The Billboard Music Awards is a time for artists alike to pay tribute to fellow music legends, as well as shine for their accomplishments over the year prior.
Finalists for each category are chosen based upon digital sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring, and social engagement. Although the award show took a quick break from 2007-2010, there sure have been some memorable moments over the years. In honor of this year’s 2018 Billboard Music Awards, let’s relive the award show’s top 10 moments over the past decade.
10. Rihanna gets controversial. (2011)
During the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, Rihanna decided to give us a literal performance of her new song “S&M”. That’s right, we’re talking chains, whips, and bondage. Fellow scandalous performer, Brittney Spears, joined Riri on stage with a little pole dance, but we’re not mad about it.
It was like a preview of “50 Shades of Grey” before the movie was even thought of.
9. Adele shows everyone who’s boss. (2012)
Adele definitely did not go home a loser in 2012, as she collected a record-breaking 12 awards. Some of her awards included Top Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Pop Album, and Top Alternative Song. Adele held the record for a few years until Drake out numbered her by one in 2017.
Well done, Queen.
8. Whitney Houston lives on in our hearts. (2012)
Just a few short months after we lost the great Whitney Houston, the singer was honored for her greatness by some of the industry’s best. Artists John Legend and Jordin Sparks sang renditions of “Greatest Love Of All” and “I Will Always Love You”, while Whoopi Goldberg offered some hilarious stories of the late singer. Bobbi Kristina Brown and sister-in-law Pat Houston later took the stage and accepted the Millennium Award on behalf of Whitney.
It’s safe to say there was not a dry eye in the house that night.
7. Prince receives Icon award. (2013)
Toward the end of the night, Prince accepted the well-deserved Icon Award, but in a different way than most. Instead of offering kind words of thanks and gratitude, Prince reminded us why he received the award in the first place, when he performed some of his greatest hits.
Thank you, Prince. You truly are a legend.
6. Miguel opens up the award show with a kick, literally. (2013)
Miguel’s 2013 performance for his single “Adorn” had the ladies screaming, but not for reasons you may think. In an attempt to jump from one platform to the next, Miguel offered a flying kick to the face of one unlucky fan. Not only did he basically break her neck when he landed, but he kept performing as if nothing happened.
The show must go on though, right?
5. Michael Jackson comes back to life, kind of? (2014)
In an attempt to honor the late Michael Jackson, who ever was in charge of the show decided to offer us a Michael Jackson hologram. It sounds like a cool experience, except for the fact that it was far from realistic. For starters, it looked more like an impersonator rather than the man himself. Secondly, the routine put on by the hologram was basically a slap in the face for the King of Pop. The choreography was sloppy and looked like it was tossed together last second.
We’re pretty sure Michael was turning over in his grave that night.
4. Kanye West gets raw. (2015)
It’s no secret that Kanye West is an amazing performer, but this may not be one he’ll want his children to hear. A completely raw and uncensored Kanye took the stage and gave the audience a memorable show at 2015’s awards show. Lucky for those in attendance, they got to hear songs “All Day” and “Black Skinhead” from his new album. For those of us watching from home, the two songs were completely cut from the broadcast for censorship reasons.
But, we expect nothing less from Kanye.
3. Taylor Swift has “Bad Blood”. (2015)
2015’s show was huge for Taylor Swift, as she snagged awards for Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, and the Billboard Chart Achievement Award. Not only was she sweeping the board, but she also dropped the video premiere for her hit song “Bad Blood”, with an unheard verse from Kendrick Lamar.
Get it, girl.
2. Madonna & Stevie Wonder pay tribute to a legend. (2016)
2016 was a rough year for music when we lost of the greatest artists of all time, Prince. During that year’s award show, Madonna paid tribute to the legend by performing her rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Nothing Compares to 2 U”, all while dressed in a purple glitter suit that could have been worn by Prince himself. Later on in the performance, Stevie Wonder accompanied her on stage to offer a duet to the song “Purple Rain”.
What a great way to end an award show.
1. Drake’s sh*tty acceptance speech. (2017)
Last year’s Billboard Award show was a memorable night for Drake, for many reasons. He took home a whopping 13 awards, beating out Adele for the most awards in one night. Then, during one of his many acceptance speeches, he offered possibly one of the best (or worst) quotes we’ve ever heard. “Some one wise once told me: ‘Life is like toilet paper, you’re either on a roll or you’re taking sh*t from some a**holes,” Drake delivered.
That’s actually a pretty nice quote to live by, Drake.
Clearly, the Billboard Music Awards never disapoints and leaves fans buzzing for days, years, and even decades. With that being said, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us!