The 2021 Billboard Music Awards brought back live performances for the first time in almost a year. While parts of the show were pre-recorded and others were in different locations, one thing is for sure, the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles was the place to be for some rockin’ performances. DJ Kahled, H.E.R. and Migos appropriately kicked off the show with “We Going Crazy.”
The high energy show would see equally powerful moments in award acceptances as well. Drake was given Billboard’s Artist of the Decade and introduced by his family and friends. The artist brought out his 3-year-old son Adonis to accept the award. Drake has a record 29 Billboard Music Awards—more than any other artist in history.
P!nk was presented the 2021 Billboard Icon Award by Jon Bon Jovi. The rocker revealed that he once sent P!nk a pair of his leather pants and flowers with a message that read “Now, you can finally get into my pants.” This was after P!nk admitted to being devastated when he married his wife. P!nk followed it up with an aerial acrobatic performance with her daughter Willow.
On a more sober note, Audrey Jackson, Pop Smoke’s mother, accepted the award her son won in the Top New Artist category. She said: “Thank you to the fans for honoring the life and the spirit of my son so much that it continues to manifest as if he were still here in flesh. He created music for the kid who has to sleep four in a room, the kid who has to figure out how to get to school each day so he can graduate and make his mom proud. He did this so that 14-year-olds would not have to kill to prove they are somebody. That is the irony in this.” This was in reference to the young teen who is charged with her son’s murder.
As for the actual awards, The Weeknd came out as the big winner. In all, he would take home 10 Billboard Music Awards, including the coveted Top Artist Award, giving him a total of 19 throughout his career thus far.
It was also a big night for Latin music. At the forefront was Bad Bunny. The Puerto Rican rapper took home four of the five BBMAs he was up for. He also won top Latin male artist, top Latin Song (“Dákiti”) and top Latin album (YHLQMDLG).
Here are our top five takeaways for Latinos from the annual music show.
Bad Bunny Wins Top Latin Artist
Bad Bunny took home the Billboard Music Award for Top Latin Artist. He was up against J. Balvin, Ozuna, Anuel AA and Maluma. This is the second consecutive year Bad Bunny has won in this category. “Thank you,” he said after his win. “Love each other… love each other more. Don’t have the energy to be hating anyone, you have to learn to be empathetic.”
Karol G Wins Top Latin Female Award
The Colombian singer took home the Award for Top Latin Female; Becky G and Rosalia were also nominated for the award. While her win was great, it didn’t generate as much talk as her outfit. Karol G wore a shimmery sheer aqua dress that was all but see-through.
It Was Also Karol G’s First Ever Billboard Music Performance
While her dress was certainly something to talk about, so too was her performance. Karol G made her first ever appearance at the Billboard Music Awards. She ditched the shimmer and opted for streetwear instead. The Colombian artist performed a medley of her hits “Bichota” and “El Makinon,” both featured on her album KG0516.
Bad Bunny Performed
Smack dab in the middle of his big night, Benito did what he’s known to do best. The Puerto Rican artist brought down the house with his performance of “Te Deseo Lo Mejor.” Bad Bunny was right at home on stage surrounded by red and orange lights, a little fire and yes, a stuffed lobster around his neck. If anyone can pull off the record for most top 40 hits on the Billboard’s Hot Latin Song chart and a stuffed lobster it’s Bad Bunny.