British singer Adele won the big prize, as emotion won the big night, at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards show on Sunday.
The performances included a return to the stage by Celine Dion. She has been privately mourning her husband René Angélil, and her brother, Daniel Dion. Both died in January of this year. Sunday night was her first television appearance since the loss.
Celine's Triumphant Return
The crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas lovingly welcomed Celine Dion. She sang the Queen song “The Show Must Go On.” Later, she told People magazine that the song was her husband’s favorite.
Celine Dion with late husband Rene Angelil in 2013.
Dion was honored with the Billboard Icon award at the ceremony. She was brought to tears when her son was the surprise presenter of the award. Dion apologized for crying and thanked her many fans for their support, through good times and bad. She dedicated the award to her husband, who she said will "continue to watch over me from up above."
Madonna, Wonder honor Prince
Madonna and Stevie Wonder honored the artist Prince, who died last month. Madonna sang “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a Prince song that Sinead O’Connor recorded in 1990. Images of Prince played on a huge screen above the stage. Wonder joined Madonna on stage to sing "Purple Rain." The crowd joined in and waved their arms. Many wore lighted purple wristbands creating a colorful glow in the arena.
The audience seemed happy with the performance but social media posts were fiercely critical. @RealityWivesTV posted, “The #Prince tribute was completely disrespectful. @Madonna cannot sing. There's no word in any language to convey my disgust."
The media company BET reacted, as well. It plans its own Prince tribute in June. It tweeted, “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.”
Many Twitter posters supported the BET message. But the company might be in for some sharp observation in June. Twitter user Jimmy Jam retweeted the BET message and said he loved it. But he also said “the pressure is on now.”
April of @ReignofApril posted a similar message. She tweeted that BET better “come fully CORRECT,” in its tribute. “They put themselves out there by raising the bar,” she wrote.
And there were awards…
Along with a controversial show, Billboard also presented some artists with honors. Adele won the biggest prize, the Billboard Top Artist award. She also won Top Female Artist. Adele could not attend the award shows but sent a video recording of her acceptance speech.
The Weeknd won more Billboard Awards than any other artist. He took home eight trophies, including Top Hot 100 Artists and Top R&B Artist.
Justin Bieber won Top Male Artist. The Top New Artist went to Fetty Wap. And boy band One Direction was named Top Group.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Caty Weaver wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story
icon – n. a person who is very successful and admired
dedicate – v. to say that (a book, song, etc.) was written or is being performed to honor or express affection for (someone)
glow – v. to shine with a steady light
audience – n. the people who watch, read, or listen to something
convey – v. to make (something) known to someone
controversial – adj. relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument : likely to produce controversy
trophy – n. an object (such as a large cup or sculpture) that is given as a prize for winning a competition