The fairly new T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas hosted the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday and man were there some moments to reflect on! Here is what people are talking about, just in case you missed one of the best award nights in music.
The biggest achievement went to recording artist Drake this year, after breaking Adele’s previous 12 Billboard awards in a single sitting with a record breaking 13 awards (including the nights Top Artist Award.)
Drake was also pinned against other Canadian musicians, The Weekend and Justin Bieber for Top Male Artist, who were both a no show to the event. Wonder why? Ha. We’ll leave it at that.
Drake also performed his hot single "Gyalchester" in the fountain at the Bellagio Resort, something that was almost as iconic as the fountains are to the Vegas Strip.
Leave it to Drake to try and swoon the awards co-host, Vanessa Hudgens, by complementing her stunning look during his “Views” win for the Top 200 album. Hudgens jokingly confirmed an invite to Drake's after party the next time she hit the stage to present, playing into his previous flirty comment.
TBH: We want more award hosts like Hudgens.
We’re not sure if Hudgens is just a really good actress or if she’s the real deal (probably both we’d say.) But either way, we think she’s just the right amount of energy it takes to be a successful host.
People can often grow impatient with award show hosts – just take the last MTV Movie and TV Awards hosted by Adam DeVine – who tried way too hard to get a laugh. Seriously, way too hard.
Even with Hudgens momentarily singing Cher and rapping Minaj on the mic, she kept the crowd as interested as they could be between sets and awards. Just take a look at those seven wardrobe looks too, perfect for a fresh host:
Do you ‘Believe’ in the Cher?
What a way to celebrate a 71st birthday, just one day after an age milestone Cher finds herself performing some of her hit singles and receiving the Billboard Icon Award. The award couldn't have been more suiting, considering Cher’s been doing “this gig” for 53 years, as she would say.
Blonde wigs, pasties, jewels and all, believe it or not, Cher made the stage her bitch that night. Though, she did receive minor criticisms on social media shortly after as “the ultimate lip sync icon”, in contrary, many people flocked to her defense because of her established authenticity as an artist.
It is a given that as musicians progress in age, their bodies must adapt to the everso demanding schedule of performing and touring. Cher made note that she could hold a five minute plank during her acceptance speech, something you can’t doubt after seeing her work the stage.
In spite of the lip-sync remarks, for the most part, it looked more as if Cher was harmonizing along with the track in the background and then emphasizing her voice were needed for the verses to help blend the transitions.
This doesn’t make her any different than some of the other musician’s tactics during the same night:
Take the rap queen of collaboration, Nicki Minaj, who often sings with a track in the background during long performances—something that has become the norm on stage for many artists.
That’s not to discredit Minaj at all, who took home the Chart Achievement Award, recently passing up Aretha Franklin record for most hits in the Billboards Top
A rare appearance: Biggies Son
Sean “Diddy” Combs hit the stage to wish rapper Notorious B.I.G. — Biggie Smalls — a.k.a. Christopher Wallace, a happy 45th birthday. Diddy introduced the 20-year-old rapper protégé, Christopher Jordan Wallace, who is Biggie Smalls son.
Celebrating Country and Collaboration
John Legend, who is rightfully on his way to becoming a legend of his own, collaborated with Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line on stage. They performed a mashup of their 2017 Billboard Top Country Song “H.O.L.Y.” and Legend’s “Surefire.”
Miley Cyrus also hit the stage in a folky rendition of her new spring single, “Malibu” which hit the top 10 of the Billboard charts in its first week. Cyrus’ acoustic performance felt authentic and somewhat emotional by the songs end. We look forward to hearing Cyrus’ new sound, one with a true California grit that is currently lacking in mainstream music.
Remembering Chris Cornell
At the age of 52, Chris Cornell passed away just days before the award show; his funeral is to be held on May 26th in LA.
Dan Reynolds, a member of the group Imagine Dragons paid tribute to Cornell:
“Cornell was a true innovator, a musical architect and a pioneer on the cutting edge of the Seattle grunge movement," Reynolds said. "He was a prolific songwriter, a legendary performer, a singer who had a voice for the ages…”
Reynolds asked for a brief moment of silence to honor Cornell, a moment that transcended the Billboard stage. May Cornell’s memory continue to live on through the music.
Celine Dion's more than steals our hearts for the evening.
It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since “Titanic” hit the big screens. In celebration of the anniversary, Celine Dion flawlessly belted out "My Heart Will Go On" alongside with scenes from the film playing in the background.
It was a heartfelt performance by the singer, who recently lost her husband René Angélil to cancer just last year.
Celine looked like an angel on stage. There she stood under a glistening chandelier —one that looked like it came directly from the Chandelier Bar at the local Cosmopolitan Hotel— she glowed there in an all-white, puffy sleeved couture dress by designer Stephan Rolland.
If there was anything to learn from the 2017 Billboard Awards, is that all varieties of music genres can serve as a way to connect individuals and their feelings to others who have faced similar life situations. Without the support, the admiration and the love, the Billboard Awards wouldn’t even be a thing.
Full list of 2017 winners can be found here.
Photography Courtesy of Getty Images and Billboard
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a freelance fashion writer, poet,
photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.