The Weeknd big winners at 2016 Billboard Music Awards

The “2016 Billboard Music Awards,” hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Ludacris, and TV host and international music sensation Ciara, was a must-watch night of show-stopping musical performances and exclusive television premieres from today’s hottest artists.  Ludacris and Ciara’s long-standing friendship was evident as the pair’s hosting chemistry was on full display, creating some of the most buzzworthy moments of the show, which aired live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 22nd at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on ABC. For the first time in Billboard Music Awards history, viewers on the West Coast were able to watch the show live with the rest of the country, allowing fans to interact like never before.

The Weeknd was the night’s big winner, taking home eight awards including Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Album, Top Streaming Song (Audio) and Top R&B Song.  That is the most of any male artist in a single night since the show was revived by ABC in 2011. Adele was also a big winner, taking home five awards including Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Selling Song. Rihanna won the fan voted award of the evening, The “Billboard Chart Achievement Award.” Other nominees for the fan-voted award included Adele, Drake, Little Big Town and The Weeknd. Other multiple winners of the evening included Kirk Franklin (3), Justin Bieber (2), Wiz Khalifa (2), Charlie Puth (2), twenty one pilots (2), Hillsong UNITED (2) and WALK THE MOON (2).

The night provided what are sure to be some of the most memorable music moments of the year, uniting artists and fans with feelings of love, life, and nostalgia.  Britney Spears opened the show with a medley of her most well-known hits and Billboard chart toppers “Work Bitch,” “Womanizer,” “I Love Rock N Roll,” “Breathe On Me,” “Slave For You,” and “Toxic” before accepting the Millennium Award. The evening’s ICON Award winner, Celine Dion, had the crowd on their feet with her powerful performance of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” before delivering an emotional acceptance speech along side son Rene Charles, reflecting on the importance that music has played in her life this past year.

In two of the night’s more poignant moments, Madonna performed a tribute to her late friend, Prince. Questlove begins the tribute by sharing a personal story about the late music legend. Madonna then took the stage to perform “Nothing Compares 2 You” and in a surprise appearance, Stevie Wonder joined Madonna for a moving rendition of “Purple Rain.”  Kesha delivered a heartfelt rendition of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” accompanied by fellow musician Ben Folds on piano.

The exclusive moments didn’t end there.  Adele debuted her highly anticipated music video for her new single “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” on the show tonight, and legendary 80’s female rock band, The Go-Go’s, took the stage to perform their hit “We Got The Beat,” which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The “2016 Billboard Music Awards” had amazing duet performances as well, including Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton taking the stage to sing their new song “Go Ahead and Break My Heart,” and Nick Jonas and Tove Lo singing their steamy new single “Close.”

Women ruled the stage tonight, displaying true girl power. P!nk performed her latest hit “Just Like Fire,” from the upcoming Disney film, “Alice Through The Looking Glass,” Demi Lovato jammed out to her summer smash “Cool For The Summer” and Fifth Harmony took the stage with their top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Work From Home” with Ty Dolla $ign. Ariana Grande performed a remix of her songs “Dangerous Woman” and “Into You,” while Rihanna and Meghan Trainor also performed their fan-favorites “Love on the Brain,” and “No,” respectively.

Lukas Graham delivered a stripped down performance of their song “7 Years” on a satellite stage in the crowd. KIA’s “One To Watch” performance by Troye Sivan was equally powerful, with his hit single “Youth,” and additional performers DNCE, Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber brought the house down with fast paced, energetic performances.

The musical acts weren’t the only stars taking over the stage at this year’s show.  Presenters throughout the broadcast included Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale, Kristen Bell, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, Priyanka Chopra, Laverne Cox, Mark Cuban, DJ Khaled, Ashton Kutcher, JoJo Fletcher, Kathryn Hahn, Lucy Hale, Halsey, Heidi Klum, Mila Kunis, Idina Menzel, Keke Palmer, Thomas Rhett, Rebecca Romijn, Kelly Rowland, Seal, Serayah, Steven Tyler, Lindsey Vonn, Pete Wentz, Wiz Khalifa and Zendaya.

See below for a full list of winners.


Justin Bieber
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd
Top New Artist:
**Fetty Wap
Charlie Puth
Bryson Tiller
Top Male Artist:
**Justin Bieber
Fetty Wap
Ed Sheeran
The Weeknd
Top Female Artist:
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Taylor Swift
Top Duo/Group:
Maroon 5
**One Direction
twenty one pilots
The Rolling Stones
Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Justin Bieber
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd
Top Hot 100 Artist:
Justin Bieber
Fetty Wap
Taylor Swift
**The Weeknd
Top Song Sales Artist:
Justin Bieber
Fetty Wap
**The Weeknd
Top Radio Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber
Ellie Goulding
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift
**The Weeknd
Top Streaming Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber
Fetty Wap
**The Weeknd
Top Social Media Artist:
**Justin Bieber
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Demi Lovato
Taylor Swift
Top Touring Artist:
One Direction
The Rolling Stones
**Taylor Swift
Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Bryson Tiller
**The Weeknd
Top Rap Artist:
Fetty Wap
Wiz Khalifa
Top Country Artist:
Zac Brown Band
**Luke Bryan
Sam Hunt
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Top Rock Artist:
Fall Out Boy
Elle King
**twenty one pilots
X Ambassadors
Top Latin Artist:
Banda Sinaloense MS De Sergio Lizárraga
Juan Gabriel
Nicky Jam
Los Plebes Del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
**Romeo Santos
Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
The Chainsmokers
DJ Snake
**David Guetta
Major Lazer
Top Christian Artist:
Casting Crowns
Lauren Daigle
**Hillsong UNITED
Chris Tomlin
Top Gospel Artist:
Anthony Brown and group therAPy
Tasha Cobbs
**Kirk Franklin
Travis Greene
Marvin Sapp
Top Billboard 200 Album:
**Adele “25”
Justin Bieber “Purpose”
Ed Sheeran “x”
Taylor Swift “1989”
The Weeknd “Beauty Behind The Madness”
Top Soundtrack:
“Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1”
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
“Furious 7”
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1”
**“Pitch Perfect 2”
Top R&B Album
Chris Brown “Royalty”
Rihanna “Anti”
Bryson Tiller “T R A P S O U L”
Tyrese “Black Rose”
**The Weeknd “Beauty Behind The Madness”
Top Rap Album:
Drake “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”
Drake & Future “What A Time To Be Alive”
Dr. Dre “Compton
Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly”
**Meek Mill “Dreams Worth More Than Money”
Top Country Album:
**Chris Stapleton “Traveller”
Luke Bryan “Kill The Lights”
Sam Hunt “Montevallo”
Zac Brown Band “Jekyll + Hyde”
Carrie Underwood “Storyteller”
Top Rock Album:
Alabama Shakes “Sound & Color”
David Bowie “Blackstar”
Coldplay “A Head Full Of Dreams”
Mumford & Sons “Wilder Mind”
**twenty one pilots “Blurryface”
Top Latin Album:
**Juan Gabriel “Los Dúo”
Juan Gabriel “Mis Número 1…40 Aniversario
Maná “Cama Incendiada”
Gerardo Ortiz “Hoy Más Fuerte”
Romeo Santos “Formula, Vol. 2”
Top Dance/Electronic Album
David Guetta “Listen”
Major Lazer “Peace Is The Mission”
ODESZA “In Return”
Skrillex & Diplo “Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü”
**Zedd “True Colors”
Top Christian Album:
**Lauren Daigle “How Can It Be”
Hillsong UNITED “Empires”
Joey + Rory “Hymns That Are Important To Us”
TobyMac “This Is Not A Test”
Chris Tomlin “Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship”
Top Gospel Album:
Anthony Brown & group therAPy “Everyday Jesus”
Tasha Cobbs “One Place Live”
**Kirk Franklin “Losing My Religion”
Jonathan McReynolds “Life Music: Stage Two”
Marvin Sapp “You Shall Live”
Top Hot 100 Song:
Adele “Hello”
Fetty Wap “Trap Queen”
**Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face”
The Weeknd “The Hills”
Top Selling Song:
**Adele “Hello”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
OMI “Cheerleader”
Rachel Platten “Fight Song”
The Weeknd “The Hills”
Top Radio Song:
Adele “Hello”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!”
**WALK THE MOON “Shut Up And Dance”
The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face”
Top Streaming Song (Audio):
Justin Bieber “Sorry”
Justin Bieber “What Do You Mean”
Fetty Wap “Trap Queen”
**The Weeknd “The Hills”
Drake “Hotline Bling”
Top Streaming Song (Video):
Fetty Wap “Trap Queen”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!”
**Silentó “Watch Me”
The Weeknd “The Hills”
Top R&B Song:
Alessia Cara “Here”
Omarion Featuring Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko “Post To Be”
The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face”
The Weeknd “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”
**The Weeknd “The Hills”
Top Rap Song:
Drake “Hotline Bling”
Fetty Wap “Trap Queen”
Fetty Wap “679” feat. Remy Boyz
Silentó “Watch Me”
**Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
Top Country Song:
Sam Hunt “Break Up In A Small Town”
Sam Hunt “Take Your Time”
Little Big Town “Girl Crush”
**Thomas Rhett “Die A Happy Man”
Chris Young “I’m Comin’ Over”
Top Rock Song:
Fall Out Boy “Uma Thurman”
Elle King “Ex’s & Oh’s”
twenty one pilots “Stressed Out”
**WALK THE MOON “Shut Up And Dance”
X Ambassadors “Renegades”
Top Latin Song:
J Balvin “Ginza”
Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes del Rancho “Te Metiste”
**Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias “El Perdón
Maluma “Borro Cassette”
Romeo Santos “Propuesta Indecente”
Top Dance/Electronic Song:
The Chainsmokers ft. ROZES “Roses”
DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge “You Know You Like It”
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack “Hey Mama”
**Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. MØ “Lean On”
Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are Ü Now” with Justin Bieber
Top Christian Song:
**Hillsong UNITED “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
Hillsong UNITED “Touch The Sky”
MercyMe “Flawless”
NEEDTOBREATHE Featuring Gavin DeGraw “Brother”
Chris Tomlin “Good Good Father”
Top Gospel Song:
Anthony Brown & group therAPy “Worth”
Erica Campbell feat. Big Shizz “I Luh God”
**Kirk Franklin “Wanna Be Happy?”
Travis Greene “Intentional”
Brian Courtney Wilson “Worth Fighting For”
Fan Voted Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Little Big Town
The Weeknd

The “2016 Billboard Music Awards” sponsors and partners included Comcast, Kia Motors, Las Vegas, Music Choice, T-Mobile and WestwoodOne.

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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. Email:

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