Taylor Swift tops winners at Billboard Music Awards
Ellie Iorizzo, LA Correspondent
US pop star Taylor Swift was a big winner at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, taking home 10 awards including top artist.
The awards show was broadcast with a new format, being streamed online with interviews from music stars and pre-recorded performances filmed in different locations, including Mariah Carey with a rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Swift was the second biggest winner on the night, collecting 10 prizes which included best female artist and top selling song for hit track Anti-Hero.
“Well this is unreal,” the singer-songwriter said in a pre-recorded video message.
“The fact that you guys have given me 10 Billboard awards, I am talking to the fans specifically, none of this happens without you.
“Billboard bases everything off of what you are listening too and what you’re passionate about and I’m so honoured that this year you made The Eras Tour so magical, you went and saw the movie, you cared about my re-recordings.”
She added: “I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have you in my corner and caring about music that I make, so thank you… thank you 10 million times for this.”
It comes after Swift had to postpone her Saturday night show in Rio de Janeiro due to “extreme temperatures” which followed the death of a 23-year-old fan after attending her Friday night show in Brazil.
US country music star Morgan Wallen, who performed on the night, was the biggest winner of the awards show taking home 11 prizes – including best male artist and best country male artist.
One Thing At A Time won top Billboard 200 album and best country album, while his song Last Night took home best Hot 100 song, top streaming song and best country song.
“Last awards show I went too we came home empty-handed and this one I don’t have enough hands for them all,” Wallen said.
US rapper Drake won five awards as he was named top rap artist, male artist and touring artist, as well as taking home best rap song with Rich Flex and top rap album for Her Loss with 21 Savage – who went on to win best collaboration for Creepin’ with Metro Boomin and The Weeknd.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, was also named best R&B male artist.
US singer-songwriter SZA won four awards including best R&B artist and R&B female artist, while SOS won best R&B album and top R&B song went to her 2022 track Kill Bill.
And global megastar Beyonce won three awards, taking home best R&B touring artist, top dance/electronic artist and best dance/electronic album for Renaissance.
It comes a week before the debut of the documentary chronicling her world tour named Renaissance: A Film By Beyonce, which follows in the footsteps of Swift and The Eras Tour film.
Performances featured a water-filled stage production from Karol G, who won two awards including best Latin female artist, and Bebe Rexha who won best dance/electronic song for her track I’m Good (Blue) with David Guetta.
On stage, Rexha said: “We did it in 2017, we didn’t think it would become such a worldwide anthem, we wanted to just flip a fun song from back in the day and just make it feel good and we couldn’t believe how far the song has gone, 52 weeks at number one.”
After her performance, Carey was presented with the chart achievement award for All I Want For Christmas Is You from her children, saying “even though I don’t acknowledge time, I kind of have to admit that some of my most memorable times in my career are connected to Billboard and the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs)”.
She joked: “This award is particularly special to me because the song itself changed my entire life.
“When I first sat down to write All I Want For Christmas Is You, I never could have imagined I’d be standing here three months later accepting this special award for it.”
Meanwhile Mexican music star Peso Pluma performed his track Rubicon on stage which featured an appearance from former boxer Mike Tyson.
The awards show also saw Miley Cyrus win three prizes for her hit track Flowers, taking home top radio song, top Billboard global 200 song and top billboard global (excluding the US) song.
British band Arctic Monkeys won top rock duo/group, while top rock touring artist went to Coldplay – who sent their thanks in a video message while on tour in Indonesia.
Barbie: The Album took home best soundtrack after its release earlier this year.
British music producer Mark Ronson said in a pre-recorded video message: “It was such an honour to work on this project, it was basically a dream job working with Greta Gerwig and some of the greatest artists and songwriters around and maybe even more exciting was seeing how the fans took the music to heart going to see the movie in the theatres and watching people singing along.
“It was such an incredible thing the way the music and the film just became this wonderful thing together.”
US star Nicki Minaj was named best rap female artist, while best Afrobeats artist went to Burna Boy, who dedicated his award “to Africa”.
Kanye West was named top gospel artist, girl group Blackpink were named the top K-pop touring artist of the year and Jungkook of BTS won best global K-pop song with Seven.
“It is truly an honour, it is very hard to express my gratitude in words,” he said in a pre-recorded video message.
Nominees are determined by Billboard chart rankings and winners are selected based on several criteria, including their album and digital song sales, airplay and streaming success and touring.