The singer, who was nominated in 15 categories this year, also took home trophies in Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist categories. Besides Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars also were competing in 15 segments, Billboard reported. Lamar came a close second by scoring four wins as the Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Streaming Song (Audio) for “Humble” and Mars followed in the third position by winning the awards in Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist and Top R&B Tour categories.
The major award wins may have been dominated by male artistes this year, but it was a moment in time when Janet Jackson was announced as the BBMA Icon Award – the first African American female artiste to receive the recognition. She performed a rendition of her ’80s hit “Nasty”, “Throb” and danced to another chartbuster “If” before accepting the honour from Mars. The 52-year-old singer rooted for the #MeToo campaign and declared her support for the people “outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind”.
“I believe that for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment for history. It’s a moment when at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind. “This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness – that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and a boundless love,” she said in her address.
Taylor Swift won Top Female Artist for her album “Reputation” with Cardi B winning the title of Top Rap Female Artist and SZA being adjudged Top R&B Female Artist. Maren Morris received the award for Top Country Female Artist. “Havana” hitmaker Camila Cabello won the Billboard Chart Achievement Award. Khalid emerged as the Top New Artist Khalid and Drake pulled a win as Top Billboard 200 Artist. EDM genius The Chainsmokers snagged the Top Dance/Electronic Artist award.
The duo – Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart – paid tributes to deceased Swedish DJ Avicii, who was found dead on April 20 in Muscat, Oman at age 28. “I know everyone that was nominated for this award was massively influenced by him. He is somebody who made us believe this was a realistic career, something we could do with our lives, inspired all of us, influenced our music, influenced pop music, music in general and he will be missed. “I hope you’re somewhere and I hope you found peace. We love you,” Taggart said in the acceptance speech. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber “Despacito” ruled the roost at the 2018 BBMAs as the hit track bagged five honours in across categories, besides being named the Top Latin Song.
The chart-topper was also chosen as the Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song (Video), Top Selling Song and Top Collaboration. Chris Stapleton took home to awards for – Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist. Jay-Z scored a win in Top Rap Tour category. While Ozuna won the gong for Top Latin Artist, MercyMe was named Top Christian Artist. Imagine Dragons won two awards in Top Duo/Group and Top Rock Artist segments. K-pop boy band BTS bagged the trophy of Top Social Artist. They are the first-ever Korean act to perform at the BBMAs. They took to the stage with their new single “Fake Love” to perform the song first time on television. U2 was named the Top Touring Artist and Top Rock Tour. Florida Georgia Line won the title of Top Country Duo/Group Artist with Luke Bryan being named for Top Country Tour. The ceremony, which was hosted by Kelly Clarkson, aired on Vh1 in India.