• Kesa Janes

Recap of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards took place last night on NBC, hosted by Kelly Clarkson for the third consecutive year. Like many things in 2020, it looked a little different.

With no audience, the show was mostly silent, with the exception of a remote that Clarkson used to make audience noises. She joked that she would only use it if she had control of it, because she likes to be in control.

Kelly kicked off the show with a performance of “Higher Love”, with Pentatonix and Sheila E. accompanying. They even had a virtual audience appear towards the end to join in. It doesn’t get more 2020 than that!

It was a big night for artists like Post Malone, and Billie Eilish, who went home with nine awards and two awards, respectively. Billie donned a mask while accepting awards for Top Female Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. She used her time to send a message to her fans encouraging voting, the use of masks, and washing hands.

Posty ended up going home with nine awards total, including the award for Top Artist. He gave a performance from a “secret location” in LA, performing “Circles” and “Tommy Lee” with Tyla Yaweh. While it was a successful night for Post Malone, his audio must have been off while performing, because his mouth was not moving in sync to his lyrics. He also apparently really loves grapes, based on what we heard in one of his acceptance speeches.

The night was full of great performances from Doja Cat, Brandy, SAINt JHN, Swae Lee, Kane Brown, Alicia Keys, and more. There was not a dry eye in the room when John Legend performed “Never Break” for wife Chrissy Teigen, who recently lost their third child following pregnancy complications.

Many artists used their voices to express social justice and change. Lizzo donned a little black dress with the word “VOTE” written all over it while accepting the trophy for “Top Song Sales” Artist. She encouraged her fans to do exactly what the dress said, and asked, “Would I be standing right here if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to be suppressed?”

Demi Lovato belted out her brand new single, “Commander in Chief”, sending a clear message to President Donald Trump with lyrics such as “We're in a state of crisis, people are dying/ While you line your pockets deep/ Commander in Chief/ How does it feel to still be able to breathe?"

Killer Mike accepted the award for “Billboard Change Maker”, presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. While accepting the award, Killer Mike stated, "The kids that are organizing, plotting, strategizing right there on the ground and mobilizing, you are needed more than ever."

For the BBMA’s grand finale, 90’s girl group En Vogue celebrated their 30th anniversary by bringing down the house with their 1992 hit, “Free Your Mind”, with the guitarists and drummer donning sequin face coverings reading “VOTE”.

A complete list of all winners from last night's BBMAs can be found here.

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions, owned by MRC Entertainment, the parent company of Billboard.


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