Last night, the industry gathered in Las Vegas as fans tuned in to watch the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, celebrating those artists who have sometimes crossed multiple milestones within the Billboard charts. The categories were wide-ranging, from the typical Top Female/Male Artist to the not-so-typical Top Social Artist (highlighting the biggest names on Facebook/Twitter/etc. This went to Justin Bieber, the ultimate internet sensation.)
The night’s biggest winner was Adele, although her absence required some tweaking in the show itself, with most of her 12 winning categories being announced pre-broadcast to avoid too many, “on her behalf” moments.
The gold also went several times over to LMFAO for their epidemically huge hit, “Party Rock Anthem.” The duo kicked off the show in expectedly enormous fashion, inviting their usual b-boys to the stage for a dance spectacle. Things only got crazier as the uncle/nephew team (really) moved into, “Sexy and I Know It,” bringing out a hot pink “Party Rock” bear and giant zebra, who joined in with the entire group at the end as everyone took of their pants (really, really.)
The show’s hosts, Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, tried their hands at joining in on the music, creating short, tongue-in-cheek, profanity-laden clips of them as Hip-Hop, Country and Children’s Music stars, respectively. They also took a few moments to recognize The Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb, who had passed away only hours before the show.
The night was heavy with honors for history-making women in the industry, who each hold a staggering list of accomplishments. The first went to Katy Perry, taking home the “Spotlight Awar,” which had only previously been awarded to Michael Jackson. Perry’s open-book policy has put her in the hearts and minds of her fans, one of the biggest being her grandmother, who was her date to the show. “Can’t wait to go do shots with you after this!” she exclaimed. Perry later went on to perform her latest single, “Wide Awake,” while suspended from the ceiling.
Taylor Swift took home “Woman of the Year” after a sizzle of her accomplishments in music and philanthropy (three #1 albums, donations for literacy & disaster relief, 1.6 million attendees to her last tour and the youngest GRAMMY award winner for Album of the Year . . . to name a few.) She accepted the award in her typically gracious and well-spoken nature.
The performances were the cornerstone of the evening, with pyro-heavy numbers like Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” and The Wanted’s “Chasing the Sun” & “Glad You Came.” Rock got a nod with “Burn it Down” by Linkin Park and pop stars like Chris Brown and Usher had elaborate shows, including a full BMX ramp during Brown’s “Turn Up the Music.”
While a celebration of current pop music, the show was heavy with tributes to legends come and gone, including arguably the climax of the show, Jordin Sparks’ performance of “I Will Always Love You” for Whitney Houston. Houston’s sister-in-law and daughter Bobbi Kristina accepted her Millennium Award, thanking the audience for, “showing that much love, because she deserved it.”
Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch also received tribute by way of New Arist of the Year Wiz Khalifa recognizing him as he announced the Best Duo/Group and an even bigger nod from Cee Lo Green, who performed a solid rendition of “Fight For Your Right.” Donna Summer, who passed earlier this week, was honored by Natasha Bedingfield singing a solemn, no-frills, “Last Dance.”
You can see the list of all the winners here. Don’t forget that the Music Unlimited service has a comprehensive tracklist of all of the 2012 Billboard Awards finalists, winners and performers for a limited time in our Premium Channels section.
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