Drake breaks all-time record for most BBMAs

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Ludacris, and actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens, was an explosive night of must-see, one-of-a-kind musical performances and exclusive television premieres from today’s chart-topping artists. Ludacris and Hudgens brought the fun, and the funny, with their wide variety of talents as they both showed off their comedic chops, singing and dancing skills, and even some rapping from Hudgens. This year’s show aired live on both coasts from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 21st at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on ABC.

Drake surpassed Adele’s previously held (12) all-time record for most Billboard Music Awards in a single night, winning 13 awards including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Tour, Top Rap Album, Top Streaming Song (Audio), Top R&B Song, and Top R&B Collaboration. Beyoncé won five trophies of her own, for Top Female Artist, Top Touring Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Tour, and Top R&B Album. Twenty One Pilots won in five categories – Top Duo/Group, Top Radio Song Artist, Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Song, and Billboard Chart Achievement Award Presented by Xfinity. The Chainsmokers won in four categories – Top Hot 100 Song, Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Collaboration, and Top Dance/Electronic Song. Halsey took home three awards for Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration, and Top Dance/Electronic Song. Also ending the night with three trophies were Kyla (Top Streaming Song (Audio), Top R&B Song, Top R&B Collaboration) and Wizkid (Top Streaming Song (Audio), Top R&B Collaboration, Top R&B Song). They weren’t the only multi-award winners of the night. Desiigner, Juan Gabriel, Justin Timberlake, Kenny Chesney, and Lauren Daigle each took home a pair of trophies.

The show was filled with iconic moments, with performances and celebrations for every generation. Fresh artists like Julia Michaels and Camila Cabello won over fans with performances of their new singles, as did the legends. Giving her first award show performance in 15 years, Cher had the audience on their feet, delivering electrifying renditions of her classic hits “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.” She graciously accepted the ICON Award, presented to her by Gwen Stefani, and gave a powerful speech about her unparalleled career and how she has been able to live out her childhood dream for the past fifty-three years. Cher told the audience, “I have wanted to do what I do since I was four years old, and I’ve been doing this for fifty-three years.” Last year’s ICON Award recipient, Celine Dion, sparkled beneath an elaborate chandelier, belting out her hit single “My Heart Will Go On,” in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Titanic.

Making a very special appearance, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Biggie’s son, Christopher Wallace, on what would have been the 45th birthday of Notorious B.I.G., introduced a clip of the 1997 Billboard Music Awards when Diddy presented Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, with the “Best R&B Album” trophy won by her late son. Following the clip, Diddy unveiled a never-before-seen trailer for his new Apple Music documentary Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story.

Nicki Minaj, having recently just broken Aretha Franklin’s record for female artist with the most Billboard Hot 100 Hits, opened the show with an explosive ten minute performance and was joined on stage by Lil Wayne, David Guetta, and Jason Derulo as she performed a medley of “No Frauds,” “Light My Body Up,” Swalla,” and “Regret In Your Tears.” Later in the evening, against a peaceful ocean background, Miley Cyrus performed her popular new single “Malibu” for the first time to a worldwide television audience.

Perhaps the most unique performance came from the evening’s biggest winner, Drake, who performed live from the middle of the Bellagio fountains, surrounded by the world-famous water displays and equally powerful pyrotechnics. Audiences in the arena, and on the Vegas strip, were mesmerized as he navigated the scene while rapping “Gyalchester” off his new album More Life.

Lorde’s intimate rendition of “Green Light” had the crowd dancing and singing along, while Halsey’s “Now or Never” performance was filled with both flower and fire power. Ed Sheeran delivered a heartfelt rendition of his new song “Castle on the Hill” from a sold-out performance in Santiago, Chile.

Imagine Dragons delivered touching remarks in memory of the late Soundgarden and Audioslave Frontman Chris Cornell, before giving a powerful performance of their new song, “Believer.” Fellow rock artists, and multi-nominees, The Chainsmokers also took to the stage to perform their hit “Young.”

Country music was also well represented throughout the evening, with Sam Hunt giving a stunning performance of “Body Like a Back Road” and Florida Georgia Line being joined by John Legend for a unique melding of their songs “Surefire” and “H.O.L.Y.”

The final performance of the evening came from Bruno Mars, who gave a sultry delivery of his single “Versace on the Floor” from the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.

The musical acts weren’t the only stars taking over the stage at this year’s show. Presenters throughout the broadcast included Kate Beckinsale, Mark Cuban, Noah Cyrus, Alexandra Daddario, DJ Khaled, Josh Duhamel, Ansel Elgort, Sara Foster, G-Eazy, Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Prince Michael Jackson, Rachel Lindsay, Julia Michaels, Lea Michele, Olivia Munn, Rita Ora, Logan Paul, Rachel Platten, Bebe Rexha, Nicole Scherzinger, Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields, Jussie Smollett, Hailee Steinfeld, Lindsey Stirling, and Ashley Tisdale.

See below for a full list of winners.




Top New Artist:


Billboard Chart Achievement Award Presented by Xfinity:

Twenty One Pilots

Top Male Artist:


Top Female Artist:


Top Duo/Group:

**Twenty One Pilots

Top Billboard 200 Artist:


Top Hot 100 Artist:


Top Song Sales Artist:


Top Radio Songs Artist:

Twenty One Pilots

Top Streaming Songs Artist:


Top Social Artist:


Top Touring Artist:


Top R&B Artist:


Top R&B Tour:


Top Rap Artist:


Top Rap Tour:


Top Country Artist:

Blake Shelton

Top Country Tour:

Kenny Chesney

Top Rock Artist:

Twenty One Pilots

Top Rock Tour:


Top Latin Artist:

Juan Gabriel

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:

The Chainsmokers

Top Christian Artist:

Lauren Daigle

Top Gospel Artist:

Kirk Franklin


Top Billboard 200 Album:

Drake “Views”

Top Soundtrack/Cast Album:

“Hamilton: An American Musical”

Top R&B Album:

Beyoncé “Lemonade”

Top Rap Album:

Drake “Views”

Top Country Album:

Chris Stapleton “Traveller”

Top Rock Album:

Metallica “Hardwired…To Self Destruct”

Top Latin Album:

Juan Gabriel “Los Duo 2”

Top Dance/Electronic Album:

Lindsey Stirling “Brave Enough”

Top Christian Album:

Lauren Daigle “How Can It Be”

Top Gospel Album:

Tamela Mann “One Way”


Top Hot 100 Song:

The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey “Closer”

Top Selling Song:

Justin Timberlake “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Top Radio Song:

Justin Timberlake “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Top Streaming Song (Audio):

Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla “One Dance”

Top Streaming Song (Video):

Desiigner “Panda”

Top Collaboration:

The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey “Closer”

Top R&B Song:

Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla “One Dance”

Top R&B Collaboration:

Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla “One Dance”

Top Rap Song:

Desiigner “Panda”

Top Rap Collaboration:

Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane “Black Beatles”

Top Country Song:

Florida Georgia Line “H.O.L.Y.”

Top Country Collaboration:

Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink “Setting The World On Fire”

Top Rock Song:

Twenty One Pilots “Heathens”

Top Latin Song:

Nicky Jam “Hasta El Amanecer”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:

The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey “Closer”

Top Christian Song:

Hillary Scott & The Family “Thy Will”

Top Gospel Song:

Travis Greene “Made A Way”

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.