02:05- Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen are the hosts for the award. I love these two. The showed their “cred” by showing us their hip-hop video. Julie makes a superb video ho 😉 Ty has it down… yo. They then went into a country track with a series of Billboard beeps
02:10- Julianne Hough presents the Social Artist of the Year. The award goes to Justin Bieber. “Thank you. First of all I just want to say how much of a blessing it has been. The past three or four years growing up in front of everyone. The Internet is where it started for me and I want to thank all my fans. Thank you so much to my mom, my dad and to God. Thank you so much, fans I love you, everybody”.
02:19- A short tribute to Robin Gibb, who lost his battle to cancer earlier.
02:20- Katy Perry gets the Spotlight Award, which was presented by Lisa Marie Presley. In addition to thanking her record label EMI for their ongoing support, Perry said, “The people that have the power, so I want to say thank you to the glittering and gorgeous fans out there. Thank you my ‘Kitty Kats’. I want to say one last thing. The real rockstar here is my grandmother. She’s 91 and she’s from Las Vegas, I can’t wait to go and do shots with you after this.”
02:24- Kelly Clarkson debuts her new song “Dark Side”. She’s looking gorgeous in her red dress.
02:32- The Wanted take to the stage. They’re performing their track Chasing the Sun.
02:38- Miley Cyrus presents the Best New Artist Award to Wiz Khalifa. He scored four top ten hits on Billboard last year. Here’s what he had to say, “I got to thank God first. God is amazing. I also want to thank my mom first, my dad, everyone who lets me do this. I’m up here shaking man. Atlantic for letting me do what I do. All the DJs. My beautiful fiancé because she’s my world. Everyone for supporting me. Thank y’all”.
02:44- Brandy introduces “her boy” Chris Brown. He is lip syncing and very badly if you ask me, but his dance moves make up for it I guess.
02:49. Natasha Bedingfield is up to show homage to the late great Donna Summer. The tribute was very short and in my opinion lame. They cut to a “coming up” clip. I know this is live TV and time is short, but wow they could’ve done a lot more to honour the Queen of Disco.
02:55- Time to look back at 22-year-old Taylor Swift’s very successful year (well and career). She is Billboard’s Woman of the Year. On accepting the award from Zooey Deschanel “That was so nice. The first time I ever saw my song on the Billboard chart I was 16. That seems like forever ago. Thank you to everyone. I’m so humbled by this. Thank you for Chris Chrisopherson and Zooey Deschanel for coming out. Thank you to the fans.”
03:00- The Far East Movement introduce the legend that is Usher. He’s performing his new track Scream.
03:12- Jason Derulo is up now Hot 100. He presents the Billboard Hot 100 Song of the Year to LMFAO for their song “Party Rocker Anthem”. On their win the twosome said, “This is amazing. This is a dream come true. We want to thank Ian Fletcher our manager. Q, Sky Blue baby. Jimmy. Will.i.am, the DJs. Dance music is back baby”. What would the awards be if the two didn’t thank each other, “I want to say thank you to you man. I love you man. And the fans. If you believe in yourself no matter what they say. You can do what you love.”
03:15- Ty Burrell has been inoculated for “Bieber Fever“. That’s right it’s time for Bieber to perform his track ‘Boyfriend’. The sound is crap, he sounded crap… The performance was cool. His performance was followed by Carly Rae Jepson, also out of Canada.
03:30- The virtual versions of Ty and Julie went on a tour of Vegas. They visited Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, the spa, Caesar’s Palace, The Venetian, the Four Seasons and other places in the city. Fun times and Sophia Vegara’s viritual double made an appearance too.
03:31- Wiz Khalifa presents the award for Top Duo or Group. Before presenting the award, he wanted to thank the Beastie Boys. LMFAO wins this one too. ”
Yeah. I love this. I love everybody here. I love everyone who loves music man. It’s like you think of what you want. We used to dream about this moment. We had an Easter egg trophy and we were like thank you for this. I just really want to thank the Party Rock crew. You guys are all amazing. Sky Blue, be be you. We Love you.”
03:35- Carrie Underwood is up on stage now to perform her track Blown Away. Looking regal and beautiful in red, like her fellow American Idol friend Kelly Clarkson.
03:43- Gladys Knight is up to present the Male of the Year. The award goes to Lil Wayne. He couldn’t be there apparently so she accepted on his behalf. Swizz Beatz welcomes to the stage Linkin Park. It has been a while since we’ve seen the rockers on a stage like this. Their new album drops soon and I predict it’s going to be a winner. There are rumours doing the rounds that they’ll be in SA in the not too distant future, let’s wait and see.
03:55-Eric Bennett and Monica present the award for Best R&B to Chris Brown. Bennett obviously had to use the platform to promote his new album. Is that the only way people will actually know about it? Nobody cares dude, so sit down! Brown was stoked and grateful to all in Team Breezy. His speech was then followed by a performance by the lovely Katy Perry
04:05- Whoopi Goldberg is hear. “Like so many people around the world, I adored Whitney Houston”. She remembers meeting Whitney at the Nelson Mandela tribute concert in London. John Legend and Jordin Sparks are up to sing for Whitney. He’s leading the tribute with a beautiful rendition of “The Greatest Love of All”. Fantastic. Jordin Sparks is now singing “I will always love you”. Superb performance from Jordin, really fantastic!
Whoopi passes on the award to Bobbi Kristina and the rest of the Whitney family. “This is truly an honour. We thank you for honouring Whitney. We thank you Billboard, Jordin, John. Tonight the one person who should be accepting this award is the one Whitney loved most. Her daughter Bobbi.”
Bobbi Kristina said, “I just really want to say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all. Not just through the hard but the good too. I’m just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman’s life. I thank you all so much”.
04:21- Cee Lo Green is up now. There’s a soldier dancing around with his crouches. His leg has been amputated but damn that isn’t stopping him from breaking it down. They’re performing “Fight for your right to party” in honour of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys fame. Now this is what I’m talking about. Does it take two amazingly talented fallen stars to pass on in order to have performances like this?
04:27- Taio Cruz presents the award to the Battle of the Bands winner. He’s wearing his sunglasses indoors, what a chop. Anyway. I don’t know who Patent Pending is, but they’re rocking the stage.
04:36- Gavin Degraw introduces my girl Nelly Furtado, who is performing her new track “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better). It’s love. I love her and the native Indian American influence! I’m happy now!
04:46- Alicia Keys up. She says, “I am here tonight to say thank you Stevie. Thank you for bringing us joy. Thank you for bringing us so much soul. I’m here tonight to honour Stevie Wonder with the Icon of the Year award.”
The icon takes to the stage to perform alongside Alicia. He says, “Didn’t she sound incredible? Alicia Keys. Alicia love, lets keep it real. My birthday was last Sunday. I want you to give me a birthday gift. I want you to sing me Empire State of Mind a Capella,” which she does.
He then accepts the award. “I wanted to say to all of you. Alicia, everyone in the audience. Every single person this award belongs to you and to the Almighty God. We’re in a place where we have to commit ourselves to one thing and that is to love. Love will always prevail over hate and peace over war. We have approximately 7 billion people around the world and I would like you to put your best life forward. We can change the world by being as one. Please”
The 2012 Billboard Award nominees list is out and leading the pack are the ever-great Adele, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and then Lil Wayne. The awards take place tonight (20 May) in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. I’ll be up in the early hours of Monday morning watching the awards live from my couch. The show can be seen on Channel O, DStv channel 320 from 2AM. Do join me… For now, find below the full list of nominees: