQI— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 21, 2018
Jackson rocked the Billboard Awards with an energetic and powerful performance of her past hits in an epic week that included her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking “janet.” album.
In a glittery gold sweater-dress and thigh-high boots, Jackson sang “Nasty,” ″If” and “Throb” as audience members such as Ciara and Tyra Banks danced along at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Women have made it clear that we no longer will be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind,” she said onstage.
Taylor Swift won top female artist and top selling album for “reputation.”
She said that before she created “reputation” she “felt really misunderstood by a lot of people.”
“Thank you for making me feel understood again,” Swift said to her fans.
Salt-N-Pepa closed the show with high-energy, performing the hits “Push It” and “Whatta Man” alongside R&B group En Vogue and even Clarkson.