2021 Billboard Music Awards: The Weeknd is the top winner

May 23, 2021

The Weeknd at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on May 23, 2021. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced the winners of the “2021 Billboard Music Awards” in an electrifying broadcast special, aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Host Nick Jonas was joined by today’s Billboard chart-topping artists for exhilarating performances, moving moments, and historic wins. Top finalist The Weeknd took home the most trophies of the night with 10 – including Top Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist – bringing his career total to 19. With this, he becomes the number five most decorated BBMA winner of all time behind Drake, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Garth Brooks. 

It was a big night for new winners as artists including AJR, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Gabby Barrett, Karol G, and Megan Thee Stallion all walked away with trophies for the very first time.  No strangers to this show, BTS took home four awards, winning Top Social Artist for the fifth consecutive year.

  • Drake held on to his title for most Billboard Music Award wins of all time, and received the Artist of the Decade Award. The superstar was joined on stage by his son Adonis, mother Sandi Graham, father Dennis Graham, and his closest friends to celebrate the honor.
  • ICON Award recipient P!NK more than earned the prestigious title, performing an unforgettable, moving, aerial routine with her daughter Willow, and a medley of her hit songs. Longtime friend Jon Bon Jovi presented P!NK with the honor. She graciously accepted the award, thanking fans and encouraging everyone to “dream big because what if it comes true.” She also gave a special shoutout to Willow, saying she “nailed it!”
  • Houston-based rapper, philanthropist, and social activist Trae Tha Truth became the second recipient of the annual Billboard Change Maker Award. In an effort to support the incredible work Trae Tha Truth does through his Angel By Nature non-profit, the BBMAs and NBCUniversal partnered with him to offer the first-ever official award show non-fungible token (NFT). Fans, as well as the general public, are able to purchase various Trae Tha Truth Change Maker Award NFTs via Bitski for a limited time, and the proceeds from all NFT sales are donated to Angel by Nature. More information can be found at bitski.com/bbmas. Trae Tha Truth was presented the prestigious honor by fellow Houstonian Tina Knowles-Lawson.
  • DJ Khaled, H.E.R. & Migos kicked off the show with the world premiere performance of their incredible new single “We Going Crazy,” and the crowds sure were as they danced along to what is destined to be one of the hottest songs of the summer.
  • Doja Cat & SZA delivered an out-of-this-world world television debut of their hit single “Kiss Me More” with a futuristic set.
  • Duo twenty one pilots took over the stage for a high-energy performance of their popular new song “Shy Away.”  They were enveloped by a life-size sculpture of unofficial band mascot, and fan favorite, Trash the Dragon.
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama joined the BBMAs via a pre-recorded message to introduce a special performance from Alicia Keys celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut album, Songs In A Minor with an ode to her hometown New York and a medley of hits on four different pianos.  The multitalented musician performed excerpts of some of her top hits from the past twenty years including “Fallin’,” “A Woman’s Worth,” and “Piano & I.”
  • AJR made their awards show debut with an electric performance of their hits “Bang!” and “Way Less Sad.”  The trio of brothers were flanked by a full band of musicians who had the plaza vibrating with excitement.
  • To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Sounds of Blackness’ hit song, “Optimistic”, songwriters and producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis presented an epic and moving performance of the legendary track    featuring Ann Nesby from Paisley Park in Minneapolis. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the inspirational tune which not only climbed the Billboard R&B charts, but continues to serve as an anthem of  inspiration.
  • Colombian singer-songwriter Karol G took the stage for a performance of her hit songs “Bichota” and “El Makinon” surrounded by a powerful group of female dancers.
  • Presenter Swizz Beatz delivered a moving tribute to those from the hip hop community lost over the past year including rapper and producer Shock G, Bad Boy rapper Black Rob, Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys, and Ecstasy of Whodini. He added a special message to his friend DMX, who, following Tupac, was the second rapper to have two number one albums in one year.
  • The Army went wild when BTS performed the world television debut of their new single “Butter,” which was filled with their signature dance moves and sharp outfits.
  • Rock group Glass Animals marked their first US award show performance delighting audiences with their rhythmically captivating song “Heat Waves.”
  • Top finalist and top winner, The Weeknd gave an unforgettable performance of “Save Your Tears,” swapping backup dancers for backup automobiles, delivering a mesmerizing synchronized routine around the performer.
  • British pop-rock sensations Duran Duran took the BBMA stage for the very first time, with a remote performance from London featuring Blur’s Graham Coxon on guitar. It was a standout moment for lifelong fans and new ones alike, as the band covered hits from the span of their four decade career.
  • Host Nick Jonas joined brothers Kevin and Joe and special guest Marshmello to close out the night, and brought the house down with a medley of “Remember This,” “What A Man Gotta Do,” “Sucker,” “Only Human,” and “Leave Before You Love Me,” accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display and exciting  pyrotechnic show.

The evening’s star-studded presenter lineup included Cynthia Erivo, Chelsea Handler, Dixie D’Amelio, Gabrielle Union, Henry Golding, Kathryn Hahn, Kelsea Ballerini, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Lil Rel Howery, Padma Lakshmi, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

The following is a the complete list of nominees and winners of the 2021 Billboard Music Awards:

*=winner

THE “2021 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS” FINALISTS:

FINALISTS BY CATEGORY

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Pop Smoke
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd*

Top New Artist
Gabby Barrett
Doja Cat
Jack Harlow
Pop Smoke*
Rod Wave

Top Male Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd*

Top Female Artist
Billie Eilish
Ariana Grande
Dua Lipa
Megan Thee Stallion
Taylor Swift*

Top Duo/Group
AC/DC
AJR
BTS*
Dan + Shay
Maroon 5

Top Billboard 200 Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Pop Smoke
Post Malone
Taylor Swift*

Top Hot 100 Artist
DaBaby
Drake*
Dua Lipa
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd

Top Streaming Songs Artist
DaBaby
Drake
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd*

Top Song Sales Artist
Justin Bieber
BTS*
Megan Thee Stallion
Morgan Wallen
The Weeknd

Top Radio Songs Artist
Justin Bieber
Lewis Capaldi
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
The Weeknd*

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted)
BLACKPINK
BTS*
Ariana Grande
SB19
Seventeen

Top R&B Artist
Jhené Aiko
Justin Bieber
Chris Brown
Doja Cat
The Weeknd*

Top R&B Male Artist
Justin Bieber
Chris Brown
The Weeknd*

Top R&B Female Artist
Jhené Aiko
Doja Cat*
SZA

Top Rap Artist
DaBaby
Drake
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke*

Top Rap Male Artist
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke*

Top Rap Female Artist
Cardi B
Megan Thee Stallion*
Saweetie

Top Country Artist
Gabby Barrett
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen*

Top Country Male Artist
Luke Combs
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen*

Top Country Female Artist
Gabby Barrett*
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line*
Maddie & Tae

Top Rock Artist
AC/DC
AJR
Five Finger Death Punch
Machine Gun Kelly*
twenty one pilots

Top Latin Artist
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny*
J Balvin
Maluma
Ozuna

Top Latin Male Artist
Bad Bunny*
J Balvin
Ozuna

Top Latin Female Artist
Becky G
Karol G*
Rosalía

Top Latin Duo/Group
Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
Eslabón Armado*
Los Dos Carnales

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
The Chainsmokers
Kygo
Lady Gaga*
Marshmello
Surf Mesa

Top Christian Artist
Casting Crowns
Elevation Worship*
for KING & COUNTRY
Carrie Underwood
Zach Williams

Top Gospel Artist
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Maverick City Music
Kanye West*


ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album
Juice WRLD “Legends Never Die”
Lil Baby “My Turn”
Pop Smoke “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon”*
Taylor Swift “folklore”
The Weeknd “After Hours”

Top R&B Album
Jhené Aiko “Chilombo”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Slime & B”
Doja Cat “Hot Pink”
Kehlani “It Was Good Until It Wasn’t”
The Weeknd “After Hours”*

Top Rap Album
DaBaby “BLAME IT ON BABY”
Juice WRLD “Legends Never Die”
Lil Baby “My Turn”
Lil Uzi Vert “Eternal Atake”
Pop Smoke “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon”*

Top Country Album
Gabby Barrett “Goldmine”
Sam Hunt “SOUTHSIDE”
Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”
Carrie Underwood “My Gift”
Morgan Wallen “Dangerous: The Double Album”*

Top Rock Album
AC/DC “Power Up”
Miley Cyrus “Plastic Hearts”
Glass Animals “Dreamland”
Machine Gun Kelly “Tickets to My Downfall”*
Bruce Springsteen “Letter to You”

Top Latin Album
Anuel AA “Emmanuel”
Bad Bunny “El Último Tour Del Mundo”
Bad Bunny “Las que no iban a salir”
Bad Bunny “YHLQMDLG”*
J Balvin “Colores”

Top Dance/Electronic Album
DJ Snake “Carte Blanche”
Gryffin “Gravity”
Kygo “Golden Hour”
Lady Gaga “Chromatica”*
Kylie Minogue “Disco”

Top Christian Album
Bethel Music “Peace”
Elevation Worship “Grave Into Gardens”
Carrie Underwood “My Gift”*
We The Kingdom “Holy Water”
Zach Williams “Rescue Story”

Top Gospel Album
Koryn Hawthorne “I AM”
Tasha Cobbs Leonard “Royalty: Live at the Ryman”
Maverick City Music “Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1”*
Maverick City Music “Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 2”
Kierra Sheard “Kierra”

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song Presented by Rockstar
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”*

Top Streaming Song
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”*
Future ft. Drake “Life Is Good”
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Selling Song
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
BTS “Dynamite”*
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
Megan Thee Stallion “Savage”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Radio Song
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Dua Lipa “Don’t Start Now”
Harry Styles “Adore You”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”*

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted)
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”*
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”

Top R&B Song
Jhené Aiko ft. H.E.R. “B.S.”
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo “Intentions”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Doja Cat “Say So”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”*

Top Rap Song
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”*
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”
Megan Thee Stallion “Savage”

Top Country Song
Jason Aldean “Got What I Got”
Gabby Barrett “I Hope”*
Lee Brice “One of Them Girls”
*Morgan Wallen “Chasin’ You”
*Morgan Wallen “More Than My Hometown”

Top Rock Song
AJR “Bang!”*
All Time Low ft. blackbear “Monsters”
Glass Animals “Heat Waves”
Machine Gun Kelly ft. blackbear “my ex’s best friend”
twenty one pilots “Level of Concern”

Top Latin Song
Bad Bunny “Yo Perreo Sola”
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “Dákiti”*
Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)”
Maluma & The Weeknd “Hawái”
Ozuna x Karol G x Myke Towers “Caramelo”

Top Dance/Electronic Song
Lady Gaga “Stupid Love”
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande “Rain on Me”
SAINt JHN “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”*
Surf Mesa ft. Emilee “ily (i love you baby)”
Topic & A7S “Breaking Me”

Top Christian Song
Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake “Graves Into Gardens”*
for KING & COUNTRY, Kirk Franklin & Tori Kelly “TOGETHER”
Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, & Elevation Worship “The Blessing (Live)”
Tauren Wells ft. Jenn Johnson “Famous For (I Believe)”
Zach Williams & Dolly Parton “There Was Jesus”

Top Gospel Song
Koryn Hawthorne “Speak To Me”
Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music “Movin’ On”
Marvin Sapp “Thank You For It All”
Tye Tribbett “We Gon’ Be Alright”
Kanye West ft. Travis Scott “Wash Us In The Blood”*

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