Kelly Clarkson kicks off 2020 Billboard Music Awards with Whitney Houston cover, Post Malone takes top award
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With 16 nominations going into the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, Post Malone took home nine of the nods Wednesday evening.
After announcing that Malone won the show's biggest honor, top artist, host Kelly Clarkson wheeled out eight more trophies for the hitmaker "COVID style."
“I’m honestly blown away by the love everyone’s shown to me," Malone, 25, said onstage. “It’s kind of big deal to me and everybody involved because we work our (butts) off."
Post Malone accepts the top artist award at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Clarkson, 38, returned to host the 2020 Billboard Music Awards for the third consecutive year and she did not disappoint.
The former “American Idol” standout and now-daytime talk show host opened up the show with a stunning display of "Higher Love," a Steve Winwood Song that Whitney Houston covered. Clarkson was joined by the legendary Prince protégé Sheila E. and two-time Billboard Music Award nominees Pentatonix.
Kelly Clarkson performs onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
After the performance, Clarkson joked that she had to be her own hypewoman given the fact there was no live audience in attendance at the famed Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Billie Eilish’s debut album continued its winning streak, picking up the top Billboard 200 album honor at the award show.
Billie Eilish accepts the Top Billboard 200 Album Award onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. (Photo by Kevin Winter/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
She accepted the honor Wednesday night for “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” It won the top prize at the Grammy Awards in January.
Eilish thanked her fans for “believing in me and caring about me," adding that when it comes to winning awards she “never ever takes these for granted." She wore a mask as she spoke in front of an empty venue because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sheila E. performs onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.(Photo by Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
Lizzo wore a black dress with “vote" printed on it. She gave an encouraging speech, telling viewers to find their voices and don't change to meet society standards.
Other winners included Lil Nas X, who was also on-hand to accept top Hot 100 song for “Old Town Road," which set the record for most weeks at No. 1. After his performance, Luke Combs was named top country artist and offered positive words to his fans and the crew working on the awards show.
Lizzo appears on stage to accept the award for top song sales artist at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
“I know what everybody has been through so much this year. I wanna thank the crew that is working on this show tonight because they have gone through some insane stuff to make this happen for you guys. I hope everybody is staying safe there at home," he said.
With his voice aching as he sang passionately from the piano, John Legend dedicated his performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards to his wife Chrissy Teigen, who recently announced she had lost a pregnancy.
John Legend performs at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. (Photo by Kevin Winter/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
Before singing “Never Break," which includes the lyrics “we will never break," Legend, referring to his wife, told viewers: “This is for Chrissy."
Earlier this month, Teigen wrote a heart wrenching social media post, explaining that she and Legend drove “home from the hospital with no baby. This is unreal.”
“John, that was so beautiful," host Clarkson said following Legend's pre-taped performance. “All my love to you and Chrissy."
Garth Brooks performs onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. He took home the Icon Award. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)
Garth Brooks accepted the Icon Award from Cher, who called the country star “a true music legend and my friend Garth Brooks." Brooks, who is the only artist to have nine of his albums sell more than 10 million units each and reach diamond status, performed a medley of his hits.
Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen, who died last week, was honored as the show aired a clip of his Billboard Awards performance from 2015. And rapper-activist Killer Mike received the Change Maker Award.
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Other performers included BTS, Alicia Keys, Kane Brown, Khalid, Swae Lee, Sia, Brandy, Bad Bunny, Doja Cat, SAINt JHN, En Vogue and Demi Lovato, who sang her new song aimed at President Trump called “Commander In Chief."
This year’s ceremony was originally supposed to take place in April but was postponed because of the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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