Billboard Music Awards: Drake sweeps past Adele’s record with 13 wins – The Guardian

Drake has surpassed Adele’s record at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, picking up 13 awards.

The Canadian rapper, who walked into the show Sunday with 22 nominations, won top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album (Views), among others, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Adele set a record at the show in 2012 with 12 wins.

“I got my whole family up here,” said Drake, who stood onstage with nearly two dozen people, including his father, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.

Drake was presented with the top artist award by Prince Jackson, the late Michael Jackson’s eldest son. Drake beat out Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Adele, Ariana Grande, the Weeknd, twenty one pilots, Shawn Mendes and the Chainsmokers for the top prize. Of those nominees, only Drake and the Chainsmokers attended the Billboard Awards.

But other big names showed up. Cher, who received the Icon award, sang her dance anthem Believe in a glittery number that included pasties and blonde hair with pink tips. She later changed to a huge, curly black ’do — and wore a black sheer bodysuit and leather jacket for If I Could Turn Back Time. Her performance had the audience on its feet, singing and dancing.

“I wanted to do what I do since I was four years old and I’ve been doing it for 53 years,” said Cher, who turned 71 on Saturday. “And I can do a five-minute plank. Just saying.”

“I think luck has so much to do with my success with a little bit of something thrown in,” she added.

Cher, 71, performa Believe.



Cher, 71, performa Believe. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Korean boy band BTS, which won top social artist, earned one of the night’s loudest ovations. Another highlight was Celine Dion. In a beautiful, Met Gala-ready white gown, she belted out My Heart Will Go On, the Oscar-winning song from Titanic. The film is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. John Legend and Florida Georgia Line also had a shining moment when they sang a duet version of the country duo’s soft hit, H.O.L.Y.

Dan Reynolds of the rock band Imagine Dragons led a moment of silence for Chris Cornell, who died Thursday. He called the Soundgarden and Audioslave singer “a true innovator” and “a legendary performer” — as a large photo of Cornell singing with his eyes closed was displayed behind him.

“We send our respects as well as our love to Chris’ family at this time,” Reynolds said.

Miley Cyrus sang her breezy new single, Malibu, delivering a sound and muted style that marked a departure from the hits that made her a pop star years ago. She was teary eyed at the end of the performance.

“And for the first time in years with pants on,” Noah Cyrus, standing next to father Billy Ray Cyrus, introduced her older sister, who was wearing white shorts and a cowboy hat.

Beyonce and twenty one pilots each won five awards, while the Chainsmokers — who tied Drake with 22 nominations — won four awards, including top Hot 100 song for Closer with Halsey.

“This feels good but it feels so wrong because I love Drake so much,” said Halsey (Drake’s One Dance was also nominated for top Hot 100 song).

Celine Dion



Celine Dion Photograph: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

The Chainsmokers performed Young with Andrew Taggart on vocals and Alex Pall behind the board (they were also backed by a drummer), and Drake performed from the Fountains of Bellagio. Ed Sheeran sang Castle on the Hill from Santiago, Chile, while Bruno Mars performed his silky new single, Versace on the Floor, from Amsterdam.

Other performers include Lorde, Sam Hunt, Halsey, Camila Cabello and Julia Michaels.

At the show, Diddy honoured his former friend and artist Notorious B.I.G, who would have turned 45 on Sunday. Diddy also introduced CJ Wallace, B.I.G’s son, who spoke about his father’s legacy. Then he showed the trailer of the documentary, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story,” which will be available on Apple Music on June 25.

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