Last night's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas was a diverse and memorable evening loaded with pop featuring some incredibly moving moments, impressive comebacks and powerful musical statements by some of pop's biggest idols. I was in the audience just a few rows away from the action on stage to witness (and tweet) every single second of it.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was an incredibly touching tribute to the late Whitney Houston that was performed by soul man John Legend and young Jordan Sparks. The Idol winner impressed and moved the crowd to tears with her flawless, pitch-perfect rendition of Houston's eternally classic "I Will Always Love You." Immediately following that performance, Houston was being honored by Billboard Magazine with a special Millennium Award that was handed to Houston's daughter Bobbi-Kristina who thanked fans gracefully for their support in recent months.
Even though Adele received most awards at this year's event, the night belonged without a doubt to LMFAO who took home 6 Billboard Music Awards including well-deserved nods for Song of the Year and Best Duo/Group performance. After opening the show with a sizzling medley of "Party Rock Anthem," "Sorry For Party Rocking" and "Sexy And I Know It," the group took the stage two more times to receive their awards. RedFoo and SkyBlu were genuinely humbled and happy to win and I couldn't be any more excited for them.
Nelly Furtado made her long-awaited return to the TV spotlight with a stomping rendition of her massive new single "Big Hoops." The performance was inspired by the music video for the song that includes Indian tribal dancers and, yes, some massive stilts to emphasize Nelly's point that everything bigger is better.
I spoke with Nelly at the official Billboard Music Awards after-party at the Mirage Hotel and she told me that she was very happy with the performance and that she is excited to be sharing more of her new music soon. She also noted that the next single to be taken from her new LP is the album's title track, "The Spirit Indestructible."
Cee Lo Green and his mighty Goodie Mob reunited to perform a special tribute to Beastie Boys' late Adam Yauch with a performance of "Fight For Your Right." Green's wildly uncompromising attitude and his fearless swagger was a perfect way to honor the ground-breaking quality of Yauch's work that has paved the way for many other since then.
Former Idol winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood made very strong showings as well. Dressed in a beautiful gown, Clarkson performed her new single "Dark Side" that had the crowd on their feet and swaying along. Underwood's powerful performance of "Good Girl" had a grand, majestic quality to it with the singer standing on an elevated podium in an air of fog in front of churning air vents that was concluded by a rain of glitter (some of rained down on me).
Justin Bieber fans got everything they hoped for and more. Seeing Justin Bieber perform live on such a massive television show reminded me once again how incredibly savvy and mediagenic he is, teasing the camera and feeding off the crow to give it his all.
Genre-mashing hip-pop-electronica oufit Far East Movement introduced Usher who delivered a rock-solid performance of his new single "Scream," putting heart and soul into his stage delivery without skipping a beat.
Katy Perry not only received an award for her incredible success in the last couple of years with her record-breaking, five Billboard number ones in a row, the pop superstar also performed her brand-new single "Wide Awake" for the very first time. Earlier during the show, she told the audience that this song is the most personal song she has ever written and the lyrics explain exactly why.
The Wanted fired up the crowd with their two-song medley of "Glad You Came" and their new single "Chasing The Sun." The guys were sitting a couple of rows in front of me and they were enjoying every second of the show, especially Stevie Wonder's iconic appearance at the conclusion of the night with Alicia Keys that had them on their feet throughout the performance.
Patent Pending, the winner of Chevy's Battle of the Bands, enjoyed a big moment in the spotlight. The indie outfit from Long Island, NY had fun with it, and performed with a sense of vigor and gusto that was infectious and had many viewers surely curious for more from this young indie rockers.