2020 Billboard Music Awards: Post Malone is the top winner

October 14, 2020

Post Malone at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (Photo by Todd Williamson/NBC)

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

Post Malone swept the “2020 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs), winning a total of nine awards, including Top Artist and Top Male Artist – the most of the evening – bringing his total number of BBMA wins to 10. Echoing the theme of “Music Unites All’ throughout the night Malone said “music can bring everyone together, it’s absolutely incredible.” Airing tonight from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the BBMAs opened with an unforgettable performance by three-time host Kelly Clarkson, who brought down the house with Whitney Houston’s version of “Higher Love,” joined by two-time BBMA nominees Pentatonix and queen of percussion Sheila E. 

Khalid followed Post Malone for the most wins of the night with five, including Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Album, and Top R&B Song. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus tied for the third most wins, with both artists recognized for their hit “Old Town Road” in the Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song, and Top Rap Song categories. Billie Eilish took home three awards including Top New Artist and Top Female Artist. Winners in the fan-voted categories were: BTS (Top Social Artist), Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” (Top Collaboration) and Harry Styles (Billboard Chart Achievement Award).

Rapper and social activist Killer Mike was honored with the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award from the historic APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta, GA. The award, which honors an artist or group that speaks truth to power through music, celebrity, and community and is active in their community and charitable with time, money, or influence to improve the lives of others, was presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. NBC and MRC teamed up to deposit $1M to Killer Mike’s recently established digital bank, Greenwood.  

Cher made an appearance on the star-studded night to present Garth Brooks with the elite ICON Award, followed by his incredible performance of multiple chart-topping hits that was nothing short of iconic.

The night was full of spectacular performances: 

  • All the way from South Korea, K-Pop supergroup BTS gave an electrifying performance of “Dynamite,” their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
  • Demi Lovato gave a chills inducing world premiere performance of her timely and powerful new song “Commander in Chief” 
  • Post Malone delivered a soaring performance of his hits “Circles” and “Tommy Lee” featuring Tyla Yahweh, showing everyone why he took home nine awards
  • Alicia Keys made a long-awaited return to the BBMA stage for a dazzling perform of her latest single “Love Looks Better” 
  • Brandy made her BBMA performance debut and treated fans to her hit “Borderline” along with her new single “No Tomorrow” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, and “Almost Doesn’t Count” 
  • Bad Bunny was joined by surprise guests Nesi and Ivy Queen for “Yo Perreo Sola” for his dynamic and exciting BBMA performance debut
  • In her first BBMA performance, Doja Cat set the stage aflame with a dramatic medley of “Juicy,” “Say So,” and “Like That” 
  • EGOT-winner and multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend gave an emotional performance of “Never Break” 
  • Kane Brown, Khalid and Swae Lee tore up the stage with an energetic performance of their hit “Be Like That” 
  • In a rare appearance, Sia delivered a powerful moment with her song “Courage to Change” 
  • On the heels of one of his three wins, Luke Combs gave a moving performance of “Better Together” 
  • Breakout artist SAINt JHN, in his television debut, performed his global smash hit “Roses” 
  • And in this year’s Billboard throwback, iconic group En Vogue closed the evening with an empowering performance of their huge hit “Free Your Mind,” which first stormed the charts 30 years ago

In a tribute to legendary guitarist, musician, and songwriter Eddie Van Halen, the show featured a clip from the 2015 BBMAs when his son Wolfgang took the stage with him for a rare live tv performance. Presenters throughout the evening included Addison Rae, Cher, Garcelle Beauvais, Jane Lynch, Jay Ellis, Jharrel Jerome, Julia Michaels, Lilly Singh, Nicole Richie, Spencer X, Taraji P. Henson, TwinsthenewTrend (Fred & Tim Williams), and tWitch.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data/Nielsen Music. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019, through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by TikTok and Xfinity. The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are produced by dick clark productions. Amy Thurlow, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Linda Gierahn, Kelly Clarkson, and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube) and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

About Dick Clark Productions:
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances, and legendary programming. DCP is part of MRC Live & Alternative, a division of diversified global entertainment company MRC. For additional information, visit www.mrcentertainment.com


Here is the complete list of nominations and winners:

*=winner

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist:
Billie Eilish
Jonas Brothers
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top New Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish*
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Roddy Ricch

Billboard Chart Achievement Award (Fan Voted):
Mariah Carey
Luke Combs
Lil Nas X
Harry Styles*
Taylor Swift

Top Male Artist:
DaBaby
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Ed Sheeran

Top Female Artist:
Billie Eilish*
Ariana Grande
Halsey
Lizzo
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
BTS
Dan + Shay
Jonas Brothers*
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Drake
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Song Sales Artist:
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo*
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Jonas Brothers*
Khalid
Lizzo
Shawn Mendes
Post Malone

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted):
BTS*
Billie Eilish
EXO
GOT7
Ariana Grande

Top Touring Artist:
Elton John
Metallica
P!nk*
The Rolling Stones
Ed Sheeran

Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
Lizzo
Summer Walker
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
The Weeknd

Top R&B Female Artist:
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Summer Walker*

Top R&B Tour:
B2K
Janet Jackson
Khalid*

Top Rap Artist:
DaBaby
Juice WRLD
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Roddy Ricch

Top Rap Male Artist:
DaBaby
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Rap Female Artist:
Cardi B*
City Girls
Megan Thee Stallion

Top Rap Tour:
Drake
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Country Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Dan + Shay
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Male Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Female Artist:
Maren Morris*
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group:
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour:
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line
George Strait*

Top Rock Artist:
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco*
Tame Impala
Tool
twenty one pilots

Top Rock Tour:
Elton John*
Metallica
The Rolling Stones

Top Latin Artist:
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny*
J Balvin
Ozuna
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
Avicii
The Chainsmokers*
DJ Snake
Illenium
Marshmello

Top Christian Artist:
Lauren Daigle*
Elevation Worship
for KING & COUNTRY
Hillsong UNITED
Kanye West

Top Gospel Artist:
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Sunday Service Choir
Kanye West*

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Billie Eilish “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”*
Ariana Grande “thank u, next”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Taylor Swift “Lover”

Top Soundtrack:
“Aladdin”
“Descendants 3”
“Frozen II”*
“K-12” by Melanie Martinez 
“The Dirt” by Mötley Crüe

Top R&B Album:
Beyoncé “Homecoming: The Live Album”
Justin Bieber “Changes”
Chris Brown “Indigo”
Khalid “Free Spirit”*
Summer Walker “Over It”

Top Rap Album:
DaBaby “KIRK”
Juice WRLD “Death Race For Love”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”*
Roddy Ricch “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”
Young Thug “So Much Fun”

Top Country Album:
Kane Brown “Experiment”
Luke Combs “What You See Is What You Get”*
Maren Morris “GIRL”
Thomas Rhett “Center Point Road”
Morgan Wallen “If I Know Me”

Top Rock Album:
The Lumineers “III”
Slipknot “We Are Not Your Kind”
Tame Impala “The Slow Rush”
Tool “Fear Inoculum”*
Vampire Weekend “Father of the Bride”

Top Latin Album:
J Balvin & Bad Bunny “Oasis”*
Farruko “Gangalee”
Maluma “11:11”
Romeo Santos “Utopía”
Sech “Sueños”

Top Dance/Electronic Album:
Avicii “TIM”
The Chainsmokers “World War Joy”
Illenium “Ascend”
Marshmello “Marshmello: Fortnite Extended Set”*
Alan Walker “Different World”

Top Christian Album:
Bethel Music “Victory: Recorded Live”
Casting Crowns “Only Jesus”
Hillsong UNITED “People”
Skillet “Victorious”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

Top Gospel AlbumL
Kirk Franklin “Long Live Love”
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers “Goshen”
William McDowell “The Cry: A Live Worship Experience”
Sunday Service Choir “Jesus Is Born”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”

Top Streaming Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

Top Selling Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”

Top Radio Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”*
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted):
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”*
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top R&B Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Doja Cat & Tyga “Juicy”
Khalid “Talk”*
Lizzo “Good As Hell”
The Weeknd “Heartless”

Top Rap Song:
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Post Malone “Wow.”

Top Country Song:
Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”*
Maren Morris “The Bones”
Old Dominion “One Man Band”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”
Morgan Wallen “Whiskey Glasses”

Top Rock Song:
Imagine Dragons “Bad Liar”
Machine Gun Kelly x YUNGBLUD x Travis Barker “I Think I’m Okay”
Panic! At The Disco “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”*
twenty one pilots “Chlorine”
twenty one pilots “The Hype”

Top Latin Song:
Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin “China”
Bad Bunny & Tainy “Callaita”
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow “Con Calma”*
Jhay Cortez, J Balvin, & Bad Bunny “No Me Conoce”
Sech ft. Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Anuel AA “Otro Trago”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
Black Eyed Peas x J Balvin “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)”
Ellie Goulding x Diplo ft. Swae Lee “Close To Me”*
Illenium & Jon Bellion “Good Things Fall Apart”
Kygo x Whitney Houston “Higher Love”
Marshmello ft. CHVRCHES “Here With Me”

Top Christian Song:
Bethel Music, Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser “Raise A Hallelujah”
Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West “Nobody”
Lauren Daigle “Rescue”
for KING & COUNTRY “God Only Knows”*
Kanye West “Follow God”

Top Gospel Song:
Kirk Franklin “Love Theory”
Kanye West “Closed on Sunday”
Kanye West “Follow God”*
Kanye West “On God”
Kanye West “Selah”

2020 Billboard Music Awards: Post Malone is the top nominee

September 22, 2020

Post Malone (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA) 

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

Dick Clark Productions and NBC today announced the nominees for the “2020 Billboard Music Awards,” which honor the year’s most successful artists in 55 categories across all genres of music. Rapper Post Malone leads the pack with 16 Billboard Music Award (BBMA) nods, followed by first-time nominees Lil Nas X with 13 and Billie Eilish with 12. BBMA winner Khalid ties Eilish with 12 nominations. Other nominees and possible record-breakers include first-time nominee Lizzo (11), KanyeWest (9), TaylorSwift (6), and JustinBieber (4).

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards,” hosted by Kelly Clarkson, will broadcast live from The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

This year’s awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019 through March 14, 2020, set for the originally scheduled April 29, 2020 show, which was postponed due to the pandemic. The original eligibility period will remain intact to recognize and honor the chart-topping artists and musical successes achieved and to maintain consistent tracking periods for future shows. 

Post Malone earned nominations in coveted categories including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Billboard 200 Artist, notching a total of 16 nods and only narrowly missing his personal record of 17 nominations in 2019. He is also a double nominee in the Top Rap Song category. Lil Nas X received 13 nominations, with nods in many of the same categories, including Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist. Khalid and Billie Eilish are tied for third-most nominations this year with 12 each, marking Eilish’s BBMA nominations debut. Lizzo received a total of 11 nominations, including Top New Artist, and Kanye West follows with 9, including a quadruple nomination in the Top Gospel Song category. 

Fan-voted categories this year include Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Social Artist and Top Collaboration. Voting opens on October 1, 2020 and will be available on TikTok, this year’s primary voting platform, reflecting its increasing impact on music and role as a staging ground for chart-topping hits.

2020 TOP FIVE NOMINEE CHART FACTS:

Post Malone (16) Billboard Music Award-winner Post Malone continues to dominate Billboard’s charts, thanks in large part to the smash success of his 2019 album Hollywood’s Bleeding. The set debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart and never left the weekly top 20 in its entire first year of release. The album was so hot, it generated more streams than any other album in the U.S. in 2019, with over 3 billion audio on-demand streams earned for its songs that year according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Hollywood’s Bleeding houses five top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including the No. 1s “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse)” and “Circles,” with both proving to be so popular, they each spent more than a year on the tally. “Circles” was such a sustained hit, while it first hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 in November of 2019, it lingered in the weekly top 10 on the Hot 100 until May of 2020, logging a record-setting 39 total weeks in the top 10.

Lil Nas X (13) Lil Nas X made quite an impression with his debut hit “Old Town Road,” as the track broke the record for the most weeks at No. 1 ever on the Hot 100 chart. The tune, enhanced by a remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, shattered the long-standing record for the most weeks atop the chart in its 60-plus-year history, spending 19 weeks at No. 1 in 2019. It surpassed the previous record-holders, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” each with 16 weeks at No. 1. Lil Nas X followed up his success with two more top 40 hits on the Hot 100: “Panini” and “Rodeo.” He also launched his debut EP 7, which bowed at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Billie Eilish (12) More than a year after Billie Eilish debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the album has yet to leave the weekly top 40. The set has spent a total of three nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the list, and spun off Eilish’s first Hot 100 No. 1 single, “Bad Guy.” She closed out 2019 with another top 10 hit, “Everything I Wanted” (peaking at No. 8) and then got 2020 off to a fine start with the latest James Bond film theme song, “No Time to Die” (No. 16), from the upcoming film of the same name. In early 2020, Eilish tied Beck and Alanis Morissette for the most No. 1s on the Alternative Songs airplay chart, when “Everything I Wanted” became her third leader on the tally.  

Khalid (12) 2018’s Billboard Music Award winner for top new artist celebrated his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in 2019 with Free Spirit, and its top five-charting Hot 100 hit “Talk.” Free Spirit also ruled the Top R&B Albums chart for 12 weeks, and never left the weekly top 10 of the list from its debut in April of 2019 on through the first half of 2020. Further, upon the debut of Free Spirit, Khalid dominated that week’s Hot R&B Songs chart, placing 16 songs on the 25-position tally – including the entire top five.

Lizzo (11 ) In 2019, Lizzo’s barnstorming single “Truth Hurts” ruled the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks, while it spent 11 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The success of the track helped its parent album Cuz I Love You reach the top five on the Billboard 200 albums chart. She followed “Truth” with another smash, “Good as Hell,” which topped out at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Kanye West (9) Five-time Billboard Music Award winner Kanye West has been a consistent chart topper for years, having earned eight consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart between 2005 and 2018. In 2019, West garnered yet another No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 with Jesus Is King, and also his first No. 1 on the Top Gospel Albums and Top Christian Albums chart. The effort also snared West a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 with “Follow God,” which has spent 37 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data/Nielsen Music. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by Dick Clark Productions. Amy Thurlow, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Linda Gierahn, Kelly Clarkson and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs. 

Twitter:@BBMAs | FacebookFB.com/TheBBMAs | Instagram@bbmas
Snapchatthebbmas | TikTok: @bbmas | YouTubeyoutube.com/bbmas
About dick clark productions:

Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. dcp is part of MRC Live & Alternative, a division of diversified global entertainment company MRC. For additional information, visit www.mrcentertainment.com

THE “2020 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS” NOMINEES:

NOMINATIONS BY CATEGORY

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist:
Billie Eilish
Jonas Brothers
Khalid
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top New Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Roddy Ricch

Billboard Chart Achievement Award (Fan Voted):
Mariah Carey
Luke Combs
Lil Nas X
Harry Styles
Taylor Swift

Top Male Artist:
DaBaby
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone
Ed Sheeran

Top Female Artist:
Billie Eilish
Ariana Grande
Halsey
Lizzo
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
BTS
Dan + Shay
Jonas Brothers
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Drake
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Post Malone
Travis Scott

Top Song Sales Artist:
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Jonas Brothers
Khalid
Lizzo
Shawn Mendes
Post Malone

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted):
BTS
Billie Eilish
EXO
GOT7
Ariana Grande

Top Touring Artist:
Elton John
Metallica
P!nk
The Rolling Stones
Ed Sheeran

Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid
Lizzo
Summer Walker
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid
The Weeknd

Top R&B Female Artist:
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Summer Walker

Top R&B Tour:
B2K
Janet Jackson
Khalid

Top Rap Artist:
DaBaby
Juice WRLD
Lil Nas X
Post Malone
Roddy Ricch

Top Rap Male Artist:
DaBaby
Lil Nas X
Post Malone

Top Rap Female Artist:
Cardi B
City Girls
Megan Thee Stallion

Top Rap Tour:
Drake
Post Malone
Travis Scott

Top Country Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Dan + Shay
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Male Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Female Artist:
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group:
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour:
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line
George Strait

Top Rock Artist:
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco
Tame Impala
Tool
twenty one pilots

Top Rock Tour:
Elton John
Metallica
The Rolling Stones

Top Latin Artist:
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Ozuna
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
Avicii
The Chainsmokers
DJ Snake
Illenium
Marshmello

Top Christian Artist:
Lauren Daigle
Elevation Worship
for KING & COUNTRY
Hillsong UNITED
Kanye West

Top Gospel Artist:
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Sunday Service Choir
Kanye West

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Billie Eilish “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”
Ariana Grande “thank u, next”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Taylor Swift “Lover”

Top Soundtrack:
“Aladdin”
“Descendants 3”
“Frozen II”
“K-12” by Melanie Martinez 
“The Dirt” by Mötley Crüe

Top R&B Album:
Beyoncé “Homecoming: The Live Album”
Justin Bieber “Changes”
Chris Brown “Indigo”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Summer Walker “Over It”

Top Rap Album:
DaBaby “KIRK”
Juice WRLD “Death Race For Love”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Roddy Ricch “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”
Young Thug “So Much Fun”

Top Country Album:
Kane Brown “Experiment”
Luke Combs “What You See Is What You Get”
Maren Morris “GIRL”
Thomas Rhett “Center Point Road”
Morgan Wallen “If I Know Me”

Top Rock Album:
The Lumineers “III”
Slipknot “We Are Not Your Kind”
Tame Impala “The Slow Rush”
Tool “Fear Inoculum”
Vampire Weekend “Father of the Bride”

Top Latin Album:
J Balvin & Bad Bunny “Oasis”
Farruko “Gangalee”
Maluma “11:11”
Romeo Santos “Utopía”
Sech “Sueños”

Top Dance/Electronic Album:
Avicii “TIM”
The Chainsmokers “World War Joy”
Illenium “Ascend”
Marshmello “Marshmello: Fortnite Extended Set”
Alan Walker “Different World”

Top Christian Album:
Bethel Music “Victory: Recorded Live”
Casting Crowns “Only Jesus”
Hillsong UNITED “People”
Skillet “Victorious”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”

Top Gospel AlbumL
Kirk Franklin “Long Live Love”
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers “Goshen”
William McDowell “The Cry: A Live Worship Experience”
Sunday Service Choir “Jesus Is Born”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”

Top Streaming Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

Top Selling Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”

Top Radio Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted):
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top R&B Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Doja Cat & Tyga “Juicy”
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Good As Hell”
The Weeknd “Heartless”

Top Rap Song:
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Post Malone “Wow.”

Top Country Song:
Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”
Maren Morris “The Bones”
Old Dominion “One Man Band”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”
Morgan Wallen “Whiskey Glasses”

Top Rock Song:
Imagine Dragons “Bad Liar”
Machine Gun Kelly x YUNGBLUD x Travis Barker “I Think I’m Okay”
Panic! At The Disco “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”
twenty one pilots “Chlorine”
twenty one pilots “The Hype”

Top Latin Song:
Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin “China”
Bad Bunny & Tainy “Callaita”
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow “Con Calma”
Jhay Cortez, J Balvin, & Bad Bunny “No Me Conoce”
Sech ft. Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Anuel AA “Otro Trago”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
Black Eyed Peas x J Balvin “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)”
Ellie Goulding x Diplo ft. Swae Lee “Close To Me”
Illenium & Jon Bellion “Good Things Fall Apart”
Kygo x Whitney Houston “Higher Love”
Marshmello ft. CHVRCHES “Here With Me”

Top Christian Song:
Bethel Music, Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser “Raise A Hallelujah”
Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West “Nobody”
Lauren Daigle “Rescue”
for KING & COUNTRY “God Only Knows”
Kanye West “Follow God”

Top Gospel Song:
Kirk Franklin “Love Theory”
Kanye West “Closed on Sunday”
Kanye West “Follow God”
Kanye West “On God”
Kanye West “Selah”

NOMINATIONS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (BY FIRST NAME):

“Aladdin” (1): Top Soundtrack
Alan Walker (1): Top Dance/Electronic Album
Anuel AA (3): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Song (x2)
Ariana Grande (3): Top Female Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album
Avicii (2): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album
B2K (1): Top R&B Tour
Bad Bunny (4): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song (x2)
Bethel Music (2): Top Christian Album, Top Christian Song
Beyoncé (2): Top R&B Female Artist, Top R&B Album
Billie Eilish (12): Top Artist, Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song
Billy Ray Cyrus (5): Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song
Black Eyed Peas (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
Blake Shelton (2): Top Selling Song, Top Country Song
BTS (2): Top Duo/Group, Top Social Artist
Camila Cabello (2): Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration
Cardi B (1): Top Rap Female Artist
Carrie Underwood (1): Top Country Female Artist
Casting Crowns (2): Top Christian Album, Top Christian Song
Chris Brown (6): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Album, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top R&B Song
CHVRCHES (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
City Girls (1): Top Rap Female Artist
DaBaby (7): Top New Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Rap Album
Daddy Yankee (2): Top Latin Song (x2)
Dan + Shay (4): Top Duo/Group, Top Country Artist, Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Song
Darell (1): Top Latin Song
“Descendants 3” (1): Top Soundtrack
Diplo (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
DJ Snake (1): Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Doja Cat (1): Top R&B Song
Donald Lawrence (1): Top Gospel Album
Drake (5): Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Rap Tour, Top R&B Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration
Ed Sheeran (4): Top Male Artist, Top Touring Artist, Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration
Elevation Worship (1): Top Christian Artist
Ellie Goulding (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
Elton John (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour
Eric Church (1): Top Country Tour
EXO (1): Top Social Artist
Farruko (1): Top Latin Album
Florida Georgia Line (2): Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Tour
for KING & COUNTRY (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Song
“Frozen II” (1): Top Soundtrack
George Strait (1): Top Country Tour
GOT7 (1): Top Social Artist
Halsey (1): Top Female Artist
Harry Styles (1): Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Hillsong UNITED (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Album
Illenium (3): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album, Top Dance/Electronic Song
Imagine Dragons (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Song
J Balvin (5):  Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song (x2), Top Dance/Electronic Song
Janet Jackson (1): Top R&B Tour
Jhay Cortez (1): Top Latin Song
Jon Bellion (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
Jonas Brothers (4): Top Artist, Top Duo/Group, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Radio Song
Jonathan David Helser (1): Top Christian Song
Juice WRLD (2): Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album
Justin Bieber (4): Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration, Top Country Song
Kacey Musgraves (1): Top Country Female Artist
Kane Brown (3): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album
Kanye West (9): Top Christian Artist, Top Gospel Artist, Top Christian Album, Top Gospel Album, Top Christian Song, Top Gospel Song (x4)
Karol G (1): Top Latin Song
Khalid (12): Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Tour, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song, Top R&B Song
Kirk Franklin (3): Top Gospel Artist, Top Gospel Album, Top Gospel Song
Koryn Hawthorne (1): Top Gospel Artist
Kygo (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
Lauren Daigle (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Song
Lewis Capaldi (3): Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song
Lil Nas X (13): Top New Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song
Lil Tecca (2): Top Streaming Song, Top Rap Song
Lizzo (11): Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, Top R&B Song, Top Rap Song
Luke Combs (4): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album, Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Machine Gun Kelly (1): Top Rock Song
Maluma (1): Top Latin Album
Maren Morris (4): Top Country Artist, Top Country Female Artist, Top Country Album, Top Country Song
Mariah Carey (1): Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Maroon 5 (1): Top Duo/Group
Marshmello (3): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album, Top Dance/Electronic Song
Matthew West (1): Top Christian Song
Megan Thee Stallion (1): Top Rap Female Artist
Melanie Martinez (1): Top Soundtrack
Melissa Helser (1): Top Christian Song
Metallica (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour
Morgan Wallen (2): Top Country Album, Top Country Song
Mötley Crüe (1): Top Soundtrack
Nicky Jam (1): Top Latin Song
Old Dominion (2): Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Song
Ozuna (3): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Song (x2)
P!nk (1): Top Touring Artist
Panic! At The Disco (3): Top Duo/Group, Top Rock Song, Top Rock Artist
Post Malone (16): Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Rap Tour, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Album, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song (x2)
Roddy Ricch (3): Top New Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album
Romeo Santos (2): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album
Sech (2): Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song
Shawn Mendes (3): Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration
Skillet (1): Top Christian Album
Slipknot (1): Top Rock Album
Snow (1): Top Latin Song
Summer Walker (3): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Female Artist, Top R&B Album
Sunday Service Choir (2): Top Gospel Artist, Top Gospel Album
Swae Lee (4): Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song, Top Dance/Electronic Song
Tame Impala (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album
Tasha Cobbs Leonard (1): Top Gospel Artist
Tainy (1): Top Latin Song
Taylor Swift (6): Top Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album           
The Chainsmokers (2): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album
The Lumineers (1): Top Rock Album
The Rolling Stones (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour
The Weeknd (3): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Song
Thomas Rhett (3): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album
Tool (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album
Travis Barker (1): Top Rock Song
Travis Scott (2): Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Tour
twenty one pilots (3): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Song (x2)
Tyga (1): Top R&B song
Vampire Weekend (1): Top Rock Album
Whitney Houston (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
William McDowell (1): Top Gospel Album
Young Thug (1): Top Rap Album
YUNGBLUD (1): Top Rock Song


NOMINATIONS BY NUMERICAL ORDER:

Post Malone (16): Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Rap Tour, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Album, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song (x2)
Lil Nas X (13): Top New Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song                                             
Billie Eilish (12): Top Artist, Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song                                                      
Khalid (12): Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Tour, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song, Top R&B Song                                                         
Lizzo (11): Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, Top R&B Song, Top Rap Son         
Kanye West (9): Top Christian Artist, Top Gospel Artist, Top Christian Album, Top Gospel Album, Top Christian Song, Top Gospel Song (x4)                                  
DaBaby (7): Top New Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Rap Album            
Chris Brown (6): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Album, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top R&B Song                            
Taylor Swift (6): Top Artist, Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album
Billy Ray Cyrus (5): Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song   
Drake (5): Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Rap Tour, Top R&B Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration
J Balvin (5): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song (x2), Top Dance/Electronic Song    
Bad Bunny (4): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song (x2)     
Dan + Shay (4): Top Duo/Group, Top Country Artist, Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Song             
Ed Sheeran (4): Top Male Artist, Top Touring Artist, Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration
Jonas Brothers (4): Top Artist, Top Duo/Group, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Radio Song  
Justin Bieber (4): Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration, Top Country Song
Luke Combs (4): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Maren Morris   (4): Top Country Artist, Top Country Female Artist, Top Country Album, Top Country Song
Swae Lee (4): Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top Rap Song, Top Dance/Electronic Song
Anuel AA (3): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Song (x2)                                         
Ariana Grande (3): Top Female Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album           
Illenium (3): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album, Top Dance/Electronic Song
Kane Brown (3): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album
Kirk Franklin (3): Top Gospel Artist, Top Gospel Album, Top Gospel Song
Lewis Capaldi (3): Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song                         
Marshmello (3): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album, Top Dance/Electronic Song 
Ozuna (3): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Song (x2)                                                 
Panic! At The Disco (3): Top Duo/Group, Top Rock Song, Top Rock Artist
Roddy Ricch (3): Top New Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album  
Shawn Mendes (3): Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration   
Summer Walker (3): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Female Artist, Top R&B Album              
The Weeknd (3): Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Song
Thomas Rhett (3): Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album          
twenty one pilots (3): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Song (x2)
Avicii (2): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album
Blake Shelton (2): Top Selling Song, Top Country Song                               
Bethel Music    (2): Top Christian Album, Top Christian Song                         
Beyoncé (2): Top R&B Female Artist, Top R&B Album                                          
BTS (2): Top Duo/Group, Top Social Artist                                                                 
Camila Cabello (2): Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration                                               
Casting Crowns (2): Top Christian Album, Top Christian Song     
Daddy Yankee (2): Top Latin Song (x2)
Elton John (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour                                              
Florida Georgia Line (2): Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Tour
for KING & COUNTRY (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Song                  
Hillsong UNITED (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Album                                       
Imagine Dragons (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Song                
Juice WRLD (2): Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album             
Lauren Daigle (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Song         
Lil Tecca (2): Top Streaming Song, Top Rap Song                                                
Metallica (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour                                                   
Morgan Wallen (2): Top Country Album, Top Country Song                                       
Old Dominion (2): Top Country Duo/Group, Top Country Song                               
Romeo Santos (2): Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Album                 
Sech (2): Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song                                                          
Sunday Service Choir (2): Top Gospel Artist, Top Gospel Album  
Tame Impala (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album 
The Chainsmokers (2): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album                                    
The Rolling Stones (2): Top Touring Artist, Top Rock Tour
Tool (2): Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album                                                              
Travis Scott (2): Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Tour                                             
“Aladdin”(1): Top Soundtrack                                                                     
Alan Walker (1): Top Dance/Electronic Album                                                                  
B2K (1): Top R&B Tour                                                                                                 
Black Eyed Peas (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                             
Cardi B (1): Top Rap Female Artist                                                                         
Carrie Underwood (1): Top Country Female Artist                                           
CHVRCHES (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                               
City Girls (1): Top Rap Female Artist                                                 
Darell (1): Top Latin Song                                                                          
“Descendants 3” (1): Top Soundtrack   
Diplo (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                                    
DJ Snake (1): Top Dance/Electronic Artist                                                                
Doja Cat (1): Top R&B Song
Donald Lawrence (1): Top Gospel Album                                                                      
Elevation Worship (1): Top Christian Artist                                                         
Ellie Goulding (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                               
Eric Church (1): Top Country Tour                                                                         
EXO (1): Top Social Artist                                                                                              
Farruko (1): Top Latin Album                                                                        
“Frozen II” (1): Top Soundtrack 
George Strait (1): Top Country Tour                                                                              
GOT7 (1): Top Social Artist                                                                               
Halsey (1): Top Female Artist                                                                                           
Harry Styles (1): Billboard Chart Achievement Award                                               
Janet Jackson (1): Top R&B Tour                                                                          
Jhay Cortez (1): Top Latin Song                                                                                     
Jon Bellion (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                                   
Jonathan David Helser (1): Top Christian Song                                                     
Kacey Musgraves (1): Top Country Female Artist                                                   
Karol G (1): Top Latin Song                                                                                
Koryn Hawthorne (1): Top Gospel Artist                                                                             
Kygo (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song                                                                             
Machine Gun Kelly (1): Top Rock Song                                                                          
Maluma (1): Top Latin Album                                                                              
Mariah Carey (1): Billboard Chart Achievement Award                                                  
Maroon 5 (1): Top Duo/Group                                                                                           
Matthew West (1): Top Christian Song                                                                         
Megan Thee Stallion (1): Top Rap Female Artist                                                            
Melanie Martinez (1): Top Soundtrack                                                                          
Melissa Helser (1): Top Christian Song                                                                          
Mötley Crüe (1): Top Soundtrack                                                                         
Nicky Jam (1): Top Latin Song                                                                                            
P!nk (1): Top Touring Artist                                                          
Skillet (1): Top Christian Album                                                                                     
Slipknot (1): Top Rock Album                                                                                
Snow (1): Top Latin Song                                                                                                   
Tainy (1): Top Latin Song
Tasha Cobbs Leonard (1): Top Gospel Artist      
The Lumineers (1): Top Rock Album                                                                     
Travis Barker (1): Top Rock Song                                                                                 
Tyga (1): Top R&B SongVampire Weekend (1): Top Rock Album                                                                        
Whitney Houston (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song             
William McDowell (1): Top Gospel Album                         
Young Thug (1): Top Rap Album                                                                        
YUNGBLUD (1): Top Rock Song       

2020 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE STATISTICS 

• 2020 NOMINATIONS FAST FACTS 
• ALL-TIME RECORD HOLDERS BY CATEGORY 
• TOP BBMA WINNERS OF ALL TIME (1990–2019) 


2020 NOMINATIONS FAST FACTS 

“POST MALONE LEADS WITH 16 NOMINATIONS, THE MOST OF ANY ARTIST THIS YEAR” 

  • In addition to receiving the most nominations (16), rapper/singer/songwriter Post Malone is also nominated in more categories than any other artist this year (15), including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist. He is nominated twice in the Top Rap Song category with “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)” and “Wow.” 

“IF POST MALONE SWEEPS IN ALL HIS CATEGORIES, HE WILL TIE WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON FOR 16 TOTAL WINS AND SURPASS MARIAH CAREY AND BEYONCE” 

  • 2018 Billboard Music Award winner for Top Rap Song, Post Malone, could tie with Whitney Houston for total wins of all time (16) if he takes home the trophies in all his categories this year. Drake still holds the record for most wins of all time (27), followed by Taylor Swift (23). 

“POST MALONE COULD BREAK DRAKE’S RECORD FOR MOST WINS IN A SINGLE NIGHT”

  • Post Malone leads for the most nominations this year (16), followed by Lil Nas X (13). Both artists have the chance to surpass or tie Drake’s 2017 record (13) for the artist with the most wins in a single night.

“TAYLOR SWIFT COULD BREAK DRAKE’S RECORDFOR MOST WINS BY ANY ARTIST OF ALL TIME”

  • Taylor Swift is nominated in six categories this year. If she wins in at least 5 of these categories, she could break Drake’s record for most wins by any artist of all time (27).  

“KANYE WEST COULD WIN HIS FIRST BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARD IN A GOSPEL AND/OR CHRISTIAN CATEGORY. HE ALSO EARNED 4 NOMINATIONS WITHIN A SINGLE CATEGORY — TOP GOSPEL SONG”

  • Kanye West has the sixth-most nominations this year (9) with first-time nominations in the Christian and Gospel categories, including Top Christian Artist, Top Gospel Artist, Top Christian Album, Top Gospel Album, Top Christian Song and 4 nominations within the Top Gospel Song category. He is also up against his own Sunday Service Choir for Top Gospel Artist.

“BILLIE EILISH, LIL NAS X, LIZZO, HARRY STYLES AND JONAS BROTHERS COULD WIN THEIR FIRST-EVER BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARD THIS YEAR AS FIRST-TIME NOMINEES” 

  • Billie Eilish scored the third-most nominations with 12, including Top Artist, Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist and Top Selling Song. She could receive her first-ever Billboard Music Award at this year’s show.
  • Lil Nas X is a first-time nominee and racked up the second-most nominations with 13, including Top New Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Rap Artist and Top Hot 100 Song. The “Old Town Road” artist could ride into the sunset with his first-ever Billboard Music Award at this year’s show. 
  • Lizzo is feeling “good as hell” as a first-time nominee, scoring 11 nominations, including Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Song, Top Rap Song and Top Selling Song, among others. She could receive her first-ever Billboard Music Award at this year’s show.
  • Harry Styles is a first-time nominee as a solo artist with a nomination in the Billboard Chart Achievement Award category. He could walk away with his first-ever Billboard Music Award at this year’s show. 
  • Jonas Brothers are first-time nominees with 4 nominations in the categories of Top Artist, Top Duo/Group, Top Radio Songs Artist and Top Radio Song. The brothers could collect their first-ever Billboard Music Award at this year’s show. 

ALL-TIME RECORD HOLDERS BY CATEGORY: 
TOP ARTIST 
50 CentAdele, Drake, Garth BrooksDestiny’s ChildTaylor Swift and Usher are tied for the most wins in this category with 2 wins. Taylor Swift is nominated again this year, giving her the chance to have the most wins in this category should she take home the trophy.

TOP MALE ARTIST 
Justin Bieber and Drake are tied for most wins (2) in this category after Drake took home his second trophy in 2019. Ed Sheeran currently has 1 win for Top Male Artist and is nominated again this year, giving him the chance to tie Bieber and Drake with 2 wins.

TOP FEMALE ARTIST 
Taylor Swift leads with 3 wins in this category.  Taylor is nominated again this year and will become the most decorated Top Female Artist with 4 wins in this category should she take home the award. Ariana Grande took home her first Top Female Artist trophy in 2019 and is nominated again this year. If she wins, she would tie with Adele with 2 awards in this category.

TOP DUO OR GROUP 
BTS won this category for the first time in 2019 and they are nominated again this year. If they win, BTS would tie with Imagine Dragons with 2 wins for Top Duo or Group. Dan + Shay, Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5 and Panic! At The Disco are also nominees this year and could be first-time winners in this category should any take home the trophy.  One Direction currently holds the record with 3 wins in this category. The group previously won in 2013, 2015 and 2016. 

TOP R&B ARTIST 
R. Kelly has the most wins (4) for Top R&B Artist. He won the category in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2001. Usher follows with 3 wins in 1998, 2004 and most recently in 2011. In 2019, XXXTENTACION received a posthumous nomination in this category, where Ella Mai ultimately won. This year, Chris Brown, Khalid, Lizzo, Summer Walker and The Weeknd are nominated in this category.

TOP RAP ARTIST 
Drake took home this award in 2016, 2017, and now leads for most wins in this category with 3, after his 2019 win. Eminem and protégé 50 Cent are tied in this category with 2 wins each. Eminem won Top Rap Artist in 2011 and 2014, while 50 Cent won the award twice, years before his mentor, in 2003 and 2005. This year, it could be the first win in this category for nominees DaBaby, Juice WRLD, Lil Nas X, Post Malone and Roddy Ricch.

TOP COUNTRY ARTIST 
Garth Brooks has won this award three times in 1991, 1993 and 1998. Luke Combs became a first time Top Country Artist winner after taking home the trophy in 2019, and could notch his second win in this category this year. Dan + Shay were nominated in 2019 and again this year, along with Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Kane Brown

TOP ROCK ARTIST 
twenty one pilots and Imagine Dragons were tied for the most wins with 2 each, but the latter became the record holder for most wins in this category after their 2019 win. This year, twenty one pilots has the chance to tie again should they win. Also nominated in this category are Panic! At The Disco, Tame Impala and Tool.

TOP LATIN ARTIST 
Currently tied with 2 wins each, Ozuna or Romeo Santos could set a record for most wins for Top Latin Artist, should either receive a trophy this year. Ozuna took home the award for Top Latin Artist in 2018 and again in 2019. Romeo Santos previously won Top Latin Artist back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. Anuel AABad Bunny and J Balvin are also nominated this year.

TOP CHRISTIAN ARTIST 
LaurenDaigle and Chris Tomlin are currently tied with 2 wins each in this category. Tomlin previously won in 2011 and 2014. Daigle took home the award in 2017 and again in 2019. She could be the Top Christian Artist of all time with 3 wins in this category, if she receives a trophy this year. She is up against Kanye West, who is a first-time nominee in this category, as well as Elevation Worshipfor KING & COUNTRY, and Hillsong UNITED

TOP GOSPEL ARTIST 
Kirk Franklin could break his own record, currently leading with 2 wins in this category in 2016 and 2017. Franklin is nominated again this year and will become the most decorated Top Gospel Artist with 3 wins in this category should he take home the award. Tasha Cobbs Leonard won in 2019 and is nominated again this year. If she wins, she will tie with Kirk Franklin with 2 wins for Top Gospel Artist. Kanye West and his Sunday Service Choir are also nominated for the first time in this category.

TOP DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST 
The Chainsmokers held on to their record for most wins in this category. The duo took home their third award and broke their own record after their 2019 win, and could win a fourth trophy this year. Also nominated in this category are Avicii, DJ Snake, Illenium and Marshmello.

TOP BBMA WINNERS OF ALL TIME (1990–2019): 
 1. Drake – 27 wins total; Top Rap Artist (2016); Top Artist (2017); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2017); Top Billboard 200 Album (2017); Top Rap Artist (2017); Top Male Artist (2017); Top Rap Album (2017); Top Hot 100 Artist (2017); Top Song Sales Artist (2017); Top Streaming Songs Artist (2017); Top Rap Tour (2017); Top Streaming Song [Audio] (2017); Top R&B Song (2017), Top R&B Collaboration (2017); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2018), Top Artist (2019), Top Male Artist (2019), Top Billboard 200 Artist (2019), Top Hot 100 Artist (2019), Top Streaming Songs Artist (2019), Top Song Sales Artist (2019), Top Radio Songs Artist (2019), Top Rap Artist (2019), Top Rap Male Artist (2019), Top Billboard 200 Album (2019), Top Rap Album (2019), Top Streaming Song (Video) (2019) 

2. Taylor Swift – 23 wins total; Top Billboard 200 Artist (2011); Top Country Artist (2011); Top Country Album (2011); Woman of the Year (2012); Top Artist (2013); Top Female Artist (2013); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2013); Top Digital Songs Artist (2013); Top Country Artist (2013); Top Billboard 200 Album (2013); Top Country Album (2013); Top Country Song (2013); Top Artist (2015); Top Female Artist (2015); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2015); Top Hot 100 Artist (2015); Top Digital Songs Artist (2015); Top Billboard 200 Album (2015); Top Streaming Song [Video] (2015); Billboard Chart Achievement Award (2015); Top Touring Artist (2016); Top Female Artist (2018); Top Selling Album (2018) 

3. Justin Bieber – 20 wins total; Top New Artist (2011); Top Social Artist (2011); Top Streaming Artist (2011); Top Digital Artist (2011); Top Pop Album (2011); Top Streaming Song, [Video] (2011); Billboard.com Fan Favorite Award (2011); Top Social Artist (2012); Milestone Award (2013); Top Male Artist (2013); Top Social Artist (2013); Top Social Artist (2014); Top Social Artist (2015); Top Male Artist (2016); Top Social Media Artist (2016); Top Hot 100 Song (2018); Top Streaming Song [Video] (2018); Top Selling Song (2018); Top Collaboration (2018); Top Latin Song (2018) 

4. Garth Brooks – 19 wins total; #1 Albums Artist (1991); #1 Country Album (1991); #1 Country Singles Artists (1991); #1 Country Artist (1991); #1 Country Albums Artist (1991); # 1 Pop Artist (1992); #1 Country Artist (1993); #1 Pop Artist (1993); #1 Country Singles Artist (1993); #1 Country Albums Artist (1993); Country Album of the Year (1995); Artist Achievement Award (1997); Country Artist of the Year (1998); Country Album of the Year (1998); Male Album of the Year (1998); Male Albums Artist of the Year (1998); Country Singles Artist of the Year (1998); Country Albums Artist of the Year (1998); Male Artist of the Decade (1999) 

5. Adele – 18 wins total; Top Billboard 200 Album (2012); Top Pop Album (2012); Top Artist (2012); Top Female Artist (2012); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2012); Top Hot 100 Artist (2012); Top Digital Songs Artist (2012); Top Radio Songs Artist (2012); Top Digital Media Artist (2012); Top Pop Artist (2012); Top Streaming Song [Audio] (2012); Top Alternative Song (2012); Top Pop Album (2013); Top Artist (2016); Top Female Artist (2016); Top Billboard 200 Artist (2016); Top Billboard 200 Album (2016); Top Selling Song (2016) 

Usher – 18 wins total; Artist of the Year (1998); R&B Artist of the Year (1998); Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year (1998); Artist of the Year (2004); R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2004); Hot 100 Artist of the Year (2004); Hot 100 Single of the Year (2004); Mainstream Top 40 Artist of the Year (2004); Mainstream Top 40 Single of the Year (2004); Billboard 200 Album of the Year (2004); R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2004); R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artist of the Year (2004); Billboard 200 Artist of the Year (2004); Hot 100 Airplay Single of the Year (2004); Rap Song of the Year (2005); Top R&B Artist (2011); Top R&B Song (2011); Top R&B Album (2011) 

6. Whitney Houston – 16 wins total; #1 R&B Singles Artist (1991); #1 R&B Albums Artist (1991); #1 R&B Artist (1991); #1 R&B Album (1991); #1 Hot 100 Singles Artist (1993); #1 Hot 100 Single (1993); Single With Most Weeks at #1 (1993); #1 R&B Single (1993); #1 R&B Singles Artist (1993); #1 R&B Album (1993); #1 World Artist (1993); #1 World Single (1993); #1 Album (1993); #1 Soundtrack Album (1993); #1 Album With Most Weeks at No. 1 (1993); Billboard Millennium Award (2012) 

7. Mariah Carey – 15 wins total; #1 Hot 100 Singles Artist (1991); #1 Album (1991); #1 Adult Contemporary Artist (1991); #1 Pop Artist (1991); #1 Female Artist (1994); Special Hot 100 Singles Award – Most Weeks at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 (1996); Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year (1996); Special Billboard Hot 100 Award for the most No.1s ever by a female artist (1998); Female Artist of the Decade (1999); Hot 100 Song of the Year (2005); Hot 100 Airplay of the Year (2005); Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2005); Female Billboard 200 Album Artist of the Year (2005); Rhythmic Top 40 Title of the Year (2005), ICON Award (2019) 

8. Beyoncé – 13 wins total; Hot 100 Female Artist of the Year (2003); New R&B Artist of the Year (2003); New Female Artist of the Year (2003); Special Hot 100 Award for Most Weeks at No. 1 (2003); Billboard Millennium Award (2011); Top R&B Album (2012); Top Female Artist (2017); Top Touring Artist (2017); Top R&B Artist (2017); Top R&B Tour (2017); Top R&B Album (2017), Top R&B Tour (2019), Top Rap Tour (2019) 

9. R. Kelly – 12 wins total; #1 R&B Artist (1994); R&B Artist of the Year (1996); R&B Artist of the Year (1999); R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2001); R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artist of the Year (2001); R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2001); R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Artist of the Year (2001); R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year (2001); Hot 100 Producer of the Year (2003); R&B Producer of the Year (2003); Hot 100 Songwriter of the Year (2003); R&B Songwriter of the Year (2003) 

Rihanna – 12 wins total; Female Artist of the Year (2006); Female Hot 100 Artist of the Year (2006); Pop 100 Artist of the Year (2006); Top Female Artist (2011); Top Radio Songs Artist (2011); Top Rap Song (2011); Top Streaming Artist (2012); Top Radio Songs Artist (2013); Top R&B Artist (2013); Top R&B Album (2013); Top R&B Song (2013); Billboard Chart Achievement Award (2016) 

10. Janet Jackson – 11 wins total; #1 Hot 100 Singles Artist (1990); #1 R&B Artist (1990); #1 R&B Singles Artist (1990); #1 R&B Albums Artist (1990); #1 Dance Club Play Artist (1990); #1 Hot Dance 12-inch Singles Sales Artist (1990); #1 R&B Album (1990); #1 Pop Album (1990); Artist Achievement Award (1995); Artist Achievement Award (2001); ICON Award (2018) 

Carrie Underwood – 11 wins total; Country Single Sales Artist of the Year (2005), Top-Selling Country Single of the Year (2005), Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year (2005), Album of the Year (2006), Country Album of the Year (2006), Female Billboard 200 Albums Artist of the Year (2006), Female Country Artist of the Year (2006), New Country Artist of the Year (2006), Milestone Award (2014), Top Christian Song (2015), Top Country Female Artist (2019)

Review: ‘Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert,’ starring Paul Tollett, Raymond Roker, Dani Lindstrom, Stacey Vee, Perry Farrell, Ice Cube and Diplo

April 10, 2020

by Carla Hay

Beyoncé in “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” (Photo courtesy of YouTube Originals)

“Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” 

Directed by Chris Perkel

Culture Representation: This official documentary about the first 20 years of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (an annual event in Indio, California) includes interviews with a racially diverse group of Coachella employees, artists and other associates.

Culture Clash: Coachella was a money-losing festival in its first few years and has grown into a major money-making event in pop culture, even though some critics believe Coachella has become too trendy and high-priced.

Culture Audience: “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” will primarily appeal to music fans and people who want to learn more about Goldenvoice, the concert-promotion company behind Coachella.

The hologram of Tupac Shakur in “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” (Photo courtesy of YouTube Originals)

If you’re looking for shocking behind-the-scenes stories in the documentary “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert,” then you’ll probably be disappointed. But this feel-good movie, directed by Chris Perkel, is a traditionally made chronicle of one the world’s most famous music festivals. The reason for this family-friendly portrayal of Coachella’s history (besides the fact that it’s available for free viewing on YouTube) is because Goldenvoice, the Los Angeles concert-promotion company behind Coachella, is one of the production companies that made this movie. In other words, this is not really an investigative documentary as much as it is a feature-length promotional video for Coachella.

Although some people in the movie talk about the festival’s early problems, there is absolutely no criticism of Coachella. Pretty much everyone who’s interviewed in the film gives praise to Coachella is some way. The movie’s biggest strengths are the musical performances that are in the film, as well as some interesting tidbits of information that aren’t very surprising, since most of the information in the movie has already been revealed in previous media coverage of Coachella.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, like most pop-culture phenomena, didn’t start out as something that people immediately thought would be a hit. The festival was launched in 1999, the same year that large-scale music festivals got a very bad name because of the disastrous Woodstock ’99 Festival, which ended with riots, arson, assaults and thefts. The first Coachella, which took place in October 1999, was announced the Monday after Woodstock ’99 (which took place in August in upstate New York) got a lot of backlash for ending in such a catastrophe. And the site for Coachella was an unorthodox risk—the Empire Polo Club in the desert city of Indio, California, which is about 128 miles east of Los Angeles.

According to Goldenvoice president/Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett (the person with the most screen time in the movie), Coachella had two things going for it that most other large-scale music festivals did not: The promise of a laid-back California vibe and California’s sunny weather, which made the chances very slim that Coachella would be plagued by the kind of rain that often wreaks havoc on festivals that are east of California.

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) founder Pasquale Rotella, who says his business models for EDC and his other festivals were heavily influenced by Coachella, had this to say: “Some people who see Coachella now think, ‘Oh, that’s a no-brainer.’ Coachella is beautiful now [but] it was difficult. It took the concert promoter Goldenvoice several years to make it happen. And if it wasn’t for Goldenvoice’s roots, I don’t think Coachella would be what it is today.

“Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” is divided into five chapters, with two chapters focused on specific music genres: “Chapter One: Origins,” “Chapter Two: The Early Years”; “Chapter Three: The Rise of Robots” (focusing on electronic dance music); “Chapter Four: The New Beats” (focusing on hip-hop); and “Chapter Five: The Next Generation.”

“Chapter One: Origins” has the history of the early years of Goldenvoice, which Gary Tovar launched in 1981 as an independent concert-promotion company whose specialty was booking punk and alternative rock bands at small venues in the Los Angeles area. Tovar says in the documentary: “When I started doing concerts, the punk rock that I did was too wild for some people.” Slamdancing and violence were very common at these shows, so many venues were reluctant to have shows that Goldenvoice was promoting.

By the mid-1980s, Goldenvoice’s influence grew to booking larger venues and helped launch the careers of acts such as Jane’s Addiction, Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of those acts had outgrown Goldenvoice, which was still mainly booking nightclubs and small theaters. But the relationships that Goldenvoice had with these artists were the foundation of what would become Coachella.

Tollett got his start booking ska shows in Pomona, California, in the mid-1980s. When he first met Goldenvoice’s Tovar, he thought Tovar would be an unfriendly rival, but “We hit it off instantly,” Tollett remembers. Later, “He gave me a box of flyers to pass out, and that was the first day that I worked at Goldenvoice.”

Dani Lindstrom, a longtime Goldenvoice employee, remembers that back in the late 1980s, the Goldenvoice office, which was located at the time above The Palladium, was “basically about five people booking shows.” Tollett adds that in the early 1990s, it looked like Goldenvoice was doing well, but the reality was that company was struggling financially.

And then, Goldenvoice experienced a major blow when Tovar was busted for what he describes in the documentary as his “side business”—smuggling and selling marijuana. In 1991, he was arrested and later sentenced to seven years in prison. The scandal effectively ended Tovar’s career as a concert promoter, but he refused to let Goldenvoice go bankrupt while he was in prison. Tovar sold the company to Goldenvoice employees Tollett and Rick Van Santen, who became presidents of the company.

The documentary names two events that also planted the seeds of Coachella. First, during Pearl Jam’s feud with Ticketmaster in 1993, the band was looking to do a gig in Southern California at a venue that wasn’t associated with Ticketmaster. Goldenvoice stepped in and booked Pearl Jam at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. The concert was a sold-out success (25,000 people attended), and it put the concert industry on notice that a show of this size could be done without Ticketmaster.

The other important event that helped give birth to Coachella was Goldenvoice’s involvement in the Organic Festival for rave music. After bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine became too big to book for Goldenvoice in the 1990s, Tollett says that the company began to focus more on booking rave acts. The concept of Coachella was for it to be a combination of a big rock festival and a rave party.

Moby, one of the performers at the first Coachella, says that he was one of the people who thought that bringing a “European-style festival to the U.S.” was an interesting idea, but at the time, he wasn’t sure if it was going to work in the California desert. Meanwhile, sound engineer Dave Rat of Rat Sound admits that he was one of many people who thought even the name Coachella was a bad idea at the time.

The documentary portrays Coachella as a groundbreaking large-scale U.S. music and arts festival for alternative rock and other artists whose careers were helped by college radio, but the movie doesn’t properly acknowledge that Lollapalooza had the same concept and did it years before Coachella existed. Lollapolooza was a touring festival that began in 1991 and continued to 1997, and was resurrected in 2003. Lollapalooza was then revived in 2005 as a non-touring festival, with the U.S. edition taking place in Chicago. It’s obvious from the timeline of when Lollapalooza was on hiatus that Coachella was created to fill the void left by Lollapaolooza.

Jane’s Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell, who co-founded Lollapalooza and performed as a solo artist at the first Coachella, is interviewed in the documentary. As influential as Lollapalooza was in the 1990s, even Farrell acknowledges that Coachella has a much higher profile in the consciousness of the media and pop culture: “You’re going to be judged, man, when you hit the Coachella stage, and it’s going to be talked about for the rest of the year.”

“Chapter Two: The Early Years” is one of the more fascinating parts of the documentary because it covers the years that didn’t get the level of media attention that Coachella does now. The headliners at the first Coachella Festival (which was only a two-day event back then) included Beck, Morrissey (footage of his performance is in the documentary), Rage Against the Machine, the Chemical Brothers, Tool, Farrell and Ben Harper.

Tollett says that Coachella was such a financial disaster in its first year (he estimates the festival lost between $850,000 to $1 million) that he had his bank card taken away and “I got kicked out of a bank.” He adds that Coachella was able to continue because of Goldenvoice’s good relationships with people in the music industry. “The only reason why we were able to keep going was because we had a good reputation,” he says, adding that people such as Lollapalooza co-founders Don Muller and Marc Geiger lent money to Goldenvoice.

The financial losses of the first Coachella caused the festival to go on hiatus in 2000. But then, the financial fortunes of Goldenvoice changed in 2001, when the company was bought by AEG Live (now called AEG Presents) for about $7 million. Goldenvoice then became part of the AEG subsidiary Concerts West, with Tollett and Van Santen retaining their presidential roles at Goldenvoice. AEG had recently constructed the Staples Center arena and wanted to have a major festival as part of its portfolio, so the company gave the go-ahead for Goldenvoice to revive Coachella. And the rest is history.

The documentary then goes over some of the biggest highlights in those early Coachella years. In 2001, there was the reunion of Jane’s Addiction, which Tollett says largely happened because Van Santen convinced the band to get back together. But the festival had a serious garbage-disposal problem that year because, as Tollett says, they didn’t have enough trash cans on the site.

However, the reunion of Jane’s Addiction at Coachella set a precedent for Coachella being a leading festival for bands to stage reunions. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA says in the documentary that seeing Rage Against the Machine’s 2007 reunion performance at Coachella was when he knew that Wu-Tang Clan would eventually do a reunion show at Coachella, which happened in 2013. Other artists who have done reunion performances at Coachella include N.W.A., Pixies, Guns N’Roses and OutKast.

Coachella in 2002 was “the first year we didn’t make a mistake,” Tollett says. That year, Björk became the first female artist to headline at Coachella. Goldenvoice employee Stacey Vee remembers that the early 2000s were a great time for alternative rock bands, and that only helped Coachella. The documentary includes footage of 2003 headliners the White Stripes.

The year 2004 was the first time that Coachella made a profit, according to Tollett. Radiohead, Pixies and Kraftwerk were among the headliners. In 2005, there was another big alt-rock reunion: Bauhaus, which included lead singer Peter Murphy entering the stage hanging upside down like a bat for the song “Bela Legosi’s Dead.” The movie has footage of this performance. The documentary includes interviews with Bauhaus members Murphy (in an audio interview), Daniel Ash and David J, who remembers that Bauhaus wanted to release live bats during the band’s performance but couldn’t because it was illegal.

It was in the mid-2000s that Coachella became a very hot ticket. Coachella culinary director Nic Adler remembers in the first few years of Coachella, Goldenvoice was literally giving away tickets to him and his co-workers to attend. By the sixth or seventh year of Coachella, he says, those free tickets stopped. “There was that switch in the festival where you literally saw it was something you had to do, something you had to be at,” Adler comments.

Coachella in 2006 was most memorable for Madonna’s performance, which was booked on such relatively short notice that she couldn’t perform on the already-booked main stage. Instead, she performed in the tent for electronic dance music (EDM) artists. The documentary includes footage of Madonna performing “Hung Up” in the tent. Madonna was the first superstar to perform at Coachella, according to Goldenvoice’s Raymond Roker, the former editor-in-chief/publisher of URB magazine.

However, Madonna at Coachella didn’t happen without some criticism, as some of Coachella’s early fans thought that the festival wasn’t supposed to be for major pop acts. But at this point, so many Hollywood celebrities were flocking to Coachella, that it was inevitable that the festival would start having artists with more mainstream appeal. The documentary has some backstage footage from the 2007 Coachella that briefly shows actor Danny DeVito posing for a picture with singer Amy Winehouse—that pretty much says it all. Hollywood actress Rosanna Arquette, who did backstage interviews for Coachella for several years, says in the documentary: “It was the most favorite job I’ve ever had in my life.”

“Chapter Three: The Rise of Robots” covers the importance of Coachella to EDM acts. While many festivals in the 2000s were afraid to have a rave-style atmosphere, Coachella embraced it and helped boost the careers of many EDM acts. Coachella also helped usher in the era of DJs and other EDM artists staging big productions for their shows, with elaborate lighting and stunning visuals.

Two EDM performances at Coachella are singled out as major milestones: Daft Punk in 2006 (when the group performed a very “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”-inspired outer-space-themed set) and Tiësto in 2010, when he became the first EDM artist to perform on Coachella’s main stage. Steve Aoki raves about Daft Punk’s 2006 Coachella performance: “It changed people’s lives, including mine, forever.” Jason Bentley adds, “Nothing was the same after that performance.”

This chapter also mentions that Coachella influenced how EDM acts began to have more high-tech productions. Paul van Dyk says, “I’m not scared of technology. It’s something I use as a tool.” Tiësto says that the rise of EDM also coincided with the rise of social media: “Social media made a big difference. As soon as Facebook and Instagram blew up, EDM blew up. For years [EDM music] was held down by the people who controlled the [mainstream] media.”

But EDM at Coachella isn’t just about elaborate light shows or movie-quality images on big screens. Also included in this chapter are commentaries from actor Idris Elba (who moonlights as a DJ) and Nina Kraviz, who praise the low-tech vibe of Coachella’s Yuma Stage, which doesn’t have any big screens. Meanwhile, Diplo says that even though headlining sets happen at night, “Sunset is the best time to play Coachella.”

“Chapter Four: The New Beats” covers the evolution of rap and hip-hop at Coachella. Goldenvoice’s Roker notes that in Coachella’s early years, the rap acts booked at the festival tended to be those that were played on college radio and had a largely white fan base. (Jurassic 5 is named as one example.) Roker says, “It took a while for the culture to merge.”

Coachella went from booking mostly independent rap acts to acts that had major crossover success on the pop charts. Kanye West (who showed up 20 minutes late for his first Coachella performance in 2006) is cited as one of the first major crossover rap acts to perform at Coachella. Jay-Z had the biggest breakthrough as the first rap act to headline at Coachella, which he did in 2010.

According to Tollett, Jay-Z was selected for the headlining spot after Goldenvoice promoters saw him perform as a replacement for headliner the Beastie Boys at the 2009 All Points West Festival, which was also a Goldenvoice show. When Jay-Z opened the show with the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (a rap song with a rock beat), the people at Goldenvoice knew that he could do a show that could appeal to Coachella’s audience, which consisted of mostly rock fans at the time.

As the 2010s became the decade that rap and hip-hop began to have more of a presence at Coachella, so too did social media. It was in this decade that Instagram became the main social-media platform for Coachella attendees to document their experiences and fashion choices. In 2011, YouTube began livestreaming Coachella for the first time.

By 2012, Coachella had become so popular (with the event usually selling out the first day it went on sale) that Goldenvoice did something that was truly groundbreaking at the time: Coachella was extended for a second weekend, with the same acts performing in the same time slots for each weekend. Tollett says that there were many naysayers to this idea at the time, but it turned out to be a major success and catapulted Coachella to become the world’s top-grossing festival, in terms of ticket sales. Although attendance numbers and ticket sales were not mentioned in the documentary, in 2017 (the last year that Coachella publicly reported this information), Coachella was attended by 250,000 people and grossed $114.6 million.

The year 2012 was also a milestone year for Coachella because it featured what Tollett calls “The single most popular thing that ever happened at Coachella.” During Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s performance at Coachella’s first weekend, a surprise hologram of the late Tupac Shakur appeared on stage and performed. The hologram made news worldwide and became a massive sensation on the Internet.

Dylan Brown, who created the hologram, explains in the documentary how precise the movements had to be, even down to raising an eyebrow on the hologram. “We just wanted to do it right. We wanted to be respectful to the [Shakur] family and to the fans.”

Roker adds that after this groundbreaking hologram performance, “The genie was never going back in the bottle. It established the show as part of popular culture.” Ice Cube, who was a peer of Shakur’s in the vital 1990s West Coast rap scene, comments on the Coachella hologram: “I was happy for [Dr. Dre] and happy for Tupac being able to be on stage.”

“Chapter Five: The Next Generation” covers how Coachella has evolved to stay relevant to the mostly young people who flock to the event. Gone are the days when alt-rock artists were the majority of the headliners. Coachella is now more diverse than ever before, with pop, hip-hop, Latino and Asian artists becoming more prevalent at Coachella, compared to the festival’s early years. Some of the artists highlighted via performance clips in this chapter include Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, Rosalía and Blackpink.

Roker comments on Coachella changing to fit trends in music: “That’s been the hardest pill to swallow for some of the older fans.” He notes that many of Coachella’s youngest stars share some common characteristics: “They’re coming with fashion, wealth, bravado and carefree aggression.”

As for the definitive Coachella performance in the late 2010s, people interviewed in the documentary mention Beyoncé’s show-stopping 2018 Coachella extravaganza, which was made into the 2019 Netflix documentary “Homecoming:  A Film by Beyoncé.” (She was also the first black woman to headline at Coachella.) Beyoncé’s performance was such a media sensation that fans affectionately renamed Coachella 2018 as “Beychella.”

Roker says of Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance: “She was a woman on a mission. She came there with a script. The performance was a State of the Union for her, and she was going to deliver it.”

And the high profile of a Coachella performance means that artists often feel the need to surpass each other with elaborate productions. The documentary mentions Kanye West’s 2019 Sunday Service performance at Coachella (with hundreds of choir singers and dancers) as one of those over-the-top productions. Goldenvoice literally built a mountain on the field at his request, since a stage was too small for what West had in mind. Goldenvoice producer Jason Brown says that hundreds of trucks were needed to bring in all the dirt and grass to construct the mountain.

Coachella’s increasing diversity and its ability to evolve with the times (instead of sticking to the same musical formula from the festival’s early years) is ultimately one of the reasons why it will continue to thrive, according to artists interviewed in the documentary. Beck, one of the performers at the first Coachella, says about the festival: “If I’m in town, I usually go as a fan. It’s everything that’s happening in music at the moment.” Shepard Fairey adds that the musical variety of Coachella is its biggest draw: “It’s not one cohesive genre. It’s just more cohesive in the idea that ‘good is good.'”

And although headliners get the majority of the media attention at Coachella, most of the music fans at the festival are also there to discover new music or see lesser-known artists they wouldn’t normally see at a regular concert. Diplo, who’s performed at Coachella several times, comments on Coachella expanding beyond the festival’s original template of rock, EDM and some hip-hop: “It’s always been a festival for discovery anyway, so we’re reaching sort of a global cusp. Every year is a metamorphosis.”

“Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” does a great job of covering the festival’s variety of music, and the concert footage is well-edited with very good sound mixing. (Try to watch this movie on the biggest screen possible.) But what’s missing from the documentary is any coverage of the “arts” at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. There have been many amazing art installations at Coachella over the years, so it would have made the documentary truly comprehensive if a little bit of time had been devoted to including a behind-the-scenes look at the festival’s art.

And curiously, the documentary doesn’t mention that Coachella co-founder Van Santen died in 2003, until a brief obituary dedication that’s flashed at the very end (“Rick Van Santen, 1961-2003”). In the documentary, the Goldenvoice people don’t talk about how Van Santen’s death (he passed away from flu complications) affected them and Coachella. Maybe it was too much of a downer for this documentary, which clearly wants to present only a positive and upbeat side to Coachella.

Since this is a Goldenvoice-produced documentary, it comes as no surprise that there’s also no mention about Coachella’s controversies, such as complaints of overcrowding and sexual harassment of attendees. Despite Coachella’s ongoing problems that this documentary doesn’t really want to address, the festival has undoubtedly become a major part of pop culture.

As pop star Billie Eilish says in the beginning of the documentary: “Everybody knows what Coachella is. If you don’t care about music, you know [about Coachella].”  Goldenvoice’s Roker has this conclusion about Coachella’s evolution: “The fact that it represents a fuller picture of culture, that’s the bottom line.”

YouTube Originals premiered “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” on April 10, 2020.

 

T

Review: ‘Miss Americana,’ starring Taylor Swift

January 31, 2020

by Carla Hay

Taylor Swift in "Miss Americana"
Taylor Swift in “Miss Americana” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Miss Americana”

Directed by Lana Wilson

Culture Representation: This very filtered documentary about singer Taylor Swift takes an inside look at her life as a multimillionaire celebrity whose inner circle and career team are almost exclusively white, with a few African Americans who have brief appearances as employees or video collaborators.

Culture Clash: The movie gives Swift’s perspective on conflicts she’s had with her critics over her image, her feud with Kanye West, her love life, her 2017 sexual assault trial and her outspoken liberal views on politics.

Culture Audience: “Miss Americana” will obviously appeal mostly to fans of Swift, but the movie should also interest people who like behind-the-scene stories of entertainment celebrity culture.

Taylor Swift in “Miss Americana” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Miss Americana,” a completely sympathetic documentary about Grammy-winning superstar Taylor Swift, could have been subtitled “The Emancipation of Taylor Swift.” The main narrative of the film is that she’s all grown up now, and she’s no longer afraid to speak her mind and go public about her liberal political views. While she undoubtedly gets candid in the film about many issues she’s faced in her life, and it’s ultimately a feel-good portrayal of Swift, the documentary (directed by Lana Wilson) has a lot of glaring omissions. The biggest one is that it completely ignores the massive public feud that Swift has with music moguls Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun—a feud in which she’s publicly accused them of using their “toxic male privilege” (Swift’s words) to try to take away power from her and other artists.

What viewers of “Miss Americana” will get are several visual montages (on stage and off stage) of Swift’s career over the years, starting when she was an unknown 12-year-old singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania trying to break into country music, to being a Nashville-based, polished 15-year-old aspiring country star, to becoming one of the best-selling female music artists of all time. There’s the expected footage of her on stage, backstage, on the sets of her music videos, and in the recording studio, including showing some of the songwriting process for her 2019 album “Lover,” with cameos from songwriter/producer Jack Antonoff and Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie.

Swift has transitioned from being a country singer to a pop star. It’s a transformation that could have happened because her musical tastes have evolved, but she also admits in the documentary that any changes she makes to her image are mostly because female artists feel more pressure than male artists to constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant.

The beginning of the film shows Swift (who’s famously a cat fanatic) playing the piano while one of her Scottish Fold cats walks all over the piano. Swift then shares some of her childhood diaries, and comments: “My moral code, then and now, is to be good. The main thing I tried to be is a good girl. I was so fulfilled by approval, that was it. I became the person everyone wanted me to be.”

It’s a story that people have heard many times from people who were child stars: They’ve been so programmed to get approval from the public that they can lose their true identities and self-esteem in the celebrity machine. There are too many tragic stories of former child stars who’ve been unable to cope with growing up and becoming less popular as they get older. It’s an underlying fear that Swift admits that she has, because she’s constantly seeking approval from fans and she feels pressure to maintain a certain level of popularity. She’s also well-aware that there’s an age double-standard for female entertainers, who are more likely than male entertainers to be cast aside by the industry once they’re over the age of 35.

The documentary clearly shows that Swift (who turned 30 in December 2019) is very good at marketing herself, and it’s a skill that she learned early in her career. There’s a clip of her on stage in 2003, shortly after her country breakthrough single “Tim McGraw” was released, where she mentions the local country radio station and charmingly asks the audience to contact the station to play the song. The movie also makes a point of showing how Swift avoided going public for years about her political views after she became old enough to vote. Her standard response back then was that she was just a singer and people wanted to hear her sing and not tell them how they should feel about politics.

Swift’s songs are very autobiographical; she’s famous for writing songs about her love affairs and breakups. And because she’s dated a lot of famous men (mostly musicians and actors), her love life has already been thoroughly dissected by fans and the media. The documentary includes a montage of media coverage about her love life and how people’s perceptions of her have been affected by the media coverage.

British actor Joe Alwyn, whom she’s been dating since 2016, is briefly shown in the documentary, as he hugs Swift backstage after one of her concerts. Alywn is not shown speaking on camera, but there are some clips of candid off-stage cell-phone footage of Swift where it’s obvious that Alwyn is the one filming it, such as a clip where Swift is singing and then mouths the words “I love you” to the person filming. All that Swift will say about her romance with Alwyn is that she’s in love, and they both decided that they wanted to keep their relationship private. She doesn’t even say his name in the documentary.

What she does reveal in the documentary that hasn’t been made public before is that she’s had an eating disorder for years and is in recovery, but it’s still a struggle for her. She first mentions her eating disorder in the film when she says she no longer looks at photos of herself every day because it can “trigger” the feelings of insecurity that she has about her body. She then goes on to describe that for years, she thought it was normal to starve herself and feel the physical effects of extreme hunger. She now says that she has healthy eating habits and is comfortable if she’s “a size 6 instead of size 00,” but she says the relentless public scrutiny about her physical appearance can still deeply affect her.

Over the years, Swift has openly talked about how the person she is closest to is her mother, Andrea Swift, who is shown several times in the documentary as a constant companion to her daughter. That strong family support is clearly one of the main reasons why Swift has not become a casualty of fame. Andrea Swift’s cancer diagnosis (which Swift has talked about in other interviews, as well as in this documentary) is something that Swift says has had a profound effect on everyone in the family, and it’s why Swift places family and friends as the highest priorities in her life.

Much has already been said and written about the feud between Swift and Kanye West. In the documentary, Swift says that the notorious incident that started it all did long-lasting damage to her self-esteem. That incident was when West got up on stage and interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech after she won the prize for Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, and he shouted that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” video (which was nominated in the same category) “was one of the best videos of all time.”

Although West was universally slammed for that stunt, and he later made several public apologies, Swift says that at the time she was on stage during the incident, she thought the audience booing was meant for her, not West. She says in the documentary that it was the first time she felt so much negativity from an audience while she was on stage, and it was a “formative experience” that took her down a “psychological path, not all of it beneficial.”

Swift is a celebrity who became famous right when social media became part of the culture, so she’s experienced the highs and lows of social media on a learning curve. On the one hand, Swift is one of the most popular celebrities on social media, with followers that total in the hundreds of millions. On the other hand, when she does something that’s considered controversial, that huge level of attention can turn quickly against her.

The documentary mentions the enormous backlash that she received when West’s wife Kim Kardashian released a secretly recorded video of Swift talking to West over the phone and giving West the go-ahead to mention her in his 2016 song “Famous,” which had not been released yet at the time the conversation happened. The song lyric that mentioned Swift turned out be very derogatory and called her a misogynistic name. After the song was released, Swift claimed that she didn’t know her name would be used in that way, while West and his camp said she did know in advance. That’s when Kardashian released the video.

The documentary makes a point of showing how Swift was virtually bullied by West’s fans, including viral footage of an audience at one of his concerts chanting a derogatory statement about Swift. But the documentary does not mention how some of Swift’s fans on the Internet can be just as vicious in showing hate for people who dare to criticize Swift. Several celebrities who have clashed with Swift have talked about how her most fanatical fans can be bullies. Her public feuds with other celebrities (such as Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and ex-boyfriends Calvin Harris, John Mayer and Joe Jonas) are not mentioned in the documentary, probably because Swift is no longer feuding with them.

Whichever side you believe in the controversy over “Famous,” Swift reveals in the documentary that all the hate she received from “cancel culture” was the main reason why she took a year-long hiatus and came back to the spotlight with her 2017 album “Reputation.” There’s some footage of Swift writing songs that ended up on the album, as well as a scene that shows her disappointment when she gets a call from a handler informing her that the album didn’t get any Grammy nominations in the major categories. (Don’t feel too sorry for Swift. She’s already got several Grammys, including two Grammys for Album of the Year.)

The movie also covers the lawsuit that made Swift go public about being sexually groped by a radio DJ, who later sued her because he was fired over that incident. Swift countersued for $1, to prove that he did grope her without her consent, and she wasn’t going to let him get away with blaming her for the crime he committed. Her $1 counterclaim was her way of telling the world that this issue wasn’t about the money for her. Swift famously won the lawsuit and became an advocate of the #MeToo movement.

In the documentary, Swift makes it clear that her #MeToo experience was the biggest catalyst to her political awakening and her decision to no longer remain silent over the progressive political issues that she wants to publicly support. One of the best parts of the documentary is showing what happened behind the scenes when she made the major decision to give her first political endorsement.

Swift says she was constantly told for her entire career “not to be like the Dixie Chicks,” the female country trio that lost a lot of fans in the early 2000s, after the group spoke out against Republican politics and the war in Iraq. But Swift’s #MeToo experience and the subsequent lawsuits opened her eyes to social justice issues, and she decided for herself: “The next time there’s any opportunity to change anything, you’d better know what you stand for and what you want to say.”

Her decision to go public with her political views didn’t sit well with several members of her team, who told her that she would be making a big mistake. In the movie, the objectors are shown to be all middle-aged men (including her father), who tried to scare her by saying that they were concerned that she would get more death threats and would lose half of her audience if she came out as a political liberal. But Swift firmly did not back down, even though there was some expected fear of the unknown.

The movie shows her apprehension and excitement that she and publicist Tree Paine had together in the moments before she posted her endorsement of Phil Bredesen (a Democrat) over Marsha Blackburn (a Republican) in the 2018 race for Tennessee U.S. Senator. Not only did Swift endorse Bredesen, but she also publicly slammed Blackburn for voting against laws that support rights for the LGBTQ community and female victims of violence. Ultimately, Blackburn won the election, but Swift says she’s hopeful that in future elections, the younger generation will vote to sway politics in a more progressive and inclusive direction.

As Swift says in the movie: “I feel really good about not feeling muzzled anymore. And it was my own doing. I needed to learn a lot before I spoke to 200 million people. But I’ve educated myself now, and it’s time to take the masking tape off of my mouth forever.”

While Swift is obviously a positive inspiration in many ways, as this documentary makes very clear, there are still aspects of “Miss Americana” that aren’t entirely candid. One of the biggest criticisms of Swift is that she has a tendency to portray herself as a victim when things don’t go her way. No one is expecting her to be perfect, but there’s a limit to Swift being honest about her life for this documentary.

Although she admitted to having issues about eating and her body image, not once does she admit to doing anything mean-spirited or cutthroat in her life. There’s no mention of any friends or lovers she might have tossed aside, no remorse or regret about not treating a loved one better, no acknowledgement of less-than-wonderful things she’s done to rivals or former business associates. In reality, no one gets to her level of success by being nice to everyone. In the documentary, the only mistake she admits to making is not being politically outspoken in 2016 for the U.S. presidential election.

For a “behind the scenes” documentary about an artist who’s risen to the top of the music industry, it’s very unrealistic for Swift to not acknowledge any experiences that she might have had with illegal drugs, alcohol, diet pills, prescription medication or even nicotine. If you were to believe everything that’s presented this movie, those things just don’t exist in Swift’s world. The worst “vice” that Swift shows on camera is uttering a few curse words. The documentary might look “revealing” to many people who don’t know what really goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, but for those who do know what really goes on, it’s very obvious that “Miss Americana” is very white-washed indeed.

The narrative here is that bad things keep happening to Swift (stalkers, intrusive paparazzi, tabloid media, haters on the Internet), and she always finds a way to triumph and overcome it all. That is, except for the battle that she lost against Borchetta and Braun, which is not mentioned at all in this documentary. It’s obvious that Swift and/or the documentary’s filmmakers didn’t want to put anything in the movie that would weaken Swift’s “female empowerment” image that she wants to have.

In July 2019, Swift went on the Internet to post a lengthy rant accusing Borchetta (the founder of Big Machine Records, her former record company) of unscrupulously taking her pre-2019 song catalogue and selling it to music manager Braun, whom Swift considers an enemy because Braun was West’s manager during the worst of Swift’s feud with West. Swift claims that she and her management/publishing team (which includes her father, Scott Swift) weren’t given a fair opportunity to buy these master recordings of her songs. Borchetta vehemently denies the accusation, and says that Swift had a chance to buy the songs but she didn’t agree to the deal that was presented. The “he said/she said” fight blew up to such an extent that many celebrities jumped into the fray by either taking Swift’s side or the Borchetta/Braun side.

For all of Swift’s preaching about female empowerment in this documentary, it’s odd that she and this movie’s director have cut out this chapter of her life that Swift has tried to present as part of her fight against male sexism. She used the feud as a platform to speak out about not only male sexism but also artists’ rights and what kinds of contracts artists sign that could have long-lasting effects on their careers.

Swift has presented herself as an outspoken advocate for artists’ rights before (her push to get Spotify to pay reasonable artist royalties is one example—something that’s also not mentioned in the movie), so it’s a major setback in her life and her career that one of her enemies now owns the vast majority of her songs. The fact that this life-changing experience wasn’t even acknowledged in the documentary indicates how much of a public-relations showcase “Miss Americana” is instead of a complete behind-the-scenes look at her life.

The documentary seems to want people to forget that Swift’s feud with Borchetta/Braun ever happened, even though she was the one who took the feud public in the first place and ended up getting a lot of backlash from people who think she misrepresented herself as a victim in this situation. Rather than being fully honest and sharing what she learned from this undoubtedly painful experience, Swift probably told the filmmakers directly or indirectly not to put it in the movie. Let’s be real: Even though she’s not listed as a producer of “Miss Americana,” she obviously had a lot of creative control over this documentary, based on what they chose to show and what they chose not to show.

Also absent from the documentary is any mention of Swift’s attempts to become a movie actress, which have resulted in her appearing in flops such as 2014’s “The Giver” and 2019’s “Cats.” Anything that makes Swift look like a failure or someone who made a really bad career decision is essentially shut out of the documentary. Instead, “Miss Americana” ends with Swift winning Video of the Year at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards for “You Need to Calm Down,” her platform to show her as an ally to the LGBTQ community. The award show took place on August 26, 2019—several weeks after she started feuding with Borchetta and Braun, so there was plenty of time to include the feud in the movie.

Another thing the documentary makes clear is that even though Swift talks a lot about female empowerment, her team is led by men, while women are mostly relegated to traditionally female roles, such as publicist, backup dancer, makeup artist and hair stylist. There are several scenes in the movie where Swift is the only woman in the recording studio. Why not hire more female musicians, producers and engineers? Swift has the power to do that, so there’s really no excuse.

Beyoncé has an all-female touring band of musicians (and so did Prince), so there are artists who are actually doing something about breaking barriers for women in the music industry. It remains to be seen if Swift will take a lot of her talk about female empowerment in the music industry and actually be an agent for change. If she ever wins Album of the Year at the Grammys again, we’ll see if she’s surrounded by a diverse group of people on stage who would share the award with her, instead of the same men who constantly get preferential treatment in the music industry.

For now, “Miss Americana” shows that Swift wants to spread a progressive political agenda and she wants to be praised as a symbol for female empowerment. But if she really wants to empower more women in the industry, she can start with the people she hires to make music with her and who she puts in charge of her business interests, instead of blaming other people for being the problem.

Netflix premiered “Miss Americana” and released the movie in select U.S. cinemas on January 31, 2020.