The Billboard Music Awards (Motto: “Someone has to make the Grammys look cool”) were held in Las Vegas last night, and, as one might expect from an awards show based on a chart system that became irrelevant around the time iTunes was invented, featured the sort of radio-friendly musicians that probably still sell a fair number of CDs, if not to the screaming teenyboppers in attendance.
Chief among these was Taylor Swift, who won eight awards for Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, and Top Streaming Song (Video). Those eight awards officially make Swift the winningest artist in Billboard Music Awards history, her 20 total awards just edging out Garth Brooks, who we always forget is the third biggest-selling artist in American history. (Swift also used the occasion to debut her much-hyped “Bad Blood” music video, which played something like a Sucker Punch sequel as drafted by the assistant manager of the last remaining Blockbuster Video.)
And because he’s obligated never to let Taylor Swift have the last word, Kanye West presumably closed the show with a performance of his new single “All Day,” followed by “Black Skinhead” from his 2013 album Yeezus. We say “presumably” because between the overdone pyrotechnics, loud booing for West’s in-laws Kendall and Kylie Jenner during the intro, and network censoring so extensive some viewers reportedly thought something was wrong with West’s mic, you could barely tell if he was there at all:
Oh, and Sam Smith has apparently moved on from stealing Tom Petty’s schtick to stealing bits from romantic comedies, and something about Zayn. A full list of winners is available on Billboard’s website, if you’re interested.