GRAPHIC BY CAROL LI
By CAROL LI
The Billboard awards are everything fans want: live performances, shiny trophies establishing recognition and many favorite artists all in one place. What more could they ask for?
The annual Billboard Music awards by the American entertainment media Billboard, features numerous categories of awards that artists may compete in depending on their style and music. In some categories, such as Billboard Chart Achievement, fans are even able to vote for the winner.
On May 1, 2019, the awards show was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. With captivating performances by top artists like Taylor Swift and BTS, the billboard music awards should appeal and draw many viewers in; However, this year’s viewing records dropped to an all time low. Despite this, the show should be given more attention due to its significance, recognition and opportunities it gives to artists.
At the start of the show, singers Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie brought a confetti filled performance of their new single“Me!” The song celebrates being an individual, and accepting the unique characteristics of oneself. The song provides a perfect example to Swift’s fanbase, especially to young girls who are bombarded with the stereotypes set in magazines and movies. Applicable in many aspects of life, the song’s positive message indicates to fans be embrace who they are, no matter what.
Swift was followed by singer Kelly Clarkson, who has been hosting the show for two consecutive years. The “American Idol” star appeared on stage to perform multiple record-breaking songs from a variety of artists, including “Meant to Be,” “East Side, “Boo’d Up,” and “Girls Like You.” Overall, Clarkson performances was a great way to lift the audience’s spirits.
Not only does the Billboard Awards acknowledge singers, but it also provides these artists with a platform to share their thoughts, whether it be on society’s issues or explain the meaning and purpose behind their songs. For example, as Imagine Dragons accepted their award for Top Rock Artist, the band decided to take a moment and discuss the importance of LGBTQ rights, as well as the unhumane actions taken against LGBTQ individuals, such as shock therapy. In addition, Drake also gave a tribute to his inspirations Avicii, Mac Miller, XXXtentacion as he accepted the award for Top Male Artist. Because of shows such as Billboards Awards, famous artists are able to shine a light on the issues in our society, which can be impactful to the world as these celebrities have extremely large fanbases.
Speaking of large fanbases, Korean boy group Bangtan boys (BTS) certainly fits the category. The group debuted in America just a year ago, and their admirers are exponentially everyday. After BTS’s performance of their newest hit “Boy with Luv” featuring Halsey, the coordinated dance moves and costumes allows the audience to understand why there are so many BTS enthusiasts in the world.
However, BTS was not the only band that caught the audience’s attention. After one decade, the Jonas Brothers reunited and have made a special appearance on the Billboard Awards, singing their single “Sucker.” For individuals who have been listening to their songs when the Jonas Brothers had first begun their band, it is a sight for sore eyes, not to mention the very catchy beat of their hit.
Most importantly, before people decide to switch the channel and skip a viewing of the Billboard Awards, consider the fact
that Madonna spent five million dollars for her performance “Medellin” with singer Maluma on the Billboard Awards. Letting everyone know that she takes the performance seriously, Madonna is not afraid to produce a show that viewers will never forget. Complete with holograms and strategic props, Madonna is sure the woo and provide the audience with an original, innovative show.
Last but not the least in the slightest, Mariah Carey concluded the show with multiple performances of hits throughout her career, such as “No,” “Always Be My Baby,” and “Emotions.” After accepting the Icon Award, Carey dedicated a meaningful and moving speech to her fans, saying that “They have lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me back with their devotion and love,” which ended the Billboard awards show on a sentimental and impactful note.
Overall, the Billboard Music Awards definitely was a great watch; while it may be overshadowed by other celebrity-curated events, it is important as fans and the public to understand the importance and significance the show may bring to artists and singers.