The Billboard Awards were held on Sunday night at the MGM Grand Hotel located in Las Vegas. The most anticipated performance was by Janet Jackson, who also received the Billboard Icon Award. Janet performed all of her greatest hits, including “What have you done for me lately.” It was her first music award performance in more than 10 years.
Hosted by pop star Kelly Clarkson, the award ceremony did not include the typical “comedian” theme. In fact, Kelly started the show recognizing the recent tragedy in Santa Fe Texas, where eight students and two adults lost their lives after a shooter entered the high school. In lieu of a moment of silence, Kelly asked for everyone watching to take action and to love one another.
Soon after Kelly left the stage, The Chainsmokers; Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, along with Halsey, were announced as presenters for the Top Hot 100 Song of 2018. Before presenting the award to winner Luis Fonsi for “Despacito,” Drew took a moment to recognize the passing of music producer and DJ, Avicii. On April 20, 2018, EDM fans were shocked to learn of his death. He was only 28 years old. According to Avicii’s family, the death was the result of suicide. Avicii’s real name is Tim Berling.
Drew stated, “Avicii was an artist who inspired so many in so many ways and meant so much to us and the EDM community.” It’s unclear if any of Avicii’s unreleased music will still reach the music industry. It is currently being decided by the president of his label, Geffen Records.
The Chainsmokers returned to the stage later in the ceremony to accept the award for Top Dance/Electronic. Drew picked up where he left off as a presenter, by continuing to pay tribute to Avicii. They dedicated the first-time award to Avicii and gave recognition for his contribution to the duo deciding to continue with EDM music. In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Drew said, “[Avicii] inspired all of us, influenced our music and influenced pop music in general.”
In April, the Chainsmokers released the fourth single from their current album, “Memories…Do Not Open.” The Chainsmokers have won two American Music Awards and five iHeartMusic Awards. The group recently celebrated over one billion listeners on Spotify.