The first of its kind without a live audience, the 2020 Billboard Music Awards aired Wednesday.
The show honored the
music industry’s most popular and charting musicians, songwriters and albums. Singer and
songwriter Kelly Clarkson hosted the Billboard Music Awards for the second year in a row.
Without the typical dry crowds, the show went faster than usual with the artists’ acceptance speeches being short and less cringy. Pre-recorded segments played during the show, yet the night still felt bland.
Billboard managed to implement reaction YouTubers into the show and add in heavy TikTok promotions. Unfortunately, there were not any memorable pop culture moments that will end up in the history books.
Billie Eilish took home the first award of the night for the Top Billboard 200 Album, for her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” That was not Eilish’s only award; she also took home Top Female Artist and Top New Artist.
Man of the night Post Malone took home nine awards out of his 16 nominations, including the Top Artist Award, beating Billie Eilish, the Jonas Brothers, Khalid and Taylor Swift. Malone also performed at a secret location in Los Angeles, which heightened his performance.
Another winner of the night was Lizzo with the Billboard Song Sales Artist Award. The singer’s powerful speech entailed her appreciation of the Black women before her who used their voices. She emphasized being true to yourself and refusing to be suppressed.
“When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power,” Lizzo said.
Billboard presented the new Billboard Change Maker Award. Killer Mike received the award as the inaugural recipient due to his work outside of music. His speech acknowledged his wife, Shana. Mike also encouraged children to continue their creative endeavors and to express themselves.
The stand-out performances of the night included Doja Cat, who alluded to Broadway with her medley of “Juicy” and “Say So,” and Bad Bunny. Recipient of the Top Latin Artist award, Bad Bunny’s performance of “Yo Perreo Sola” included four people in roller skates and purple tutus.
R&B singer Brandy took the Billboard stage for the first time with her new singles “No Tomorrow” and “Borderline,” along with her nostalgic hit, “Almost Doesn’t Count.”
Cher handed Garth Brooks, the man behind “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” the Icon Award. His performance included a medley of his hits. Brooks thanked God, his wife, Trisha Yearwood, his three daughters and his fans.
Billboard aired more categories live, differing from previous years. The Top Christian Artist Award went to Louisiana native Lauren Daigle.
For the fourth year in a row, BTS received the Billboard Social Artist Award. The band’s performance of its first-ever Hot 100 No. 1 single, “Dynamite,” took place in South Korea.