On May 19, the Billboard organization celebrated the past year’s top-charting musicians with an evening of live performances and awards presentations at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. Taking over the stage at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, the live awards show drew nearly 10 million viewers with some of the most anticipated live concerts of the year.
Country crossover artist Taylor Swift was the night’s most successful nominee, winning eight awards from 11 nominations for the work on her latest album, “Red.” Among the eight wins were awards for Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Digital Songs Artist, and Top Country Song for the track “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Swift also premiered the first televised performance of her latest single, “22.” The performance was partially pre-recorded backstage, but was still met with much critical praise.
Following Swift in the awards were Gotye and Rihanna, who each claimed four wins. Gotye’s breakthrough single, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” won the Top Hot 100 Song Award, along with Top Radio Song and Top Rock Song. Rihanna received top honors for both R&B Album of the Year and Top R&B song.
Longtime fan favorite, Madonna, earned three awards, including the Top Touring Artist accolade for her international MDNA Tour, which grossed more than $305 million in its seven-month run. Also boasting three awards were U.K. boy band One Direction—which won for Top New Artist—while Nicki Minaj beat out fellow artists Pitbull, Flo Rida, Drake, and PSY to win the Top Rap Artist Award.
Justin Bieber garnered two traditional awards (Top Male Artist and Top Social Artist), but he also went home with Billboard’s first-ever, fan-voted Milestone Award. The wins come hot on the heels of Bieber’s history-making achievement in music. New chart measurements that compile streaming information from sites like YouTube and Spotify made Justin Bieber’s 2010 single “Baby” the Recording Industry Association of America’s highest-certified single in music history (12 times Platinum). With over 800 million views on YouTube alone, “Baby” surpassed Elton John’s 1997 double A-side single, “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” which sold more than 33 million copies worldwide.
The awards show also honored funk-rock trailblazer, Prince, for his storied 35-year music career with the annual Icon Award. The seven-time GRAMMY Award winner treated fans to a medley of songs like “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Fix Ur Life Up.” Throughout the night, viewers also witnessed performances from top nominees like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, and David Guetta. As these musicians continue to release chart-topping singles, their popularity will only grow, so browse our listings of concert tickets to catch these prominent artists while seats are still available.