‘Billboard’ Music Awards: Drake, Ye win big

Rich Polk/NBC

The Billboard Music Awards returned Sunday night, hosted by Diddy, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Diddy got the crowd hyped with a short introduction before handing over the reins to Bryson Tiller for “She Don’t Want It,” followed by Jack Harlow and his chart-topper “First Class,” before closing out the opening act with his verse from the ‘90s hit “Mo Money Mo Problems” with an assist from his son Christian Combs and Teyana Taylor.

Although their wins weren’t televised, Ye and Drake were big winners of the night. Ye earned six awards, all in the Christian and Gospel categories for Top Artist, Top Album for Donda, and Top Song, for “Hurricane.” Drake secured five awards, including Top Artist and Top Rap Album.

During the three-hour televised ceremony, Janet Jackson presented Mary J. Blige the Billboard Icon Award.  “The message in my music has always been that we are not alone in our struggles. And I’m not alone now,” Blige said. “For so long, I was searching for a real love, but I finally found my real love. And that real love is me.”

When it came to performances, Latto sparkled on stage with her hit “Big Energy,” and Megan Thee Stallion, who took home the award for Top Rap Female Artist, performed her songs “Plan B” and “Sweetest Pie.”

Also hitting the stage, in his first awards show appearance since the Astrowold Festival tragedy, Travis Scott performed “MAFIA” and “Lost Forever.”  The legendary Maxwell serenaded the audience with “The Lady in My Life,” and closing out the show was Burna Boy with an energetic production of his songs “Last Last” and “Kilometre.”

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