Taio Cruz Wins Big at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards
Brazilian singer Taio Cruz was all smiles at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, celebrated annually to honor the most popular stars in music. The awards ceremony, held at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. aired on ABC at 8pm Sunday night.
Cruz’s “Dynamite” got the award for the “Hot 100 Song of the Year” which ranked number one on Billboard’s charts for an impressive 46 weeks.
“This is the first time I have received an award and come up here to receive it,” said Cruz as he held his award up high in the air triumphantly.
“So I am very, very nervous right now. But, I would like to thank my manager… my record company… my label in the UK, my publisher, my friends and family and of course all of my fans. Thank you very much.”
“Hangover 2” star, Ken Jeong hosted the event and acted out a few skits with celebs, including drummer Travis barker, rapper Nicki Minaj who performed with Britney Spears, and Country singer Keith Urban, who sang “Long Hot Summer.”
Taylor Swift took home the award for “Album Artist of the Year” and “Top Country Artist of the Year.” The Pennsylvania native has had two albums at number one. Her third, “Speak Now” sold a million copies in a week, according to Billboards’ ratings.
“I want to thank my record label for working so hard,” Swift said as she received her award. She then thanked the fans for their support.
“You have given me a reason to completely love this,” she said. “Thank you!”
“Digital Artist of the Year” went to Selena Gómez’s beau, Justin Bieber, for being the artist whose songs have been downloaded the most. Gómez warmly embraced Bieber before he strolled to the podium.
“I want to thank everyone who helped me get out of my hometown and live my dream,” Bieber said. “Everyone at the label I love you, I love you, I love you.”
The Black Eyed Peas took home the award for “Top Duo or Group.” They got the crowd moving while performing their new single “Can’t Get Enough.”
Mexican-American MC and B-Boy Taboo emerged on the stage from the back and got the audience all riled up as he blew a kiss to his fans. He then shook hands with the fans, as his band mate apl.de.ap, whose real name is Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr., sang the rest of the song.
They finished their performance jamming to a remixed version of their hit “I gotta a Feeling.
Tim Allen gave the “Country Song of the Year” award to Lady Antebellum for their pop/crossover smash hit “Need You Know.”
The track was the most download country song in Billboard history. The group also performed their latest work, “Just a Kiss.”
“Thank you so much to all the fans out there,” said Charles Kelley, one of lady Antebellum’s lead vocalist.
Hillary Scott, Kelley’s band mate, also expressed her gratitude “to all the radio stations” for playing their song.
Singing powerhouse, Beyoncé Knowles was given the “Billboard Millennium Award” for excelling as a performer, actor and singer. The was award presented to Knowles by her mother, Tina Knowles, after she put on an upbeat dance routine to her new song “Run the World (Girls), which premiered on “American Idol” this week.
“First of all I want to thank Billboard for being so wonderful to me and my crew, my foundation, my family,” Beyoncé said. “Mom you have taught me everything I know by example. I love you so much.”
“I want to thank my father for teaching me about the music industry... Kelly and Michelle from Destiny’s Child and the original members of Destiny’s child and my best friend… I love me some Jay- Z,” said Knowles.
Cee Lo Green was the winner of the “Viral Innovative Award.” “The Voice” (LINK TO STORY) coach performed “Crazy,” minutes before he and his Piano did a full 360 up in the air, as he introduced his latest songs "Bright Lights, Bigger City" and "Forget You."
“Thank you all! Thank you all so much this is great!” he said as Kelly Rowland handed him his award.
“Radio Artist of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year” went to Rihanna, who currently has five singles topping the charts and left the audience mouth open as she along with Britney Spears rocked out in leather outfits, chains and knee-high boots, to Rihanna’s single “S&M.”
“Thank You! Jay- Z, J-Brown, and TaTa,” Rihanna said excitedly, award in hand. “Thank you for believing in me from the beginning. To all the fans and listeners and people calling in, thank you for all that love. And Barbados we got another one!”
Neil Diamond was the recipient of the “Billboards Icon Award,” while the legendary band U2 took home the “Top Touring Band of the Year” award.
Other celebrities who rocked out included Far East Movement and One Republic featuring Snoop Dogg, Ke$ha and Mary J. Blige with Lil Wayne.
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